Fr. McBrien’s work is valuable


I was both heartened and dismayed when reading three editions of The Catholic Messenger recently after returning from a trip. I always turn immediately to Father Richard McBrien’s column and am never disappointed. His thoughts and writing spark critical thinking and prayer in many of us who are still trying to make sense of our present Catholic faith.

When I read some of the letters to the editor it is discouraging to hear how some readers perceive Fr. McBrien’s interpretation of things going on or not going on in the hierarchy of our Church. It is clear there must be a following who do not want diverse opinions, opposing views or consideration of new ideas.

Our Church needs everyone, especially in the priesthood. The women who have been serving in support roles such as pastoral ministers, directors of religious education and leaders of other important functions are wearing down. Still, they keep on holding things together. That is why the recent statement by the Vatican is profoundly insulting.

Unfortunately, this public statement does not come as a surprise to me after what has transpired the past few years. Our children are watching and listening. They are walking away.


Thank you for serving all your readers. Fr. McBrien’s column is appreciated by many of us who find his writing refreshing and valuable.

Rosalea Ragland

St. Mary Parish, Iowa City

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