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Heretical thinking

The Roman Catholic Church’s edicts on women’s ordination, abortion, birth control, and LGBTQ issues is one of the main reasons I’m an Episcopalian.

I nearly cried reading “Holy Heretics” (Feature, June 26). The Roman Catholic Church’s edicts on women’s ordination, abortion, birth control, and LGBTQ issues is one of the main reasons I’m an Episcopalian. John Paul II’s letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (condemning the ordination of women) seems like so much a rehash of Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull Apostolicae Curae, rejecting the apostolic succession of bishops (and thus priestly orders) of the Anglican Church.

I am both amazed and awed that the women priests in this article are willing to remain loyal to the RCC despite the threat of excommunication. The Anglican Communion would welcome them with open arms, and I doubt that their loyalty stems from a rejection of the validity of Anglican holy orders, but rather from a desire to change the RCC from within.

As an Irish-American Anglo-Catholic, I feel conflicted about my embrace of Anglicanism; surely it would be more in line with my pro-Irish Republican politics to embrace Rome. But I feel that the Anglican divorce from Rome is a matter temporal, not eternal, just as the divorce with our separated brethren in the many Protestant communities will be overcome in the end.

I wish that an earnest invitation to join the Episcopal Church would overcome the pain felt by these devoted women clergy, but I doubt it addresses the core of their concern. Rome must learn from its prodigal children, so that, one day (as we pray at Sunday Mass), we might all be as one.

Jason Lewis

Baltimore

I can’t believe in the first and once only Catholic colony there are now female priests and open minds, according to your piece, “Holy Heretics!” This is fabulous!

I grew up attending Baltimore area Catholic schools, and I had nuns scowling at me day after day, as they detected a streak of feminine behavior in me. They knew I was gay before I was.

This new news of an evolving church is so comforting. After the selection of the new Pope Frances I, you would have thought I was a resident of Buenos Aires. I was jubilant, and I truly felt that the church was making a conscious decision to modernize, if only a bit; getting back to its roots of empathy, service, and celebrating the true, humble teachings of Jesus.

And I gotta say, if Jesus lived today, he’d be hanging with Catholics on the fringes, like me—an ex-ex-Catholic who happens to be gay.

Justin Cuffley

Halethorpe

Film Buff

I don’t know where you found Jenn Ladd (Film, June 26), but don’t lose her—FINALLY, someone who can write film criticism.

James D. Dilts

Baltimore

(Editor’s note: the author is a former CP contributor.)

High Fidelity

What Tom Kiefaber may lack in financial acumen (Mobtown Beat, June 12), he more than excelled in presenting film with dedication to the highest possible standards. As a lifelong film buff, I was grateful to have this available in Baltimore. Despite booking interesting repertoire, the Charles has been, by comparison, consistently lacking in video and sound quality. Why drive the distance for a lesser experience than you have at home? The Senator has been closed a long time. I hope when the new management reopens, they can try to at least come close to what was there before. Otherwise, the public will have lost yet another round to the City Council.

Len Bradford

Garrison

Let the Healing Begin

It is with a special anguish that I read Edward Ericson Jr.’s “Murder Ink” each week. But today I write to respond to the weekly killings as a person living with chronic and severe mental illness. I have for too long suffered from suicidal depression, and it has often been difficult for me to see hope and future.

It seems clear to me that we need to address the murders in Baltimore by understanding that part of the dilemma is, as I see it, that people feel, at root, so hopeless, so desperate, that life does not matter; it does not carry meaning or value. So I liken Baltimore murders to the depression that I have known in my own life. And what’s more, I find it understandable that many do not value their lives.

No mother in Baltimore gives birth to her child with a notion that her child will die in his or her early life by murder. No child ever faced a birthday wanting a hopeless life. And so I propose that we begin to heal by admitting the grave injustices done to African Americans by white America.

People heal, I believe, when they realize that the hand that was dealt them as children was unjust, and that they grew up under unfair, hopeless circumstances. We need to see that prejudice and furtive discrimination still are rampant.

I want all my sisters and brothers to know that life is waiting for them—that they have a special place in our city, in our country, in our world. I want each and every Baltimorean to know there is hope and there is future.

I grew up in chaos and loss. It has taken psychiatrists and family to shore me up. I am asking that we shore up our city. Let us admit what has gone so terribly wrong in our world. Then, let us repair.

Let us work to heal every single generation, independent of their skin color, independent of their disability or sexual identity or economic status. Let us all come to understand: YOLO—“You only live once.” Let us learn to value our own lives, and each and every life around us—and let us support one another in the fragility that is life. Suicide and murder grow from the tree trunk of futility. Let us find meaning in all the lives around us, and in so doing simultaneously find worth and meaning in our own lives.

Leslie Robin Kassal

Baltimore

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