April 22, 2009

Married priests ready to serve

I have unqualified respect for the Rev. Jim Hannon and his tireless care of the Catholic community of Western Maryland ("A busy shepherd," April 10). However, one priest serving seven parishes is completely unnecessary. Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of Baltimore refers to the "priest shortage" to explain Father Hannon's demanding situation. But the truth is that there is no true shortage except in the frozen thinking of the Vatican and its bishops.

The fact is that by some estimates there are some 25,000 married Catholic priests in America alone, most of whom would happily serve the faithful if church authorities would simply get out of their own legalistic way. There are also countless women who qualify for priestly ordination and would generously and joyfully bring the Eucharist and a full sacramental life back to many starving Catholic people.

The Rev. Frederick C. Ruof, Baltimore

The writer is an ordained Catholic priest who later married and now serves as pastor of the Newborn Community of Faith in Sandtown.

Porn has no place at public college

I don't agree with The Baltimore Sun's opinion that the effort to ban the screening of a pornographic movie at the University of Maryland, College Park diminished the university's reputation ("Porn at UM," editorial, April 7).

This isn't about artistic expression or a free speech issue, and there is no educational value to porn. This is just about liberal politics vs. conservatism playing out in a public university.

What you do behind closed doors in a private setting is your business; what you do in a taxpayer-funded, public setting is every taxpayer's business.

Timothy Quinn, Bel Air

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