Sex abuse, pacifism, theodicy & Cuba


Robert Nugent’s article “Meeting a ‘Monster’” (May 22) is both disturbing and challenging. I have occasionally assisted with our local prison ministry (visiting inmates who committed various crimes and helping with bail); I also have acquaintances who were sexually abused by priests. Now a father of teenagers, I was also once a parish priest myself and a friend of some of those who are now defrocked. Still, when I read of Fr. Nugent’s “work of mercy,” I have trouble overcoming feelings of anger and anguished betrayal. I am grateful for Nugent’s compassion, but I also remain lost before this mystery of iniquity. I doubt that I could approach Fr. Nugent’s incarcerated friend with such open-mindedness, or engage with him in casual church chat. I’ll pray for both of them.

David E. Pasinski
Fayetteville, N.Y.


A monster is defined in my dictionary as “a person too wicked to be considered human.” Robert Nugent writes near the end of “Meeting a ‘Monster’” that the serial molester he met in the prison was not a monster. He is wrong. If this man is not a monster, then there is no such thing. We should love and pray for such people, but we should never lose sight of...

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