Letter to the Editor: The Continuing Power of the Catholic Church Makes Readers Think

Here we go again. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has raised objections to the Equal Rights Amendment (LD 344) passing to the Maine Legislative Assembly. Many, if not all, of their arguments are absurd.

During the installation of Richard Malone as Bishop of Maine on March 31, 2004, about 20 protesters gather in front of Portland’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral and hold childhood photos of people identifying themselves as victims of sexual abuse by priests. Malone served as bishop until 2012. Doug Jones / Staff Photographer, File

These objections come from a church that – in 2022! – relegates women to mere lower-level officials within its own structure. Are they still living in 1522?

What makes me think, however, is the power of this institution in our public discourse.

Other than the Boy Scouts of America, I know of no other institution that, under its watch, has failed so completely to protect children from sexual abuse, then denied and covered it up.

Why the Catholic Church has so much influence in our public discourse is beyond me. Why should anything they say or represent carry such weight when thousands of victims of their abuse are still awaiting compensation, monetary or otherwise?

In the future, I would suggest that any opinion, quote or attribution given by the Diocese include this disclaimer: “At the time of this report, the Catholic Church has had x number of child sexual abuse charges brought against it in court.”

I cannot imagine another entity tainted with such outrageous behavior and cover-up being accorded such status in the court of public opinion.

And now they boldly come forward to crush all the meaningful legal protections that women seek in our society as equal citizens? God help us – and them.

Rough? Yes. But so is what so many under the watch of this church have endured.

Pete Gorsky
South Portland

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