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A criminal is a criminal no matter what collar they wear

To the editor:

I am a nurse. I am Catholic. I love my church. More than my church, I love Jesus Christ. As a nurse, I, along with educators, all health care workers, counselors and most clergy are mandatory reporters. This means if any type of child abuse is suspected, we are mandated to report it to Social Services for investigation. If not, we could be subject to prosecution as if we committed the crime.

What I don’t understand is why all priests, bishops, cardinals and their associates are not mandatory reporters. Certainly they are no more above the law than the rest of us. I can’t explain why this scourge has afflicted so many. Where are the laws and law enforcement when it comes to these abusers?

It is time all clergy and their associates in the U.S. be mandatory reporters and subject to judgment under the law, not the church. This being said, I support and commend all the clergy that have committed their lives to being shepherds of the Lord and now suffer for the sins of their peers. This is not fair to them.

Let’s stand against priests that abuse; like we do against teachers, parents, Scout leaders and all other predators. This must stop and it is no more up to the church than it is to the institutions other predators work for.

Shame on the Roman Catholic Church and our lawmakers for not stopping this long ago. I make no excuses for this despicable crime and blame no one but those predators, including those that knew and did nothing.

Catholic Church, stop retiring and continuing to pay these predators! After all, teachers convicted of sexual assault are fired and jailed. A criminal is a criminal no matter what collar they wear! God help us…

Mary Hacker

Alexandria, MN