This is in response to Terrance A. Sweeney's article (Editorial Pages, Aug. 26), "Rome's Command Silences the Hierarchy."
Sweeney has done the Roman Catholic Church, the priesthood, and the laity a big favor. He has documented in an unrivaled way the concern of the hierarchy over the lack of priests, and over many other issues. Deep malaise is shown in the Church over the draconic attempt to silence Sweeney, when he is exposing issues already well known, if not documented by a survey of the hierarchy. Church authorities are hurting badly over these issues, but they are too proud to admit they cannot cure their own ills, and so they hide the problem, and punish those who come to help them.
I would like to compliment Father Sweeney on his obedience. He has discerned the Spirit of God moving in the Church, and in the world, and he has brought the truth to light. He is a Son of the Church whose obedience can be recognized by many, probably even by his own superiors who are only doing their jobs as superiors.
The priesthood is in bad shape, and Sweeney's study will bring this to the attention of those who need and love the priesthood, the laity, priests, and the hierarchy. I would also like to thank all the members of the hierarchy who participated in the study; you too are needed, loved, supported.