I WAS dismayed to read the Nov. 25 letter “Attack from the right distracts from shame of the institution.’’ I agree with the criticism of the Catholic Church. As one of a long line of Irish and German Catholics, I have felt shame and sorrow for the abuses perpetrated by priests and church leaders. However, I would like to respond to the question posed by the writer at the end of the letter: Why would any reasonable person still belong to this organization?
I would like to pose an analogous question. Why would any one of us, knowing US history as we do, want to be an American? Since its founding, there has been a series of terrible abuses: extermination of native people, slavery, internment, the horror of dropping an atom bomb, wars of aggression, and bigotry and injustice sanctioned by our leaders. Why do we stay in such a country? Because we believe in a better America. The ideals of America - justice, equality, and opportunity - are our ideals. We have our heroes - Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King - who inspire us to fulfill the promise of our country.