Erma Durkin's letter "A Catholic makes the case for gay marriage" (March 9) offers a definitive example of grace. As a young Catholic, I am often discouraged and ashamed by the bigotry and injustice of the Church. Like Ms. Durkin, I was instilled with the understanding that the individual conscience and a commitment to compassion and justice not only are the bedrock of our faith but also compel us to action against hatred and oppression.
All too often, the public voice of the Catholic — and larger Christian — community rings loudly of dogmatic prejudice. Those of us who know the Church as a site of charity and sanctuary, despite its imperfections, should heed this reminder that our faith calls us into action in emphatic defense of the persecuted.
Though conscience may sometimes situate us at odds with doctrine, we Catholics are fortunate to be called into communion with individuals like Ms. Durkin and the many others who fully commit themselves to acts of mercy, humanity and love.
Katie Kavanagh O'Neill, Baltimore
The writer is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh.