Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 17, 2005

Priest shortage result of decline in moral values

Dan Rodricks offers several suggestions as to the cause of the priest shortage, all of which, I'm afraid, miss the mark ("Shortage of priests breeds abuse," April 10).

The reason for the shortage of priests in the United States is really quite simple: Priesthood in the Catholic Church embodies ideals that are completely countercultural in these times.

Postmodern America promotes greed, materialism, sexual license, strident individualism and moral relativism.

We've become a nation that sacrifices the blood of its children on the altar of "choice," a nation that bristles with hostility at things religious in public life, a nation that finds the Ten Commandments controversial and a nation where condoms are passed out in schools with metal detectors, in which our children are murdering one another.

Priesthood, on the other hand, calls men to chastity, poverty, obedience, self-sacrifice and service to others, and to the notion that there are such things as absolute truth and absolute standards of good and evil, of right and wrong. Those are radical concepts in this day and age.

The shortage of priests in these United States is not a commentary on the church's refusal to discard ancient traditions and doctrine for the sake of expedience. It is more a commentary on us, on America - a commentary on what we've lost.

We will raise up more priests in the American church only when we respond to God's call to genuine holiness of life.

Joseph Melchor

Catonsville

Ordaining women just makes sense

Thank you very much for Dan Rodricks' column "Shortage of priest breeds abuse" (April 10).

Mr. Rodricks' writing almost always catches my interest. And he makes great sense to me, a Catholic sister, in his occasional comments about the Catholic Church.

I am particularly grateful that he often includes in his writings about Catholicism his matter-of-fact, down-to-earth support of the ordination of Roman Catholic women.

It just makes sense.

Sister Mary Jeremy Daigler

Parkville

The writer is a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

Overlooking success governor achieves

I wonder if Michael Olesker can see through his vitriol long enough to notice that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. managed to get a balanced budget and funding of the Thornton initiative during the recent General Assembly session ("Ehrlich has little to show at session end," April 12).

The General Assembly is rife with petty tyrants who care nothing for the will of the people and everything for their own self-interests and partisan politics. These guys need to be reminded whom they work for.

Thus it is no surprise that little of worth was accomplished during the session. To blame Mr. Ehrlich for the deficiencies of the Assembly only shows Mr. Olesker's misguided sense of the changing political situation in Maryland.

Mr. Ehrlich was not elected to cozy up to the power-crazed mini-minds of the Assembly.

Quite the contrary, Mr. Ehrlich made it clear during his campaign that he would not be a part of the political past in Annapolis.

Dennis Sirman

Catonsville

The Democrats just won't compromise

Michael Olesker showed again that his personal dislike for the governor takes precedence over the facts ("Ehrlich has little to show at session end," April 12).

The people of Maryland elected Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. based on his platform, which included slots, tort reform and fiscal responsibility. The governor tried to work with the legislature but, as usual, most of its members were trying to show Mr. Ehrlich who's boss.

I didn't see the majority of Democrats compromise their position to help get the people of Maryland what they voted for. Mr. Ehrlich should take them to task for this in his re-election campaign.

Then the Democrats might find out that the people of Maryland are the boss - and the governor may get a more people-friendly legislature come election time.

Carl S. Bice

Bel Air

An effort to quiet dissenting voices

I have never been overtly active in politics and always considered myself an independent voter who just wanted to select the best candidate for a position. Now I hope my voice can be heard along with those of many people who feel that our country is being moved in the wrong direction by a radical element of federal legislators.

The voice of dissent is no longer welcome when it is contrary to the ultraconservative and repressive views that they espouse. They now seek to cut off debate on the selection of our federal judges, and this is just wrong.

When legislators threaten reprisals against judges (both Democratic and Republican appointees) because they don't like their rulings, this is wrong ("Angry words against judges could incite deadly deeds," Opinion Commentary, April 11).

When the current administration was campaigning for election in 2000, its leaders promised to be unifiers working to create a bipartisan government effort to improve this country for all citizens.

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