EDITOR: The path to becoming a bishop in the Catholic Church exacts a heavy toll. A priest must want a church career, then adhere to the wishes of the local bishop. One misstep, one belief out of order reduces his chances. Endless meetings, coffees, retreats and fundraisers, all the while politicking for that coveted purple cassock and gold ring.

Contrast that with the role of women in the church. We call them nuns or sisters.

They share a home, establish hospitals, teach in schools and serve the poor. They ask for very little and receive little in return. They advocate for civil rights, justice for farmworkers, universal health care and an end to the death penalty. They minister to the homeless and run schools and parishes. They are a determined lot who would love to end world poverty, homophobia and sexism.

They are beloved while the bishops are reviled for their role in the sex abuse and financial scandals rocking the church.

The bullies in the hierarchy are angry with the good sisters ("Vatican crackdown on U.S. nun group," April 21). They are terrified that these humble, smart and organized sisters might want to become priests one day. Our out-of-touch bishops have badly miscalculated.


Santa Rosa