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Catholics who read David Clohessy’s commentary ("In Rome, hopeful signs. In the U.S., not so much," Oct. 11) likely will have one of two responses. They’ll curse the corruption they believe still underlies the institution, or they’ll circle the wagons, as usual, and place all that negativity about victims out there, beyond belief and pat religiosity.

I propose a different tack: How about we active Catholics taking a hard look at ourselves? In what ways do we enable the church powerbrokers to keep doing what they’ve been doing — namely, just that, whatever they feel like doing. It’s their church, so they insist (and we allow), and we better darn well get in line, or else.

That’s just it; we fear abandonment, exclusion, indifference even, if we speak up. The modus operandi of church higher-ups, when confronted with their failures, is to shut out or shun those questioning with even the most diplomatic approach.

Is no one else angry and disheartened by the endless trail of tears, following story after story of abuse cover-ups, old and new? The culture of abuse continues, and we Catholics want to convince ourselves the cleanup is over. It really has just begun. Our job is take broom in hand and start sweeping up with honest sentiments, no matter the price. Kids’ welfare depends on that.

Linda Briggs-Harty  •  Brentwood