Sounding off: Where is due process for priests? |

Sounding off: Where is due process for priests?


My understanding of our system of due process justice includes four fundamental concepts: A person is innocent until proven guilty, justice delayed is justice denied, the accused has a right to confront the accuser and it is better for an accused to go free than to convict an innocent person.

Regarding the sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests: It appears that due process has been abandoned. Allegations are now even made after many years of silence, even after the death of the accused. Justice is denied for both the accuser and the accused. People are now convicted in the “court” of public opinion.

All that is required is a claim by a “credible claimant,” whatever that means. I know of no judicial process to determine “credibility,” or what the criteria is for “credibility.” Who determines credibility? Are lie detector tests used? I understand the testimony of children is used. It is also my understanding that children (and some adults) can be manipulated by an interrogator. Where there is money involved, nothing attracts fraud more than money. Also, politics: I’m sure Attorney General Josh Shapiro will one day be elected governor of Pennsylvania.

I am concerned about the devastation to innocent people. How does an innocent person defend oneself? Someone of an intellect beyond mine needs to determine how to determine the innocence or guilt of people under these circumstances, or if it can even be done. In the meantime, with current conditions, innocent people will be persecuted as well as the guilty. I think we have a dangerous precedent here for other matters.

George Wandell


Support our police officers

We all lead busy lives, with a lot on our minds and many responsibilities that require daily attention, so we may take some things for granted because we count on them always being there — especially our local police departments. These men and women are ready to serve and protect their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on holidays and weekends. They work tirelessly in DARE and other programs to teach children about the dangers of drugs, strangers and more.

I urge everyone to support your local police departments in any way you can. Financial donations, no matter how big or small, allow them to continue to provide important programs and services for our children and communities, and also to protect themselves with K9 officers and equipment like bulletproof vests.

They make the choice to become law enforcement officers because they want to make a positive difference in our communities. We are fortunate and blessed to have such wonderful, dedicated officers. What better way to show our appreciation?

Cynthia Yingling

Lower Burrell

Renewables? No thanks

In response to the letter “Commit to renewable energy in Pittsburgh” (Sept. 11, TribLIVE):

• Because of Germany’s commitment to “renewables” and the phasing out of perfectly safe and non-CO2-generating nuclear plants, it is now forced to burn lignite to prevent brownouts. Lignite is an ecologic nightmare.

• England is burning wood pellets imported from the United States and Canada and claims it as a “renewable” form of energy.

• In Australia, the subsidies on solar and wind are so high that baseload coal plants, with no subsidies, are being shut down. The result has been skyrocketing electricity costs. The Australian Energy Market Commission 2017 Electricity Price Trends Report states that the average charge of per kilowatt hour is 34.41 cents. In the United States, the comparable number is 12 cents per kilowatt hour generating cost.

• Because of the insane push for “renewables” at any cost, California has paid Arizona to take excess power produced by solar. This is because utilities cannot control the amount of solar production, which varies from minute to minute when God (or Gaia, if you like) puts clouds in the sky. These fluctuations create havoc with the electric production-distribution grid, hence the need to off-load excess power at any cost.

So, I say no thanks. Let’s stay away from “renewable” energy in Pennsylvania. Our air is fine, our water is fine, our electricity is affordable and we don’t have insane policies that have evolved from the push for “renewables.”

John Rolin


Abuse allegations are a bad joke

Enough already! “He said, she said” cases need to be dismissed. Is there no statute of limitations on these allegations that surface 10, 20, 30 and 40 years later? Now we have a drunken woman claiming sexual misconduct among teenagers. Why are these women only offended when the man becomes a well-known person?

It’s no wonder people have no faith in the news media or the justice system. These things are no more than a bad joke, and if you ask me, the men have become the victims. According to today’s standards, I could bring charges against probably 10 men, beginning with the little boy who kissed me in the first grade.

Having been a battered woman in my adult life, I don’t often defend men, but this has become ridiculous. Stop printing it, stop reporting it, stop prosecuting it! Ladies, stop humiliating yourselves by admitting that you are unable to protect yourself in the grown-up world. If no report has been made, then no evidence exists. Case closed.

The same goes for the priests. There will be a special place in hell for those pretending to be men of God and using that position to abuse children, and for those covering it up. If you don’t believe in heaven or hell, then it is simply child abuse and falls under the first paragraph.

Teach your children to report begin anyone who touches them inappropriately.

Eileen Condie


Immigrants & disease op-ed misinterpreted

Several recent letters were prompted by my op-ed rebutting the infectious disease threat to the U.S. posed by illegal/undocumented immigrants. My piece was in response to the argument columnist Walter Williams advanced.

These letters misstate facts or misinterpret my point that the threat of infectious diseases that the U.S. faces in 2018 does not emanate from illegal immigrants crossing the southern border. That threat is dwarfed by ordinary travel, legal immigrants, vacationers and the infectious disease threats indigenous to the U.S.

Shelia R. Krill ( “It’s government’s duty to follow laws on immigrants,” Sept. 18, TribLIVE) falsely states that there is an increase in multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in the U.S. when in fact that rate has fallen. In 1993, over 400 cases were reported in the U.S. while in 2017, just 97 occurred. Krill also cites Hansen’s disease (leprosy) while failing to note that over 99 percent of the world’s population is resistant to infection. She writes that I refer to one infectious disease threat as “laughable” but omits the fact that I was referring to scabies, a disease well-established in the U.S., not severe and eminently treatable.

Bob Peirce ( “Preventing spread of disease is key point,” Sept. 19, TribLIVE) misinterprets the data I presented about immigration screening. My point was that the diseases screened for are all infections whose primary impact in the U.S. is not from our current undocumented immigrants.

James Chrisner ( “Enemies the real border risk,” Sept. 18, TribLIVE) writes that my piece glosses over the “real issue.” Chrisner fails to realize that my op-ed was in response to Williams’ op-ed and had nothing to do with the other issues mentioned. Further, he appears to have a misunderstanding of infectious diseases as he writes of people coming across the border with anthrax — a noncontagious disease that is endemic in U.S. agriculture.

It is clear that these writers are using infectious disease as a convenient cloak for their true intention. My piece’s purpose was to remove that cloak and allow the true arguments, such as Chrisner’s against “dark-haired, brown-eyed men” (which describes me), to stand naked.

Dr. Amesh Adalja

South Side Slopes

Trump has no moral decency

The presidency is pre-eminently a place of moral decency. This is what the Donald Trump supporters are unwilling or unable to accept.

Many free-market capitalists, legions of hypocritical evangelists and anti- environmentalists, and almost all spineless Republican lawmakers have abandoned their integrity to jump into the basket of deplorables with the David Duke know-nothings who worship at the Trump altar. They are indeed a cult.

As long as Trump supports (or seems to support) their pet individual agendas, he not only is to be defended, but lauded and excused for the grossest behavior ever demonstrated by a national leader. He and his sycophants excoriate the free press and any citizen who dares resist this shameless narcissist, who lacks not only a moral compass but also fails to surmount the lowest bar of honest, civil human intercourse.

Politically, I am forced to accept him as the president. Morally, I repudiate him completely and thus continue my resistance. Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine commentator, put it best when he recently wrote: “Trump repels virtue and is a magnet for sleaze … (he) has built a career knee-deep in ethical filth.” Strong words, but their veracity cannot be denied. Simply review his checkered past and the recently catalogued 5,000 perfidious statements (Fact Checker database) he has made since he took office. Sad!

Robert Jedrzejewski


Medicare & Social Security

Write on, Rich Schachte ( “Republicans trying to save Medicare, Social Security,” Sept. 19, TribLIVE). Pennsylvanians only hear from Sen. Bob Casey when he is up for election. Casey always goes to the first page of the Democrat playbook — “They plan to take away your Social Security” — to frighten old people.

A secure Medicare and Social Security are byproducts of a thriving economy. Thank you, President Trump.

When folks work, they and their employer pay payroll taxes into Social Security (6.2 percent) and Medicare (1.45 percent). That is 7.65 percent x 2, or 15.3 percent of their earnings.

What Democrats don’t tell you is that they want to extend these benefits to illegal aliens and keep them on the Democrat plantation. Spanish translation: “When you rob Pedro to pay Raul, you can always depend on the support of Raul.”

Democrats will not tell you that the government is a poor steward of your money. The average return for your Social Security money is an inflation-adjusted 1.23 percent. Gen Xers and millennials can expect to get 88 cents for every dollar they contribute to Social Security if the system lasts until their retirement.

Republican attempts to allow you some control of your payroll tax investment (i.e., stock market) have been resisted. The average rate of return of the U.S. stock market since 1900 is 10.4 percent per year.

Would you rather get 10.4 percent or 1.23 percent annually on your investment?

David A. Scandrol

Lower Burrell

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