I must respond to Edward McCarey McDonnell ("Archbishop Lori should accept Md. Catholics' tradition of religious toleration and diversity," March 25). When he refers to Maryland Catholics, by implication, he has declared himself to be speaking for me. He isn't. His closing statement is quite telling when referring to theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishopsas "the American hierarchy" when he states: "they don't always represent our values."
Mr. McDonnell displays a fundamental misunderstanding of dogma and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is a religion with specific teachings and beliefs which are founded in the scripture as interpreted by the Magisterium. The faithful are called upon to accept the teachings of the Church, all of the teachings of the Church, not just those they like.
The Roman Catholic Church welcomes all who want to join. However, the fundamental expectation is that as a member of the Roman Catholic Church, you accept all of the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. If you do not then you are not a Roman Catholic. It is that simple.
A better classification for those who Mr. McDonnell represents in his letter is not Roman Catholics, not Maryland Catholics but rather Cafeteria Catholics.
Edmund S. Coale III, Highland