I just read your article, "Rid me of this Troublesome Priest" (Feb. 7), and I would like to share a few things.
As the director of the HSU Newman Center, I apologize for not being able to get back to the Journal before press time.
The acting chaplain, a volunteer deacon from Eureka, a retired priest and I have all spent moments of time, evenings of discussion and homilies addressing the issue of the evil that has infiltrated the church, sadly through the hands of those who should be bringing good and healing. We are very available to the students regarding this painful topic. The Newman Center has an hour of prayer set aside five days a week in atonement for these evils, as well as to pray for our own personal needs and to spend time before our Lord. We have numerous copies of Bishop Vasa's statements available for the college students.
I am sad my beloved Church has been infiltrated with leaders who commit evil but I trust Jesus' words, "The gates of Hell will not prevail against it." Those men are wolves in sheeps' clothing. They have gotten into the fold and led astray and destroyed many. Yet, there are good people in the church doing His work and there are good priests and deacons who are in the church. They are right here in Humboldt County doing Christ's beautiful work of healing, sanctifying and teaching. They are also available to talk with anyone who needs healing from those wolves who have gotten into the Church.
Regina Fosnaugh, Arcata
This is a letter of appreciation and support to all of our good, faithful priests and bishops, religious men and women. They sacrifice their lives to serve Jesus Christ amid a climate of bigotry and unbelief; a world incapable of imagining self-control over one's appetites. These disciples of Christ march on unshaken by discrimination and ridicule.
Our courageous Bishop Vasa has exposed the Judases who have been destroying lives and devastating souls for decades. They all will pass away and eternal judgment is God's. The church will be purified. No heretical pope, homosexual cardinal or pedophile priest can prevail against Truth.
I stand with the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church that is timeless. I stand with our heroic, faithful priests who offer the hope and peace of Jesus Christ to a broken world.
Gretha Omey, Eureka
I had a few thoughts on last week's NCJ cover story about the local Catholic diocesan handling of priests who were known child sex abusers.
As a Catholic with sons who are currently altar boys and who attend catechesis in a local parish, I want to testify that our church has made effective changes to protect children. I don't say that lightly since I homeschool my children, in part, to protect them from rampant immorality in the schools.
Secondly, I think Bishop Vasa is a good shepherd who is not seeking to avoid the Church's making reparation for its vile past. He wasn't part of this diocese and had nothing to do with these crimes, and yet he has taken on the job of shepherding a church that was betrayed by Judas-priests. He begs forgiveness from the victims because he knows what it can do for hurting people.
Finally, you asked, "How does one forgive the unforgivable?" For the sake of brevity, I'll point to one man who had every reason not to forgive. Father Ubald Rugirangoga narrowly escaped the 1994 Rawandan genocide but in the slaughter, he lost over 80 relatives and more than 45,000 of his parishioners were executed. He returned to Rwanda and has been preaching on forgiveness to crowds of tens of thousands.
The message of Father Ubald is that unforgiveness blocks healing, and countless people attribute miraculous physical and relational and spiritual healings to him. I think the question is, "How does one forgive what seems unforgivable?" Seek, and you shall find.
Karen Worsley, Eureka