Re "What Would Mother Teresa Do?," Dec. 29:
It was with joy that I spotted the picture of one of our parish priests in Sunday's edition of The Times. Father Christian Mondor is a priest beloved by our parish community as well as by the wider Orange County interfaith community. Reading the scathing letter that followed, however, left me troubled. Letter writer Chuck McVey chides the priests involved for not acting like Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa devoted her entire life to the poorest of the poor. Her lifestyle is definitely something to aspire to. However, this sort of total self-giving is reached by very few people in this world, as it is a complete giving up of material possessions and of self to love another. Is Mr. McVey capable of this? If not, his projection of that idealism on others, whether they are priests or not, is very judgmental.
I do not condone the injustice perpetrated on children by priests and bishops. But I also do not think that they are the only ones to blame. I'm sure there are many lay members in our churches who were aware of and did not act to stop these actions; just as there are people outside the church who are aware of acts such as these and other acts of injustice, caused by friends and family members, who never speak up. Let's give our priests leeway to address their sense of guilt however they choose as we all examine our consciences and see how our actions have caused injustice to prevail. This turmoil in the Catholic Church may, in the end, bring about change not just in the church but in our whole society.