Reforming the Church

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To the Editor:Re “Judgment for an Abusive Church Culture” (editorial, Dec. 23):I read your editorial about the state of Roman Catholicism with great interest. If the church is ever to reform itself, Pope Francis must include the laity, particularly women, in the coming convocation in Rome and in all subsequent discussions on the subject of the sexual abuse of children. Let’s hope that the pope will find the courage to begin moving toward the end of the all-male autocracy that has brought the church to this crisis and is at the heart of the matter. Mary Anne O’Boyle LearyChestertown, Md.To the Editor:Internal investigation of any organization is less than satisfying, especially when trust in it has been lost. Recent revelations that a little-known Vatican appeals panel has sharply reduced penalties of priests convicted of sexual abuse and in some cases has reinstated them provides little confidence in allowing bishops to investigate themselves and the “fraternal” punishments imposed.Michael P. OrsiNaples, Fla.The writer is a Catholic priest.