Same Old Story

[Re: “History of Abuse,” May 21]

I really was disappointed to read the sad story of the anonymous man who as an anonymous boy was molested by an anonymous priest (now dead). I really have to ask, what’s the point of this? If this were a new and unique story it would be one thing, but we have heard and read this so many times. I have to question why you choose to run another such story.

Do we need to shame the Catholic church again? I really think that horse is beaten to death.

Do we need to encourage more people to bring out their completely unsubstantiated and never-to-be-substantiated recovered memories? Why? Your story leaves us with no one alive to blame (except maybe a self-serving parent who used her child as a social pawn) and no suggestion as to how to make the world a little better. I even have to suspect you published such a story because you know people desire to read about child sexual abuse, and I use the word “desire” in a bad sense. It has gotten to the point where these stories do nothing but titillate us. They have become soap operas of real life, of innocents betrayed, of sexual scandal. You offer no new insight into the problem or solutions, and by choosing such a story that can now never be proved or disproved, of recovered memories we can never be sure about, we are left, for all practical purposes, with nothing but “a story.” An account with no value except entertainment. I for one am no longer entertained by this.

Why do we need to hear about this man’s problems, real or imagined? Our society has so overanalyzed this topic as to be obsessive. Please, let’s just move on.

Mike Van Houten