The Deacon's Bench

In today’s paper, they’ve published a couple letters responding to Maureen Dowd’s Sunday screed. This one was both humble, and humbling, because it put the entire kerfuffle in such a beautiful context:  

To the Editor: 

Lay as well as religious people ask for one right and one only when they give their free adhesion to the Roman Catholic Church: the right to use their talents toward the redemption of the world from the slavery of sin. They endow the pope, through the hierarchy, with the power to decide where and how these talents will be most beneficial toward this end. 

In so doing they make a sacrifice of themselves. From the Latin “sacrum facere,” sacrifice means to make yourself “sacred” — that is, reserved to a special function, unique. As we believe that in the Christian community every person is sacred, devoted to a unique role, each person is awarded the same dignity, irrespective of his or her role. 

Lack of access to priesthood cannot be constructed as a form of disrespect or discrimination, as Maureen Dowd seems to imply.  

I am a liberal Democrat who has supported every single feminist issue, save for abortion (an issue on which feminists themselves are divided), but don’t expect that my political and social views should shape the organization of the church I credit for allowing me to live a very gifted life. 

Lodovico Balducci

Tampa, Fla., Oct. 25, 2009 

The writer is a doctor.

Thank you, doctor.

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