Rethink rules for ordaining Catholic clergy As a...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 08, 2002

Rethink rules for ordaining Catholic clergy

As a layperson who has worked professionally within the Catholic Church for 25 years, I greatly appreciate Maureen Dowd's balanced column "Church must fight abuse at its roots" (Opinion * Commentary, April 1). Like Ms. Dowd, I have been disturbed both by recent scandals and by some reactions to them.

Child abusers must be dealt with openly and compassionately and removed from potential contact with minors. At the same time, we should not forget the great majority of priests who are faithful to their commitment to celibacy, even though it may entail significant sacrifice.

Some refer to the Vatican "solution" of excluding gay men from the priesthood as a ludicrous witch hunt. And clearly homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing. Many gay priests are as faithful to their commitment to celibacy as their observant heterosexual counterparts, their compassion possibly enhanced through their personal experience of homophobia.

Rather than excluding seminarians who could become fine priests, it may be time to open the priesthood to women and to married people of both sexes.

Let the hierarchy say, "Forgive us, people, for we have sinned..."

After their confession, let the people say "Amen," and impose the penance of re-evaluating the requirements for priestly ordination.

Elizabeth Lamb

Columbia

Balancing the budget on employees' backs

I want to thank The Sun for the headline, "New money for schools, Medicaid, but no raises for state employees" (April 4).

Because of it, citizens of Maryland can see through the election-year hype of legislators that they are balancing the budget on the backs of state employees.

Laura Harris

Glen Burnie

Equity in education can't be postponed

I was most distressed by the article "School funding proposal in limbo" (March 29). I think we must implement the recommendations of the Thornton Commission on education funding this year.

We have a constitutional responsibility to provide our children with the opportunity for an adequate education. We must get this into law and not keep delaying these improvements in public education.

My children, who were part of the Somerset vs. Hornbeck education lawsuit, are now 36 and 34 years old.

But there has always been some excuse (elections, politics, recession) for not adequately implementing the recommendations of various education commissions.

We must implement the Thornton recommendations now, so that opportunities for today's children are not delayed.

Lois Hybl

Baltimore

Don't trust Townsend to build the ICC

In 1994, the Glendening-Townsend ticket ran for Maryland's highest executive offices with a promise that the Intercounty Connector (ICC) would be built.

Eight years later, not only has their administration declared the project "dead," but the much-needed environmental impact study remains unfinished.

It should come as no surprise that the lieutenant governor found her voice on this issue on the very same day that Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich, who has clearly said he would build the ICC, declared his candidacy for governor ("Townsend backs plan for highway," March 26).

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Jean Roesser

Annapolis

The writer represents Montgomery County in the Maryland Senate.

Preserve buildings for everyone to enjoy

I support Judge Marvin J. Garbis' ruling with respect to reasonable accommodations for the disabled at the Bank of America's 10 Light St. building ("Bank's disabled access adequate, judge rules," March 26).

The plaintiffs inflate the "labyrinthian route" for unassisted access to the main banking floor and dismiss the significance of the reasonable accommodations the bank provides for the physically impaired at 10 Light St. as well as its banking sites throughout the region.

Baltimore seems anxious to destroy the city's dwindling historic architecture. It's good to see that the city's best testimony to art deco will be preserved at 10 Light Street for all to enjoy, even those in wheelchairs.

M. Green

Baltimore

Social revolution a reality in Pakistan

Timothy Towell's views seem to be disconnected from the prevailing reality in Pakistan ("Hollow alliance with Musharraf yields only empty promises," Opinion * Commentary, March 28).

Under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the present government is reversing 25 years of drift and its steps can without exaggeration be considered akin to a social revolution in the making.

Banning extremist parties, cracking down on religious militants, reforming the madrassas, expelling foreigners suspected of terrorist links, eliminating discriminatory separate electorates and enhancing the seats for women in the legislature are measures that manifest the government's determination to turn Pakistan into a modern, moderate, progressive and tolerant polity.

And there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the operational success achieved during the war on terrorism in Afghanistan has been largely because of the unconditional and total support provided by Pakistan.

Nadia Naqvi

Alexandria, Va.

Turn the lights on at the trade center

Now that the observation deck at Baltimore's World Trade Center has reopened, it is time to turn on the building's night-time spotlights ("Observation deck reopens at World Trade Center," April 4).

These lights added a dynamic look to the city's skyline and have been missed since they were turned off in September. It's true this is a tiny way to return to normal, but it only takes a flip of a switch.

Brian Ryder

Baltimore

Beautiful minds, heroic grandmothers

Thank you for printing Peter Dans' essay ("Aspire to make yours a beautiful mind," Opinion * Commentary, March 28). His distinctions about what makes a beautiful mind are pertinent and on the money.

His comments about his grandmother also struck a chord with me. I also had a hardworking, never-complaining grandmother who remains heroic to me.

Tim Reid

Baltimore

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