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More on Charity

December 25, 1988

I commend Kathleen Hendrix for her description of the plight of the retired women religious in the Catholic Church ("Faith, Hope--and Now Charity," Dec. 11). It was excellent. I would like to add, if I may, a further consideration not treated in the article.

Not all Catholic religious communities are in the same financial position. Particularly hard hit are those that have devoted their energies exclusively to school teaching. Sisters who diversified into hospital and social work have come to draw in recent years more adequate compensation, which they have been able to pass on to their religious communities. Those who have concentrated on schools do not, even now, have that advantage.

Which leads to another aspect of the issue, namely the neutral to negative stance our government takes toward private religious schools, all of which serve the public welfare, many of which help the poor, as the article showed, and few of which are elitist. The crisis for the sisters who have taught in these schools may cause fair-minded people to rethink the matter of school support.

MSGR. JOHN A. MIHAN

Corpus Christi Church

Pacific Palisades

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