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Catholic Church and Women

September 20, 1987

Regarding Thomas Cahill's review of "American Catholicism" and "Once a Catholic" (The Book Review, Aug. 30): On the contrary, the Catholic Church does not "make room" for fat girls. I recall a sermon some 20 years ago in which our pastor castigated the high school girls in the congregation who were overweight. The good Monsignor implied that they were probably unable to control their "other" (sexual) appetites as well.

The sermon occurred in my 15th year, the year in which I made a permanent break with the religion of my childhood because of its shabby treatment of women. For instance, I noticed how the priests in the rectory each had a shiny Buick while the nuns were forced to plead for rides from the parishioners and travel in groups, as if the Sisters were unable to control their appetites without supervision.

The review closes with a quote by Wilfrid Sheed in which the term pagan is synonymous with inhumane. Yet the pagans respected nature and the power of the female while the Catholic Church continues to fear and suppress this power.

PATSY ANN STRAWSER

Corona del Mar

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