Abusive priest places Youngstown in bad light
Youngstown is placed in an unfavorable light once again. Father Robert Burns has been indicted for molesting five boys 10 years of age. Registered pedophile and ex-convict, he is known as an ex-priest from Youngstown. He joins such notorious criminals as Fathers Guthre, Koz and Porter.
How is it these men escape prosecution? Fr. Burns was an assistant pastor at St. Paul Church, North Canton, a teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas high school, Louisville, in the late '70s and assistant pastor at St. Rose, Girard in the early '80s. He abused children at all assignments, in fact, was reassigned because of the abuse and eventually sent off to Boston where he was convicted of raping a boy in 1992. He was sent to prison for molesting two New Hampshire boys.
How did these men escape prosecution? Unfortunately, I think, parents felt ashamed or were made to believe their sons were to blame or didn't want anyone to know their son was a victim. Parents believed their sons were safe and were shocked upon learning of the abuse. But I think of other parents and innocent children who could have been spared a lifetime of pain if only someone had spoken out to remove the perpetrator from proximity to children.
And maybe it's about time to accept responsibility for the silence enabling the recidivism of the abusers. Instead, laud the parents who have spoken out demanding justice and praise the victims for their heroic action in coming forward.
JOHN F. WIRTZ
Congress should support president's energy plan
The dramatic rise in gas prices is without a doubt taking a toll on all Americans. We are all finding ourselves struggling to pay for gas in our cars to make it where we need to be everyday. Many are quick to blame the president demanding that he put a stop to it. Truthfully, the president is doing all that he can to help us.
The White House is putting pressure on Congress to pass the president's proposed energy bill. The bill encourages domestic oil exploration and production. It also supports finding alternative energy sources and improving conservation methods.
Oil is currently drilled in Alaska and rather than being used in America it is shipped to Germany. With our oil refineries in desperate need of overhauling, it costs more for us to refine oil and keep it here than it does for us to ship it to Germany. Bush's energy bill will directly help this problem. He believes that money should be put into our refineries so that we can be a self-sufficient country.
The search for an effective alternative method of energy is also an ongoing challenge. While some fuels such as ethanol are comparable to gasoline they emit toxins into the environment. Hydrogen and electric cares seem to be the most environmentally conscience. The problem is that they are expensive to buy and expensive to make. Finding an alternative method of energy needs to be a priority for this country. We need to preserve the natural resources that we have now, protect the environment, and do it cost effectively.
The thoughts of domestic oil should be exciting to America. We need to decrease our dependence on other countries. With Iraq in the middle of major economic and political changes, as well as supplying America with 20 percent of its oil, a rise in gas prices is a necessary evil. The Energy Information Administration projects that the prices will rise again before they stabilize. This only increases the need for domestic oil.
America needs to get behind the president in order to make any advancements in oil production and price changes. The resources are at our fingertips and we are not taking hold of them.