The cover of Tuesday’s PÚBLICO is a premonition of what the future will surely bring us: a my fault accepted, but with your back to the victims. As much as we are challenged by predicates about those who integrated the commission that took this first step in an attempt to give justice to the victims of pedophiles – who cowardly and under the protection of the houses of God perpetrated their crimes -, we all have a painful premonition of how this will evolve .
Recent history shows us where the previous victims are (in other countries) before these crimes of Portuguese-style clerical pedophilia and we find that, despite what they suffered, no clergyman is in prison and those who died before being, at least At least, the judges lived their “holy” lives without jeopardizing their reputation.
The Portuguese Catholic Church has perfected its silences, its ruses, its concealments and, in the – at least – last 50 years, it has weaved a web of collusions and compromises with sectors of society that will guarantee it social forgiveness. A kind of step common to the pious larceny and without lateral movements that disturb the inertia.
The structure of the Church will pray a lot, swallow a lot of the host, whimper hypocritically and with millions for the World Youth Day (WYD), it will whitewash the heinous and gigantic crime of which we now know (only) the tip of the iceberg and, as well reflects Laborinho Lúcio, “there is a danger that the alert now created will ‘crumble’ over time and that the Church will return to old practices”.
I hope from the bottom of my wounded heart that this commission will not be used as a lye to clean away the newly exposed stain so that everything will appear to change and stay the same once WYD is over.
Maria da Conceição Mendes, Vila Nova de Gaia
The dramas of the Church after the abuses
The numbers are tremendous, they are devastating: eight out of ten sexual abusers of minors are priests, that is, 77% of the cases. Of these cases, a hundred priests are still active and the question is what to do with them. Will you continue to exercise the Ministry or not? The idea of the hierarchy of the Church, in a first approach, suggests that each case is different, but the truth is that we are facing situations in which there was abuse, they may have done it more or less, but the truth is that they abused. Faced with this fact, it is impossible not to eradicate the culprits from the parishes, regardless of the fact that, at the judicial level, they can be observed differently in terms of the civil penalties to be suffered. The Catholic community must be shocked and it is only natural that church attendance could now decline. The shock to this can lead. But the justice of God is one thing, another is that of men full of nuances and senses where sin also lives. The Church must therefore reflect on whether it is capable of restructuring itself to the point of better approaching, once again, its purpose in words and deeds. The Church is now in fragility. May she find her way again for the good of all and those who congregate her.
Eduardo Fidalgo, Linda-a-Velha
The results obtained by the independent commission that analyzed abuses in the Church, led by Pedro Strecht and made up of people like Daniel Sampaio and Laborinho Lúcio, are proof of the existence of highly qualified, competent and reputable people in Portugal. If António Costa wants to look at competence and not the “card”, he will certainly find many, many people willing to collaborate in the public cause. He will, of course, only have to value competence, and perhaps that is, unfortunately, a huge difficulty for António Costa. Competent and reputable people abound.
Manuel Morato Gomes, Lady of the Hour
Porto and drugs
In the city they talk about nothing else! It’s the subject of the day and it doesn’t come alone. With it comes fear of behavior related to drug consumption and irritation at the government’s silence and lack of measures.
Every day, televisions and newspapers bring deplorable images to our homes, not only of hidden places out of sight, but already half-walled with schools aware of all the risks arising therefrom.
As is his duty, the mayor had the tents removed and the camp cleaned up, repeatedly denouncing the stagnation of the head of Internal Administration, who has only now come to justify himself by alleging the complexity of the nightmare that in his opinion will drag on for many years.
While we understand the difficulties of this gigantic social challenge, one thing is certain: brazen drug dealers must be prevented in broad daylight and care for the safety of resident families. And that is up to the authorities.
Jose Manuel Pavao, Porto