The following letter to the editor was published in the Baltimore Sun on April 22nd:
I have unqualified respect for the Rev. Jim Hannon and his tireless care of the Catholic community of Western Maryland ("A busy shepherd," April 10). However, one priest serving seven parishes is completely unnecessary. Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of Baltimore refers to the "priest shortage" to explain Father Hannon's demanding situation. But the truth is that there is no true shortage except in the frozen thinking of the Vatican and its bishops.
The fact is that by some estimates there are some 25,000 married Catholic priests in America alone, most of whom would happily serve the faithful if church authorities would simply get out of their own legalistic way. There are also countless women who qualify for priestly ordination and would generously and joyfully bring the Eucharist and a full sacramental life back to many starving Catholic people.
The Rev. Frederick C. Ruof
The writer is an ordained Catholic priest who later married and now serves as pastor of the Newborn Community of Faith in Sandtown. [He is also a member of CITI!]