Monsignor's conviction ?should be first of many

There is nothing more precious or sacred than the innocence of children. It is the purest form of love, which makes their sexual victimization at the hands of priests so disgusting and disturbing.
A recent News story about Monsignor William Lynn shed a much-needed spotlight on this tragedy. I applaud the prosecutors whose efforts achieved a landmark conviction, and hope it is the first of many. Only when these priests are held fully accountable in a court of law with full media scrutiny will they be stopped.

In researching self-mutililation, I came across a term that describes trusted adults such as parents, relatives, caregivers or priests who sexually victimize children. The term is "soul murderer." I believe it should be used to refer to pedophile priests, because doing so will create societal outrage.

Many children who are sexually victimized at the hands of trusted adults are scarred for life. Many will self-mutilate their entire lives as they struggle with shame, guilt, self-loathing, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Many describe themselves as feeling dead. Those who caused this are soul murderers.

Members of the Catholic Church hierarchy who protect and transfer known sexual predators, the Jerry Sanduskys of the priesthood, clearly view children as the sacrificial lambs needed to maintain and preserve the priesthood. They are as guilty as the pedophiles, and should be viewed as such.

The other victims of this story are the loyal parishioners who donate to their church, only to have a portion of it go toward paying out cash settlements to sexual abuse victims, as well as those faithful priests who dedicate their lives to serving their congregations.

Everyone who cares about children, regardless of religious belief or affiliation, should no longer be silent when hearing about priests who sexually abuse children. Our collective voices need to be used in order to protect them, by demanding their perpetrators are held criminally liable.

Mary Snyder



Elected officials care?only for themselves

Personally, I don't care who gets elected. It just doesn't matter – you can't please everyone and when elected they don't or can't do as promised.

If our elected officials would like to help us, they should eliminate 50 percent of the elected positions and 50 percent of their staff and pay 50 percent of their health care and no pensions until after eight years of service. This would get America out of debt in two years.

Now, with that said my concern is the annoying robo call to elect whomever. I'm on a do not call list. And it works 95 percent of the time, so let us put the politicians in this class.

So, when busy in my wood shop or working in the house I will not be bothered. Oh, and don't tell me to "press 3" to take my name off the list – I have rotary dial phone. Anyhow, thanks for listening. We know it won't change because it is the elected officials who have to make the change and we know they need the job.

Richard W. Grotke

East Aurora


System works against?women being stalked

I would like to start this letter by extending my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Jackie Wisniewski on the loss of their beautiful daughter, sister and mother, because I know that "there but for the grace of God go I." You see, I've been followed and harassed for years by a man I briefly dated more than 30 years ago.

I have been to my local police department countless times over the years, starting with the complaint that he had threatened my family and me. The police response, 30 years ago, was, "When he shoots you, call us." Lately I am told, "He's a nut, just ignore him." After several years' hiatus from him, the stalking started again last spring. Do you know what it is like to have to tell your friends and co-workers that if I am late or I don't show up, come looking for me?
All I was given from the police detective was information regarding the downtown Family Justice Center.

After contacting it, I was told this is not a family court issue, it belonged in criminal court, so I went back to the local police, who referred me to the court clerk, who then referred me to the warrant clerk. After 90 minutes in his office, the warrant clerk finally consented to write a complaint and send it to the town justice.

As it stands now, a year later, my stalker has ignored both court dates and has a warrant out for his arrest. I have not heard from him in almost a year and pray that it stays that way.
After reading my story, do you understand why a young, self-supporting, single mother would not have the time or the energy to pursue charges against her abuser? There definitely is something wrong with the system.

Cheryl Winkelman

West Seneca


Vatican's selection?comes as no surprise

It figures that the Vatican would choose a Fox News correspondent for its communication strategy who is a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement. To repair blunders of the past, he states that he wants to make sure everyone remains "on message." Status quo. This announcement is clear to dispel any optimism for the future.

Kathleen M. Powers



Catholic Church has a role?in countering Ryan bill

It is about time the Catholic Church is talking about and concerned about something besides abortion. The injustice that would emerge from the Ryan bill is tremendous. This bill would greatly affect the poor and less fortunate of our society.

We sometimes fail to see the devastation and death caused by war, poverty and subsequently hunger and lack of medical care and housing. When there was talk of not receiving Social Security checks, some of my senior friends panicked, telling me they would not have the money to pay their rent. These people were not able to save for retirement. They were not lazy or spenders as some people like to believe.

Unfortunately, it has taken a group of nuns traveling through some states to oppose this legislation. Where are the bishops who have time and money to sue the government? It amazes me how we can call ourselves Christians and followers of Christ and yet pick and choose who we wish to defend.

Connie Rudes

East Amherst


There was no justice?for the Rice family

There is justice in Pennsylvania, but not in Buffalo. Now we have to endure defense lawyers and bar association members congratulating jurors for a job well done in the Dr. James Corasanti case. What a farce. Everyone deserves representation, but when lawyers invent scenarios and bring in so-called experts to manufacture new facts, that takes money to buy a verdict. Add in the lowest common denominator of the jury pool and you may get a guilty man off. Representation, yes. Not guilty, yes. Justice, I don't think so.

Whitey Nichols