Letters to the Editor

May 26, 2010

The silence is deafening in church scandal

To the editor:

"When silence replaces the truth, that silence is a lie," the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said.

There is a crisis that has been haunting the Roman Catholic Church since its inception that has raised its ugly head once again. Those of us who love our church are greatly hurt and repulsed that it has become the fodder for late-night comedians and the opening headlines of just about every newscast on all forms of media.

The tragedy of the realities of the offenses is exacerbated by the same response that has already stripped most of any remaining credibility from those who think the best defense is none at all.

Young men have been abused by the clergy in all levels of the church's structure. This abuse has bankrupted so many dioceses in this country that now church property is being sold to pay just some of the lawsuits. And make no mistake about it, those lawsuits are going to continue. More and more offenses are being uncovered and we all look to the ultimate authority - the Pope and the Vatican - to finally admit that they have not approached this abomination properly.


The silence is deafening.

In the 1960s, in their classic song "The Sounds of Silence," Simon and Garfunkel stated, "Silence, like a cancer grows." The cancer within the church is destroying so much that so many have been embracing for entire lifetimes.

Imagine having to admit in your heart that the things and people you have been taught to respect are indeed no less mortal or human than yourself. However difficult, it must be done, and then, church by church, diocese by diocese, all true believers must accept nothing less than the full admission of responsibility by those in authority and they, in turn, must do anything that is necessary to assuage the hearts and minds and souls of the victims and to proclaim to the world that all will be done to prevent any further abuses.

If it is said, "What a grotesque thing to think or promote," then contemplate the heinous crime of luring an innocent, vulnerable and trusting child into the most lurid, insensitive and irreversibly damaging destruction of their very innocence.

Facades of religiosity are only in place in the presence of those whose mentalities have been brainwashed to accept them. Divine attributes when superimposed on frail human flesh are a violation of the first commandment and serve no one any good.

"As you do unto the least of my brethren, so you do unto me" can never just be words idly tossed about. They must be deeply embedded in the heart.

Only Our Blessed Saviour can bring good out of evil - this is a constant - He uses all to manifest the power of good. But there is going to be a final reckoning and if this is not kept in mind by those who have inured themselves to its realities, then the graces available to the church are going to continue to be overshadowed by the disgraces.

"Truth is on the scaffold, wrong is on the throne ...

But behind the dim unknown, stands God keeping watch over His own."

- James Russell Lowell

Harold Edward Wills

Sharpsburg ready to celebrate Memorial Day

To the editor:

Memorial Day is almost here. It is a day to take time to reflect on the veterans who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

Don't forget, we still have men and women fighting. They need our support and prayers as do their families. Just recently, a couple of young men in the Tri-State area lost their lives.

Do you have any plans for Saturday? Can I suggest some activities that will be fun and yet celebrate the "real" reason for the holiday?

Come to the town of Sharpsburg, which will hold its annual parade. Before the parade starts, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony in the square. After the parade, there will be a ceremony at Antietam National Cemetery with music and speakers. All are very moving activities.

The town is always dressed up by the residents with lots of flags and patriotism. Take time to see the display by the American Legion Auxiliary in the window in the square and take a look at the great photos of members of the military in the ice cream store window. There also will be a lot of good food sold by churches, clubs and restaurants. It makes for a great day. I am proud to be an American and proud to live in the Sharpsburg area.

Please don't forget to wear your red, white and blue, fly your flags, and let those serving in the military or who have served know you care and appreciate them. Also support the families who have someone serving or who might have lost a loved one. And don't forget to wear a poppy made by a disabled veteran. These are never sold, but given. Any donations are appreciated as the veterans are paid for making these.

Thank you to all who wore a military uniform, no matter when or where you served, whether in peace or war. Also, thank you to the families who sit and wait, and especially the ones who lost their loved ones. May God bless you all richly.

Darlene (Slick) Hoffman

Another solution for Devil's Backbone dam

To the editor:

There is a third possible solution for the Devil's Backbone dam.

Why not knock out a few stones from the center of the dam and let nature take its course. Part of the structure would wash away, but a ruin would remain to remind us that it was once the site of a dam and why it was built there.

If you visit Europe, half of the attractions you visit are ruins from times past. Why do we think the only solution is to demolish or rebuild?

Carl Pedersen

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