It was with great interest and sorrow that I read Erma Durkin's commentary on same-sex marriage ("A Catholic for equality," Sept. 29). She sounds like a fine woman who has dedicated her life to mankind. What she is not, at present, is a good Catholic. As a matter of fact, she is not even a Catholic.

As one who has been affiliated with the Catholic Church for 44 years, Mrs. Durkin should know that the Church believes that salvation is achieved through both good works and faith. She has lost her faith and strayed from its teachings.

She is one of those commonly called "cafeteria Catholics," who choose those teachings of the Church that they like and reject those they don't like.

The Catholic faith is not a cafeteria. Catholics do not have the option of choosing the parts of it they like and discarding the rest. One must accept the teachings of the Church in their entirety, or one is not Catholic. It is just that simple.

Catholics are not permitted to mold the teachings of the Church to fit their ideas of what the religion should be. They must mold their live to fit the teachings of the Church.

Mrs. Durkin, with all of the time she has been affiliated with the Church, must know that the Church is opposed to homosexual unions. She is choosing not to accept this teaching, and she is asking others to do the same. I will pray for Mrs. Durkin, her son, and his partner, and I ask all Catholics to do the same.

Gib Lease, Ellicott City