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Sales From Doheny Library

March 20, 1987

As a former student of St. John's Seminary College, I read with interest the article (March 7) regarding the auctioning of the Gutenberg Bible and other pieces of the Doheny collection on exhibit at the seminary. Although I enjoyed viewing the collection many times, I can only say, "bravo" to the archdiocese for this long-overdue decision.

The sale, I think, will serve a dual purpose. First, it will generate some much-needed revenue to an underdeveloped seminary system, perhaps increasing not only enrollment but also programs and faculty.

Second, the auction will send out a message to the people; a message that says the church is not interested in serving only the wealthy and elite by displaying treasures worth millions, but is interested in ministering to all mankind through a betterment of the system by which those who minister are trained and cultivated.

Perhaps others around the country will follow suit and by so doing make a difference in a society crying for help. Maybe part of the money raised by the auction can be put into other programs and needs in the archdiocese.

Change is slow in the Catholic Church, but is increasingly necessary in these times when ostentatiousness and pomp will neither shelter the homeless nor feed the starving.

JOHN BOLLARD

Bakersfield

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