Monday, March 12, 2007
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Posted By CNN: 12:06 PM ET
Thomas Roberts can know one thing for sure. By telling his story he will help many people. I went to Catholic school for 8 years and if anything went on I was clueless. It goes to show us all, that some terrible things can happen right under the surface of our daily lives, that we are unaware of. I wish only the best for Mr. Roberts.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 12:47 PM ET
Fox News has become a joke. I've never seen such biased reporting in my life. They've become the tabloid of cable news. I'm glad to see the Democrats cancelling their participation in the debate because they would all be made fools of by Fox. Right now they're on the attack because Barack Obama won't grant them an interview since their irresposible announcement about him being brought up in a Muslim/Terrorist school.
I hope the public soon sees through Fox's agenda and puts them at the bottom of Cable News stations where they belong.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 1:14 PM ET
On the 'TV anchor being abused' story:

even though Catholic priests are under great pressure to be celibate in order to fulfill their religious functions, I believe that if the Church changed their doctrine, allowing priests to marry, it would be a good be a positive thing for the priesthood.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 1:24 PM ET
How watered down was the Bush story? CAFTA was opposed by more than the DEM's in Congress. I believe that there were strong protests against it in Guatemala. This account of the Bush tour also left out what CNN International is reporting that the Mayan's plan to do a 'spiritual cleansing ceremony' at the ruins after Bush departs.

'Chavez' and the UN 'sulfur speech' comes to mind. Seems there are many skeptics when Bush puts out the 'compassionate' spin on this 'tour'.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista : 1:34 PM ET
The abuse in the Catholic church is inexcuseable. The Vatican needs to take a stronger stand on priest who sexually abuse. If the church sweeps this under the rug and allows victims and their families to suffer, then the church has lost. Loosing God's loving guidance and the faith of the people is anything but devine. As a Catholic by my own choosing, I would like to see Pope Benedict address this vital issue and make a change for the sake of those who have suffered and for the sake of the church. I am curious,Is Thomas Roberts still a Catholic?
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 1:55 PM ET
On the Sexual abuse story...

I am deeply touched by Mr. Robertson's story. I wish healing and peace for him and his family. It's truly sad the consequences that the abuse of power from a trusted authority figure can cause. That is the fundamental dynamic of Child Sexual Abuse: the abuse of power. I disagree with the previous comment regarding celibacy, since a person that abuses a child (child molester), is in my opinion a person that has a disorder on his/her sexual impulses (feels erotic arousal with a child...not an adult). Blaming the abuses commited by priests exclusively on celibacy, is in my opinion not only incorrect but also fails to understand the dynamics of Child sexual abuse, since it doesn't take into account that most Child molesters are persons that have (are in) established relationships with adults.
Posted By Anonymous Gaby, Nashville TN : 2:03 PM ET
Kudoe for this anchor to come forward to discuss something publicly that is so personal!

When I was a child, my mother taught me at a young age what inappropriate touching was. I still remember having the conversation with her. My question is: why aren't parents teaching their children about inappropriate touching and encouraging them to discuss when it happens?
Posted By Anonymous Nicki, Calgary, Alberta : 2:07 PM ET
Thank you for exposing the catholic church sexual abuse cases. Does anyone have any figures about how much money from church coffers they had to pay for their sins. Personally, I belive that every priest involved from the Pope to the Los Angeles cardinal Mahoney, and anyone who covered up such cases are guilty, and should be prosecuted in a court of law. It is a shame what has happenned. As a result, my catholic faith has shuttered.
Posted By Anonymous Marie, Cerritos, CA : 4:03 PM ET
Dear Tom,
I was saddened to learn that you felt for such a long time that there was no one in your life who you could safely disclose the abuse you endured as a teenager. I wish you had more confidence in our friendship. From producing "The State's Attorney's Report", you knew that I used words that were too complicated for television, and that I was completely dedicated to supporting the victims of child sex abuse. I am so very sorry that you lived so long with this, and I hope that you can find some closure from the court proceedings, and great satisfaction in the courage you have demonstrated by going forward. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I hope you feel surrounded by love and friendship every day. Fondly, Marcie
Posted By Anonymous Marcie Wogan, Owings Mills, MD : 4:10 PM ET
Mr. Thomas Rogers,
May the Lord heal your wounds from the past.
I am very sad to hear this from you- we really like you on TV. I am VERY Sorry this EVER happened to you! God Bless you and yours-Amen,

A fellow Catholic,
Ari Cole
Cambridge, MA
Posted By Anonymous Ari Cole, Cambridge, MA : 4:24 PM ET
How hypocritical of the Catholic church to preech to us right and leght while sweeping under the rug all the abuses done by their priests. They might deal with a few cases here and there for good measure but nothing concrete is being done.
Maybe Mr.Roberts story will help other victims come forward.

Joanne R.
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R. Laval Quebec : 4:37 PM ET
Thomas Roberts how brave you are and how fortunate we are that you were ready and have the opportunity to talk publicly about your abuse. You have my upmost respect and compassion.
Posted By Anonymous Connie, Ames, Iowa : 4:48 PM ET
Although I am sorry for what happened to Thomas Roberts and I'm glad his abuser was punished (if you consider 10 months as punishment), I wouldnt consider him a role model for young men whi might be goinf through this type of abuse now. Where was his strength and conviction when a schoolmate who was obviously going through the same trauma needed him to come forward?? Why did it take 20 years for him to come forward and stop this predator and how many other victims could have been helped if only he had come forward sooner? I would never raise my children to believe that just because someone is a 'man of god' he is somehow above suspicion or above the law.
As long as parents continue to brainwash their children with religion and teach them that these so called 'religious mentors' are all righteous people who can do no wrong, our children will continue to be victims. Instead, I will teach my children that if ANYONE ever touches them inappropriately they need to come and tell my husband or myself immediately.
I would hardly consider 10 months in prison served 20 years after the crime with countless other nameless victims as being justice served.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Orlando. Fl. : 4:53 PM ET
I would've volunteered to bring the cake to Thomas' pity party if he had been 6 or 8 years old at the time. But a person in their mid-teens that is "questioning their sexuality" does not sound like a naive victim that had no idea what was going on. I am not excusing the behavior of the priest, of course an adult should never take advantage of a minor, but I do not believe that Mr. Roberts had no control over the situation.
Posted By Anonymous Carol, Hesperia, Calif. : 5:23 PM ET
Dear Anderson and Charlie,

Thank you for convincing Thomas Roberts to come forward with his story of abuse. I am sure it will be helpful to others who may have been victims of the same type of crime.

I watched Heidi's interview with Thomas this morning. Obviously this is still a difficult issue for him to discuss. He is very courageous to come forward and I have nothing but respect for him. I have been watching him on "Headline News" for quite some time and I would like to wish him the very best.

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 5:31 PM ET
I think it is great that Thomas Roberts is telling his story. Hopefully it will help others in the same situation to be able to open up about it and not be afraid. Too bad his molester didn't get a harsher sentence! And to think he only served 10 months for something that will affect Mr. Roberts for the rest of his life. These child molestation laws must be changed!

Someone said something on here about letting the priest marry would solve the problem...I don't think so..they are molesting little children. Obviously they are attracted to little boys. (as sick as that sounds) Pedophiles aren't interested in adults or any type of relationships with them. Unless it's to get close to a child.
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 6:56 PM ET
Talk about betrayal, growing up and going to catechism (Catholic religion classes) we were taught/preached to that sex without marriage is a sin. In fact, just thinking about it was a sin. Impure thoughts! But somehow it's okay for guys- a priest and a child is okay? I wish someone would explain this to me.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 8:02 PM ET
I can't think of a job better suited for sexual predators and perverts than the job of Catholic priest. I wonder if that is the problem. The job is a magnet for these kinds of men.
I can't allow myself to think that normal men who feel called to such a special position, after a time being celibate, would become corrupted to the point that they are molesting and raping boys.
How do congregations know when they are looking at their priest if he is righteous or a predator?
It is time to open the door to married priests. And dare I say it.. women priests.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca - The Woodlands, TX : 8:24 PM ET
Thanks for this important topic coverage and for not allowing this abhorent behavior to go unnoticed, unreported, and unpunished. Cheers to Mr. Roberts for his candor and willingness to forfeit his privacy to help keep this problem in the spotlight. I just want to remind you of what I'm sure you already know...sexual abuse knows no limits with regard to denominations, organizations, sexuality or age. It is about power and the abuse of that power in its most heinous form. We who have survived this type of abuse MUST reach out to those who are being abused and let them know that there is life after abuse. There is hope for that life. And may those who perpetrate this abuse not just burn in hell for eternity, but may they know for even just one brief moment on earth the kind of horror we as victims have faced at their sick and self centered, power crazed hands.
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Duchenois, Clarksville, TN : 8:55 PM ET
Mr. Roberts you a model of COURAGE. Demonstrating your ability to conquer fear and dispair by publicly speaking about your private pain and the scars you were left to deal with gives me hope that I too can some day reveal the events that robbed me of my innocence so many years ago. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous KayF Long Beach, CA : 9:39 PM ET
I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I remember reading somewhere a while back that the policy of celibacy was purely a reaction to the harems of the then-dominant Muslim caliphs. The Christian West went to the extreme opposites in the war of religions and ideas. Sadly, this pathetic one-uping of superstitious beliefs is still causing more harm across the world than good. Celibacy is unnatural and obviously harmful as hundreds of these cases emerge. I agree with xtina that much of this sexual abuse would disappear if priest were allowed to marry. Just like much of the drug-related crimes that clog our system would disappear if most were legalized.
Posted By Anonymous Bob Goldie, San Francisco, CA : 9:41 PM ET
I applaud Thomas Roberts' and Michael Goles' strength and dignity. I wonder if they are still practicing Catholics. My own faith has certainly been affected by the pedophilic behavior of those "holy" men we were taught as children to trust unconditionally, as well as by the church entity that offered hush money to victims throughout the years.
Posted By Anonymous Joanne, Chapel Hill, NC : 5:15 AM ET
When I initially read about this story, I didn't understand why Thomas kept the abuse from his family.

But after seeing the full story last night, I understood why Thomas felt trapped. He just wanted to go to school, it was his dream. And the person who abused him was the one who help him realize his dream, certainly a child would conclude that he would be removed from the school he worked so hard to attend.

This was a story that needed to be told. I wonder what we can do to change laws in this country. I can not figure out why Marylands Laws are so backwards.

What can we do to help change the laws in this country? I would like to see laws for crimes against children, uniformed for each state,so that there is nowhere child predators to hide in the United States.

We need to make sure that molesters are held accountable for their abuses against our children. Not just a slap on the hand.
Posted By Anonymous Michele, Tucson AZ : 3:35 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

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