** **This article was sent to me as an email from a friend, Adele. I try and verify my emails through snopes.com. I could not find anything on this. So, please, take from it what you may.
On a personal note: I have been involved with the Catholic Church all my life (58 yrs). We had priests spend holidays with us when growing up in the Bronx. As an adult, I have had Spiritual Directors (priests) and involved in numerous Catholic programs...I currently work for the Church (13 years)...I have NEVER experienced one moment of impropriety or have been made to feel uncomfortable..this goes for my son, husband, brother, sisters, parents and so on. I say this because I have friends who believe that all (or most) priests are evil, waiting to pounce on any innocent victim..man, woman and child. This is so NOT true. Yes, we have made our fair share of mistakes, but our Church is trying very very hard to right the wrongs that have been done. It is much more strict about selecting priests into the priesthood, weeding out the "bad" guys and punishing those who have committed a crime. God forgive and have mercy on those who have committed evil and God protect, heal and give justice to true victims.
I know first-hand that many wonderful and innocent priests have been falsely accused of wrong-doing in every form. Many of the "victims" point a finger at priests for financial gains, for sensationalism, and just plain evil. A priest once stated that the evil one will try to take the Church down through the elect, and the evil one is working overtime.
There are more pedophiles and those behaving inappropriately in our educational system than in any other institution...but we don't stop sending our kids to school, do we? Yes, I know it's not a religious institution, but isn't it, too, supposed to be a safe haven for our children?
I ask everyone to pray for our priests...to pray for our Church, and for a change...give it a break, already...we are human after-all! No institution is perfect...and even the family tree of Jesus had its "bad-guys", but that didn't stop Abba Father from creating a Diamond. The Catholic Church continually says, "Mea Culpa" publicly, but that will never be enough for many, esp. the Catholic bashers. I have found that many are looking for an excuse not to attend church, and through the scandals they have found it. As for me, "Long Live the Catholic Church" and it's beautiful dogmas, doctrines and Traditions....God Bless her people, religious or laity and as it is written....nothing will prevail against Her. ** **
Excerpts of an article written by non-Catholic Sam Miller - a prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman:
"Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States , namely the Catholic Church?
Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars.
The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%.
The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.
The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people -
not just Catholics - in the United States today.
But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage!
Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of lay-women have been sexually harassed.
Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia, 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia.
This is not a Catholic Problem. It is a culture problem.
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.
The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church.
Millions have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests who have probably been totally weeded out by now.
Walk with your shoulders high and your head higher.
Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States ..
Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is ... and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'..
Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.
Be proud that you're a Catholic."