In choosing to profile a Catholic priest ("Women of a Lesser God," News), City had its pick of many outstanding local examples. Yet you selected the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, who likens the male priesthood to "racial segregation." Tim Macaluso's mini-hagiography of Father Bourgeois fails to ask crucial questions.
For example, Jesus Christ shattered the socio-cultural taboos of first-century Palestine, including dining with notorious sinners and cleansing lepers. His association with women in that society scandalized the patriarchy. Yet when it came to His apostles, Christ chose all men. Is Jesus "sexist"?
God could have incarnated in any form but He "became man." Priests model Christ in persona Christi and His bride is the Church. Two thousand years of constant teaching, inspired tradition, and scripture led Pope John Paul II in 1994 to confirm infallibly that "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women" (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4). Is that Pope – a great champion of social justice – sexist?
Is God sexist for giving the gift of child bearing only to women? This natural distinction parallels the supernatural fact of the male priesthood.
The article amply covers "sexism, racism, and homophobia," which we all oppose. But Mr. Macaluso also failed to ask, among other things, whether Father Bourgeois:
Worries about the effects on women of the more than 50 million abortions in this country in the past 40 years – and counting;
As a defender of "conscience," is concerned about the federal mandate that forces Catholic hospitals, schools, and other nonprofits (such as soup kitchens) to provide insurance covering things like contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs that violate their consciences – and the First Amendment.
These are the kinds of questions that a journalist truly interested in facts would ask.
Father Bourgeois evidently believes that the priesthood is the only worthwhile vocation; how sad – and sexist! Here's a future story idea: How about profiling some of our many beautiful, faithful nuns?
Thankfully, women – both lay and religious – continue to play key roles in today's Catholic Church.
JOHN REFERMAT, PENFIELD
I have always admired George Grella's unquestionable skills as a film reviewer. The level of intellect and historical perspective demonstrated in his analysis of all things cinematic is truly impressive. A line in his review of "Lincoln," however, was disturbing for its blatant liberal bias.
Speaking of the president's effort to pass the 13th Amendment, Mr. Grella states that "the Congress, dominated by a coalition of conservative Republicans, for a number of reasons, most of them racist, resisted mightily (sound familiar?)." This statement is fallacious on two levels.
First, it was predominately southern Democrats who fought viciously against the passage of the Amendment to abolish slavery. The blatant omission of this fact reeks of intent to deceive the reader.
Second, the parenthetical attempt to equate the racism of the past with the current political landscape is both immature and inaccurate. What the left never wishes to acknowledge is that the resistance to President Obama (and for that matter the resistance to many liberal policies) is borne not of racism, but in honest – and equally moral – ideological differences. Were Obama white, he and his fellow Democrats would face every bit the same opposition.
Those who continue to assert that race is the primary (or even a substantial) source of modern political conflict are more interested in justifying liberal policy and ideology than they are in pursuing truth.
MIKE GILBERT, ROCHESTER
Gerry W. pans Grella's "Lincoln" movie review (Reader Feedback) while referencing the commendable GOP civil-rights record dating to that era. The view of GOP civil-rights support in recent times, however, is much less robust. In that regard, the GOP is a little like the town of Bethlehem: something wonderful happened there once, but that was a long time ago.
JIM BLATT, PITTSFORD