This letter is addressed to the wife of columnist J.P. Devine, who was mentioned in his latest column, but it is not exclusive to her (“What just happened?” Aug. 2). It is also for all Catholics facing the same spiritual crisis that she is. I have never been Catholic, but most of my playmates were. I am so sorry for the pain and betrayal that you are feeling. The higher up the chain the cover-up goes, the more shocking it becomes. The sheer number of victims, offenders, and higher-ups involved is horrible.

Looking from the outside in, I have long thought in order for the Catholic Church to continue, priests should be allowed to marry, and women need to be allowed a much more active role. In Protestant churches, I estimate that women now make up about 50 percent of the clergy.

I invite anyone disenfranchised with their church or religion to go “church shopping” when you are ready. It’s not a negative phrase, and I’ve done it several times.

Try some Protestant churches. I invite you to the church I belong to, Pleasant Street United Methodist in Waterville. You will be greeted with open arms. Our church has engaging meaningful sermons, beautiful music, and a welcoming congregation. You can still make the sign of the cross (I think it’s beautiful), bow before the altar, and believe what you believe. All are welcome to take communion. You can join our wonderful choir or any of our other groups.

PSUMC truly is a part of the community and hosts 18 different community groups at no cost. Come visit us.

Donna Runnels


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