“The Church needs to open the doors,” said Patricia Byrne, a faithful member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Bryn Mawr. “(W)e must speak the truth, no matter how painful.”

She is one of the numerous Catholics who spoke with CS&T reporters following Mass Feb. 27 or wrote a letter to the editor in this edition about the deeply painful topic of clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese’s response to the problem and the impact on their Catholic faith.

Common threads of the comments include support for the good priests who serve the Church and a deep love for Jesus Christ, all expressed with strong emotions.

The voices of the people on these pages show that the Church in Philadelphia — including victims of child sexual abuse, – is suffering.

The patient endurance of her members at this time should be marked by the hard work of speaking the truth frankly and by fervent prayer. Only our high priest, Jesus Christ, offers the forgiveness and healing of this wound that affects us all.