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Church should move forward with the times

November 27, 2018

I would like to make some comments on the piece by the Rev. Glenn Jones (“It’s not time for change,” My View, Sept. 20).

His response to why women can’t be ordained priests was to quote an apostolic letter written by Pope John Paul II, which states, “Though women (for theological, not arbitrary, reasons) are not ordained, they remain invaluable nonetheless to the operation of parishes, hospitals, various ministries and to the global church.”

Women have come a long way since that was published, and it’s time the church realizes that.

Regarding the statement that families could not live on what priests are paid — their housing is paid for. Picture the people who are trying to support a family on minimum wage. They can’t even limit their families because they are not allowed to practice birth control.

Pope Benedict XVI was asked if he would suspend the rule on the use of condoms in Africa to help stop the spread of AIDS. He said no, thereby condemning countless babies. If a pedophile confesses his sin to a priest, it can never be revealed to the police because of the seal of confession. We will never know how many pedophiles are being protected by that rule. None of this makes sense to me.

Growing up Catholic with 12 years of Catholic schooling was like being in a cult for me, because I believed everything I was told.

I would not go to the movies without checking the Legion of Decency list at the back of the church. I had to have surgery during one of my pregnancies while my husband was out to sea. The chaplain came to visit me in the hospital. I told him that I had eaten meat on Friday because I didn’t like the fish selection. He said he wasn’t a priest, but he thought I could be excused.

We moved to Los Alamos in 1967. The Rev. Clay Dennis was the pastor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish. When I went to register, Father Dennis asked me if I was an old Catholic or a new Catholic. I had no idea what that meant. I started taking classes from lay theologian Donald Patricia Kreiner. I discovered a new Catholic was what I was meant to be. Between the two of them I was able to change my life.

Two of my grandchildren go to Catholic school in San Francisco. Their pastor is also the school principal. I told them what it was like when I went to Catholic school. When their father was young, he found an identification card that his father had from when he was in Catholic school. Under his name was printed “I am a Catholic. In case of accident please call a priest.” Our son said, “Why wouldn’t you call a doctor?” It never would have occurred to us to ask a question like that.

The church may not change in my lifetime, but it will in my grandchildren’s lifetime.

Camille Morrison a lifelong Catholic and 51-year resident of Los Alamos.

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