Sexual Abuse Class Action (copy)

Class Attorney Larry Richter addresses Judge Diane Goodstein at the Dorchester County Courthouse in St. George on March 9, 2007, during the settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Charleston. file/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

The crisis in the Catholic Church has gained momentum in light of new legislation expanding time limits for when lawsuits can be filed in New York state. This has implications for Catholics nationwide, including in Charleston.

Too often, however, the first line of response by clergy and parishioners has been a defensive posture. While understandable on certain levels, it is nonetheless disturbing.

Given the history, enormity and far-reaching consequences of this crisis, the church’s admitted complicity in denying and covering up abuse, the first response should be one of apology and compassion, empathy and mercy.

Only then can the church begin to address this crisis thoughtfully and present a defense if warranted. As Christians, we must hold and protect the innocent and the vulnerable close to our hearts, and we must comfort and advocate for the broken, abused, misused, mistreated and victimized.

Had every leader and clergy member in the Catholic Church done this, then children would have been protected and never abused in the first place.

By no means am I asserting that some clergy members haven’t been wrongly accused. We must, however, not view victim advocacy as an indictment of the church as a whole or as “Catholic bashing.”

Decades, if not centuries, of abuse have been documented, and the time for full accountability is long overdue. Victims’ voices must be heard, and if that is uncomfortable, then so be it. Let every veil be lifted and every perpetrator held accountable. May justice finally be served.


Gilmore Road


Hogan applauded

I want to congratulate The Post and Courier on hiring Maura Hogan. It is rare for a newspaper to expand its coverage of the arts, and as a member of the Charleston arts community, I applaud this decision.

A judge, an artist and a professor walk into a Charleston bar. You could call it a salon.

Ms. Hogan has not only increased the column inches devoted to arts in your newspaper, she has led me and others to find out about art shows, what local artists are doing for communities affected by autism, productions in Charleston’s expanding theater community and more.

Ms. Hogan’s connection to not only the local arts community but a broader national community means she is equally at home talking about varied art forms and about the many cultural attractions in our beautiful city.

Her articles are engaging and filled with enthusiasm for what Charleston has to offer. She and others at The Post and Courier, such as Adam Parker, are teaching us to explore Charleston and renew our joy in this city.

Thank you, Post and Courier, for giving her this platform and for sharing her insights with us, your readers.


George Street


Use turn signals

It sure is nice that vehicles have brake lights. What’s nicer is that vehicles have turn signals. Now we need to educate people how to use them.

Commentary: Charleston needs common-sense transportation policy, not wider roads

Just because a driver puts on a turn signal doesn’t mean that he or she can immediately change lanes. The person a driver seeks to cut in front of will, hopefully, flash his headlights or wave the driver over as a courtesy.

Some people just cut other drivers off. Believe it or not, that’s road rage and can get someone hurt.

Everyone is trying to get somewhere, and we need to be patient. It’s better to get there safely instead of having to sit on the side of the road after an accident and wait for a police officer.

So put down your cellphone, cigarette or coffee and turn on your blinker.

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Bramwell Drive


Credit cards vs. cash

There’s a small but growing trend among some restaurants, here and in other cities, to accept only credit card payments.

Owners say that the advantages of not dealing with cash far outweigh the fees charged by the credit card companies.

Tradeoff: No cash but faster lines as restaurants forgo bills

Recently, my wife and I had lunch at a restaurant on Daniel Island. Two sandwiches and two cups of coffee cost about $40. When we were given our bill, we noticed that a 4% “credit card charge” had been added, even though we were never asked if we were going to pay by credit card. In fact, we paid with cash.

When we asked the waitress about the charge, she said that because we were using cash, the charge would be taken off our bill. That’s an odd way to handle a transaction, I thought.

It’s interesting that this restaurant penalizes customers 4% for using a credit card when other restaurants are beginning to require them. So do we have competing trends now?

In the future, will a restaurant require the customer to use a credit card, or penalize them for using one? I’m confused.


Glen Lake Court

Mount Pleasant

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