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I read with interest Roy Bourgeois’ column ” Another scandal in the all-male priesthood “. Bourgeois, a former priest, has long supported the ordination of women as priests; his support was deemed by the church hierarchy as causing grave scandal for which he was ordered to recant.

Rather than being a scandalous proposal, Bourgeois’ perspective provides hope and positive action for fundamental change within the Catholic Church after the unfathomable sexual abuse perpetrated by priests on innocent children. The institutional power structure of the Church (males only) perpetuated this abuse by silence, subterfuge, intimidation from the moral high ground and mere relocation of priest abusers. Bourgeois was ultimately expelled from the priesthood. How disheartening and absurd that a priest is defrocked for advocating the ordination of women while priest pedophiles are relocated to another parish.

Catholics should ask themselves, or their parish priests, why women are not eligible for ordination. Why is one gender not worthy for such a role and service as a priest? In the context of institutionally maintained abuse by priests, is it not a legitimate consideration to stimulate change within Catholicism, impact the male-dominated power structure and bring a multitude of woman priests to heal the turmoil and disillusionment caused by priest pedophiles and their protector bishops?

David Momper, Hempfield


Vietnam veteran feels welcomed home

Celebrating our 50th year of going to and returning from Vietnam, a fellow combat veteran and I traveled to Myrtle Beach. While dining on our last night before departure, we were wearing ball caps signifying we were combat veterans. We asked for our check, and were told it had been paid by a young couple with three small children seated behind me.

When we tried to thank them for the very moving act of kindness, the man interrupted us by saying, “Welcome home! Thank you for your service.” I hope any combat veteran reading this knows that what we did was and is appreciated. We were called “baby killers” by more than a few people. This couple reminded me that we did what we did because it was deemed necessary. It also reminded me that most Americans did truly appreciate us serving.

To my combat brother, “Welcome home!”

John Radvan, Tarentum


‘Hospice’ is not a bad word

We have lost First Lady Barbara Bush and Sen. John McCain. While I respect the families’ privacy in not wanting to share details surrounding difficult end-of-life decisions, I am dismayed that I heard neither family use the word “hospice” in reference to their choices. News stories stated that medical treatments were stopped, so the change in level of care (hopefully) often involved hospice care.

To people who make these difficult decisions each day, hearing that hospice care was chosen to ease a loved one’s transition would do so much to shed light on some of the misconceptions and ignorance prevalent when the word hospice is mentioned. Hospice does not mean “giving up,” it does not take away hope and it does not hasten death. What it does do is allow people and their families to face death on their own terms, with support, dignity, grace and peace.

Hospice is not a bad word. Please, let’s not be afraid to use it.

Hilda C. White, Hempfield


Stop stoking partisan bonfires

I don’t watch the political news anymore because it is not news. It is accusation, rebuttal, vilification and vitriol. I typically receive two requests a week to fund someone’s campaign against someone else whose very presence is going to ruin the country. I never give.

These personal solicitations must work, or they would not be so pervasive. Both parties are lining their pockets with cash contributions that only perpetuate this irritating practice. Without these controversies there would be no reason to give now and give generously.

Wake up America. If we as voting citizens would stop fueling these partisan-inspired bonfires, the fires would eventually die out for lack of fuel. If you want to be a force for good, start paying attention to important issues like employment, immigration, government waste, the stock market, Supreme Court decisions and inner-city crime. Take some personal responsibility for your less fortunate neighbors. Fund organizations that are making a difference in people’s lives.

Let the politicians duke it out in a dark alley somewhere instead of in a crowded palace with bright lights and mikes. I’ve had it.

Don Scott, Mt. Pleasant Township


Where’s the outrage over abuse in schools, Clinton misdeeds?

This year, the Chicago Tribune released a series of articles by investigative journalists exposing widespread child abuse involving hundreds of minors by over 70 Chicago public school teachers and employees. These incidents were underreported to police and child welfare investigators as required by law. I only found one article in the national media, by CBS News, covering this story.

The child abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania has received national attention. This story certainly deserves our attention, especially for those devout Catholics who have felt betrayed by the church. Unfortunately, this also sullies the reputations of many Catholic clergy and faithful who have done so much good. It seems there is a decided anti-Catholic bias built into our media which would ignore one story but hype the other.

Similarly, I am outraged at the radio silence on the investigation of blatant political bias in our intelligence agencies and Justice Department in ignoring the Clinton scandals while supporting the Mueller investigation’s dogged pursuit of President Trump without having shown any Russian collusion to date. In contrast, good investigative journalism by Sara Carter of Fox News and John Solomon of The Hill has revealed clear improprieties evidenced by the demotions, firings and resignations of 25 high-level FBI and Justice Department officials. A clear political bias in the high echelons of these agencies deserves the media’s scrutiny because it affects every American’s ability to elect the candidate of their choice without the manipulations of something akin to the KGB and Pravda.

Michael Contes, New Kensington


Pennsylvania shouldn’t give away gas

The gas industry once again wants us to think they pay us so much money just for the privilege of being here in Pennsylvania that we should give them our gas for free. Among their latest efforts to get their raw product for nothing, did they recruit Colin McNickle to write a favorable opinion piece in the Trib?

C’mon, Colin. If Pennsylvania levees a tax on the amount of gas they take from us, your new friends aren’t going to take their fracking business elsewhere. The other shale-gas states already have extraction fees.

Ed Collins, West Newton


Disgusted with divided America

It is sad that folks hell-bent on dividing this country and those spreading false information and hate are given a voice with letters to the editor. I suspect many are those who cheer at Trump rallies or for Trump as he disparages everyone/anyone who disagrees with him, including war heroes and Purple Heart recipients like John McCain and Robert Mueller, Gold Star parents, the news media and so many more.

People at these rallies shout slurs as this vulgar, morally challenged president eggs them on. They are becoming part of the swamp, and “draining the swamp” is just a convenient slogan. I had hopes Trump could drain the swamp, but he grows it larger than it has ever been. How ironic that these people shout “lock her up” while Trump states he will “hire the best people” but surrounds himself with criminals, tax dodgers, liars and cheats.

The communist slur against Democrats is also getting old. These folks putting “communist” in front of “Democrat” have no idea what communism means (“a system of government in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed”). I would ask people like letter-writer John T. Watson if he really believes that his Democrat neighbors want to give up their properties and live with strangers?

How sad that our Republican representatives (Sen. Pat Toomey, Rep. Keith Rothfus) are so cowardly that they dare not mention this president’s name in a negative sentence. Get self-respect and deny this president the opportunity to further divide Americans.

Robert Grottenthaler, Springdale

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