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CHURCH IS TO BLAME FOR VOCATION CRISIS

The Sept. 3 News article on women priests, "Not a prayer" was balanced and sensitive. There is no vocation shortage. The Holy Spirit still sends more than enough vocations to her churches. Obviously, she has blessed Grace McMenamy with a priestly vocation. It's the church itself, locked in its historic patriarchy, whose man-made rules ban Grace (her name is significant) for priestly ministry. That's the reason for the vocation crisis.

Bishop Henry Mansell's prepared statement cites the oft-repeated position of Pope John Paul II. It's the classic argument from authority and leaves most thinking people unsatisfied and unconvinced. Long ago, in logic class at Saint Bonaventure, I learned that the authority argument was the weakest argument of all.

From the beginning, popes have often made mistakes -- on Jewish dietary laws, slavery, usury and religious freedom. I submit that history will record that the present pope also was dead wrong on not ordaining women priests.

As the article noted, a growing majority of Catholics would be in favor of ordaining Grace McMenamy and the thousands like her who are chosen, prepared and ready to serve. It would be a great blessing for God's people.

DANIEL C. O'ROURKE

Cassadaga

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