I want to thank Archbishop William E. Lori for reminding me once again why I'm an ex-Catholic ("Fight for freedom," June 27). With the so-called "Fortnight for Freedom," the church leadership is deliberately and cynically using a mixture of patriotism and religion in a blatant and manipulative attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections.

I can't seem to recall any recent news about Catholic churches being bombed in the United States or attempts to bar American Catholics from attending mass. I do know that the Catholic Church has been using its "religious freedom" for decades to aid and abet child abusers, to recently attack nuns in the United States who are at the forefront of what used to be one of the church's primary missions to aid and comfort the poor and needy, and that the American church has over the past few decades formed an alliance with some of the most strident and politically active right-wing religious groups in the U.S. Archbishop Lori even received an award in May from a coalition of some of those groups.

I am proud to be an American, and I am a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights. I support freedom of religion, and I support freedom from religion. And, at this moment in time, I am also very proud and happy to be an ex-Catholic.

Sandy Covahey, Baltimore