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No welfare for the wealthy, and thoughts on the church’s scandal; letters to the editor

Bishop Mark Bartchak, who investigated a priest who was subsequently laicized.
Bishop Mark Bartchak, who investigated a priest who was subsequently laicized. Centre Daily Times, file

‘No welfare for the wealthy’

The Associated Press article on Aug 23rd 2018 in the CDT tells us that 30 Texas and Louisiana oil refineries are the “jewels” of that American industry. Let’s be clear that an American gem would be our US National Parks, and not these privately owned oil refineries.

This very privately owned oil industry that is complicit in spoiling and destroying our climate is now asking for, and in fact demanding, that we pay for their mistakes. No. No handout. No welfare for the wealthy.

The cost to clean up their own carbon pollution is a cost of doing business. We all know that we have no constitutional right to cheap gasoline. Texas Senator Ted Cruz – an enormous hypocrite – usually actively spurns the use of tax dollars to better the lives of his constituents and all Americans. Yet here he is actively trolling for fellow compatriots who will bail out these oil companies without a second thought. And Mr Cruz, at least one or more of your oil refineries is actually owned by Saudi Arabia. I’m not paying welfare to them either.

By all means build your 19-foot-tall seawall, but you will pay for it yourself. The oil industry can afford a 60-mile-long seawall themselves. They better get to it; there isn’t much time left. - Nancy F. Parks, Aaronsburg, PA

Don’t blame ‘the innocent’

Remarks in the August 28th Letters to the Editor cast blame of hiding sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church to Bishop Mark Bartchak while he was a Monsignor in the Diocese of Erie. The letter states that his name appears in the report on multiple pages.

While true, this is misleading because he appeared not as an abuser or an enabler, but as an investigator. The particular case they referred to was that of Fr. Presley. Bartchak inquired to Bishop Trautman if he should continue investigating since he had enough evidence to begin the laicization process (taking away Presley’s priesthood) and continue Presley’s suspension.

Bartchak said this was to save the Church of scandal and to allow the victims to begin their healing process. As a result of Bartchak’s investigation, Presley was suspended, laicized, and reported to the Office of the Attorney General by the Diocese after the investigation concluded (Pages 403, 404 Interim Redacted Repot). Bartchak recommended that the family receive counseling.

Let us also not forget that Bartchak was integral to the success of the previous Grand Jury Report into another Diocese, and that Grand Jury thanked Bartchak specifically and commended his efforts to end abuse (Page 121, 37th).

While this scandal is atrocious and the scars may never heal, let us not fall into the temptation of blaming the innocent. - Peter Forstmeier, Bellefonte, PA

‘Our church is wounded’

I am a proud to be a Catholic because the founder of my religion is Jesus the son of God. He lived and died for us to atone for our sins. He established his church to guide us by his teachings, sacraments, and ministry to his heavenly kingdom. He entrusted his teachings, sacraments, and ministry to his bishops, priests, and followers.

From the very beginning of our church, many members have failed him. One of his beloved apostles betrayed him. Another denied him three times. Others fled for their protection. These failures stem from our free will not because of Jesus or his teachings. Jesus is still guiding us to live holy lives, but we fail him when we don’t listen.

The clergy scandal is a failure of some of the church’s members to follow Jesus. It is a great betrayal to him because these were men who took vows to love and serve him through their ministry. They have perpetrated great evil and have caused great harm to their victims.

Our church is wounded and suffering. Like Jesus we will resurrect again because the Holy Spirit is guiding us to purge our church of this terrible evil and renew our loyalty to God and his Holy Catholic Church. - Kay Machi, State College, PA

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