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Mahony and School Clinics

November 17, 1986

Your editorial criticism (Nov. 10), "An Unwarranted Intrusion," of Archbishop Roger M. Mahony for his opposition to high school health clinics is an insult to anyone who speaks up out of conscience.

If The Times chooses to endorse the idea of the clinics and their dispensing of birth-control information and devices, that's one thing. But to label Mahony's statement as "an unwarranted religious intrusion into a purely secular matter" flies in the face of the First Amendment under which you publish.

This also puts The Times right down there with those who maintain that clergy concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons "is an unwarranted religious intrusion into a purely military matter," or that the pastoral by Catholic bishops addressing the unequal distribution of wealth in this country "is an unwarranted religious intrusion into a purely economic matter."

Concern by religious leaders such as Mahony for the quality of life does not and should not stop at denominational lines as your editorial (and earlier remarks by school board member Jackie Goldberg) so rudely implies ("The Los Angeles public schools are not part of the archbishop's sphere of influence").

If shoot-from-the-hip reactions such as this are the best you can come up with, The Times needs to consider shutting down its editorial board. We can get better logic from the guys on milk crates in Pershing Square!

ROB O'NEILL

La Crescenta

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