Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 14, 2007

Priest's punishment will hurt parishioners

As a member of a parish where the Rev. Ray Martin previously served, I am shocked, angry and disappointed at the actions taken by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien against Father Martin ("Funeral prompts firing of priest," Nov. 9).

It is appalling that such a well-respected and loved priest has received such harsh punishment for an ecumenical action, when other priests have been defended and protected for scandalous and deviant behavior, such as having relations with married women and sexually abusing children.

Even though the Catholic Church is clearly not a democracy, can the archbishop justify that the punishment (banishing a dedicated priest to a monastery) fits the crime? Does he think that his actions will help the church overcome its shortage of priests? It is the parishioners of three Baltimore churches who will suffer.

Father Martin should be commended for his ability to reach, connect with and minister to all those he serves. The Catholic Church needs more priests like Father Martin who are dedicated to spreading Christ's message, "Love one another."

Rose McAdams

Ellicott City

The writer is a parishioner at the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.

O'Brien's first action misses the mark

I was outraged to read that the new Roman Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O'Brien, made his first official act the firing of a priest who did not obey all of the church's many oppressive rules and regulations ("Funeral prompts firing of priest," Nov. 9). For including an Episcopal priest in a funeral celebration, the Rev. Ray Martin lost his job. What he did was truly a loving and kind ecumenical gesture toward the family of the woman who had died.

Once again, the most important element in the church is to keep order and to keep everyone in line. Someday soon, there will be a small number of Roman Catholics left - those who allow themselves to be kept in line by many rules.

The rest of us will be gone.

Lynn A. Shuppel

Cockeysville

The writer is a former Catholic who attends Sherwood Episcopal Church in Cockeysville.

Actions do speak louder than words

Some of the statements attributed to me in The Sun's article on "greener than thou" behavior need clarification ("Squeaky green," Nov. 4).

I do not advocate nagging or scolding people into acting greener, because I do not consider nagging an effective method of communication. While on occasion I have described the terrible conditions under which many animals are raised for meat to my family at mealtime, I do not recommend this action as an effective means of advocating for change.

Taking political action, talking to friends and family about ecological issues as well as setting an example are the most important methods to effect social change.

Julie Kleinhans

Towson

Lack of oversight very costly in Iraq

The almost unbelievable article "U.S. weapons cache becomes emporium" (Nov. 11) details how nearly 200,000 handguns and automatic weapons that were to be provided to Iraqi police cadets are instead unaccounted for, and are quite possibly in the hands of our enemies. Of course, when a large number of high-quality weapons are entrusted to an Iraqi businessman, and no controls or oversight are required of him, what else could we expect?

The circumstances of this debacle are reminiscent of the estimated $12 billion in cash that was shipped to Iraq at the request of L. Paul Bremer III, the former Bush-appointed envoy who was sent there to lead the reconstruction effort. There was little oversight to this action as well, and almost none of the money was accounted for.

I'm sure there are many other stories yet to be told.

Doug Ebbert

Bel Air

Cutting higher ed hurts state interests

I am deeply disappointed in the House of Delegates' decision to sacrifice higher education to balance the state's structural deficit ("$500 million in cuts seen," Nov. 13). The cost of higher education in the state is dangerously high for Maryland families, having increased by a staggering 74 percent since 1998. There is no doubt that today's knowledge-based economy requires a world-class higher-education system accessible for all Maryland families.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to increase the corporate tax, which was adopted by the Senate last week, included dedicated funding for higher education. Its $55 million projection is a critical first step to keeping tuition more stable and affordable for the 300,000 college students and their families across the state.

Now the House has proposed a larger corporate tax increase than the Senate and governor. However, it simultaneously disregarded the nexus between higher education and corporations that makes the tax fairer for those expected to pay.

The House also proposed a $3 million cut for the University System of Maryland next year.

The lack of funding might explain why Maryland ranks third worst in the nation in exporting students, with 66 percent of our brightest talent attending colleges out of state.

Andrew Friedson

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