Letters to the Editor

Letters: Bishop ignored abuse victims

Bishop Ronald Gainer, pictured here in 2013 when he headed the Lexington diocese, announced Aug.1 that the Harrisburg, Pa., diocese he now serves was posting an online list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of the abuse.
Bishop Ronald Gainer, pictured here in 2013 when he headed the Lexington diocese, announced Aug.1 that the Harrisburg, Pa., diocese he now serves was posting an online list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of the abuse. Herald-Leader file photo

Bishop ignored victims

A flaw of many Catholic priests is arrogance. Why else would former Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer believe in the 1970s that a just punishment for priests who sexually abused and raped children should not require “any judicial trial or administrative process be initiated that may lead to his dismissal from the clerical state,” but rather, they should live out their days in prayer and penance?

Gainer later felt called to moral, if not legal, action. When priests were later found to have done truly horrifying and illegal acts, his diocesan office now proudly states that he demanded they “be permanently barred from presenting themselves as priests, conducting any ministry, or dressing as a priest….”

In Gainer’s mind, being stripped of canonical duties must be worse than facing your victims and going to jail. How unfortunate that Gainer never felt enough empathy for the victims to report abusers.

Guy Kemper


Bevin keeping teachers down

Gov. Matt Bevin is trying everything he can to take away any opportunity for teachers to increase their pay. It’s obvious that he doesn’t have any respect for educators. Dealing with other people’s children is one of the hardest jobs a person can sign up for. Bevin knows that teachers with masters degrees earn way more money than teachers without the degrees. The less educated the teacher, the less they get paid, period.

Bevin should prefer to have as many teachers with advanced degrees as he can find, but he seems to think Kentucky doesn’t need to waste money on highly educated teachers to teach a bunch of low-intelligence children with low-achieving parents. To him, we’re a waste of money.

Smarter, more educated teachers can help our children reach educational goals. I thought teachers had to periodically go back to school in order to learn new subject matters and teaching techniques. We never stop learning, no matter how old we are. Maybe Bevin would be tickled pink if things reverted back to when men felt a woman’s place was in the home and men made all of the important decisions. An old-school-thinking religious fundamentalist like Bevin has no business being our governor.

Yolanda Averette


Find another way to pay

Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk and the school board are the magicians who distract with one hand while performing the “magic.” Look! We will try to protect students seven hours a day. Don’t look! We just need $13.5 million and this expense never goes away!

Please, spend part of that $30 million “rainy day fund” instead of increasing taxes on people who don’t even own an umbrella. Adding staff and issuing student identification badges aren’t one-time costs. Each year they will dip into their piggybank, i.e. taxpayers, to cover that cost.

Even if people don’t own property, rent will go up. Consumers pay utilities and there is a school tax in each bill. Do you get a yearly 4 or 5 percent raise? I don’t. But this board has no problem wiping out our increases and expecting us to cut our tight budgets, while $30 million just sits there.

Lauranne L. Williams


Air playing of anthem

ESPN doesn’t air the playing of our national anthem before Monday night football games. A convenient excuse is to have more discussion time. Or, maybe they are trying to save face so viewers won’t have to witness the bad behavior of a few players who kneel in protest and disrespect our nation.

These players may often be seen grumbling all the way to the bank to spend huge salaries in dollars that clearly read “In God we trust.” You hear multiple excuses for kneeling, often based on nonsense or political protest or maybe because the person they voted for did not get elected.

Many men stood their ground and gave all they had so this nation would endure, only to have others burn our flag and spit on the graves of our honored dead. Players who refuse to stand for the anthem should be paid in Euros, and broadcasting agencies should be ashamed. An old friend of my father told me how some people disrespected him, even spit on him. after coming home from Vietnam. They could act like that, he said, because of all of those veterans who stood for freedom in their place.

Lisa J. Johnson


Paper heralding Trump

The morning after major national news broke on the Manafort and Cohen cases, MSNBC showed newspaper front pages in states where President Donald Trump will campaign: North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Five of seven didn’t put that news with legal implications for Trump on the front page, including the Herald-Leader’s page 6 placement. Not shown was large picture of Trump on the front-page with story, “Trump plans Kentucky visit as Barr faces reelection.”

Rep. Andy Barr and likely Gov. Matt Bevin, Kentucky GOP leaders and NRA officials will stand with Trump who brags about having the “best” people around him as one after another loyalist is indicted or pleads guilty.

How will Kentuckians react with time to understand the implications of Trump’s former campaign manager’s guilty verdict and “fixer” lawyer’s guilty plea in a case making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator about hush money paid before the presidential election to two women who allege affairs with him?

If Kentuckians attend a Trump rally, I hope they leave impressionable children home and will protect — rather than threaten — a penned-up press (remind anyone of caged children?) And if Trump declares nothing to hide, demand: “Where are your tax returns?” Bevin?

Ramona Rush


Dominance over impeachment

With the recent convictions or guilty pleas from Trump associates, talk has again come around to President Donald Trump’s impeachment if the Democrats regain control of the House.

Much as I dislike Trump and his minions, impeachment should be avoided. The simplest argument is that if one uses the ultimate tool too often, it soon becomes the preferred tool. Impeachment should not become routine.

Would it not be better to just hamstring him? Instead of the Republicans, evangelicals, and other lowlifes fighting to kiss his … feet, let the Democrats reestablish what “checks and balances” were intended to be.

Oh, sure, send his friends and family who have committed crimes to jail where they belong. But Trump? Let him finally realize the failure he is as a human.

Besides, President Mike Pence? Really?

H. Stephen Midkiff

Mount Sterling