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The Shortage of Catholic Priests

Your front page articles (March 1 and March 2) about the shortage of Catholic priests were very timely.

A few days earlier we saw Archbishop Roger M. Mahony on television news, displaying his newly acquired helicopter. Apparently some priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese question this elegant symbol of worldly success.

No doubt some priests in the Orange Diocese question having the diocesan offices on a valuable hillside overlooking residential suburbs. Maybe they’ve urged Bishop Norman McFarland to sell the property and move to humbler surroundings.

The recent articles in The Times cited clerical celibacy as the main reason why so few enter the Catholic priesthood. Will this comfort our bishops and priests? Or will they ask whether helicopters and fine real estate improve our image and encourage religious vocations?

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TERRENCE W. HALLORAN

Garden Grove


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