Editor’s note: Oak Parkers Dick and Joan Meister sent the following letter to the Archdiocese of Chicago on Feb. 13, in response to its Annual Catholic Appeal.

We do not wish to contribute at this time for a number of reasons.

We are strongly grieved that the papacy and all the American bishops have not taken more aggressive action to penalize, not reward, the bishops who allowed sexual abuse to continue, and then covered it up. The sexual abuse scandal is resulting in enormous monetary claims against the American church, reducing its effectiveness in addressing social justice issues.

We continue to be angered by the church’s refusal to allow women to be ordained and to be appointed to positions of influence and leadership.

We are very upset by the investigation of American women religious orders by the papacy, and that the Archdiocese of Chicago has not taken a strong stand against this intrusion.

We are strongly disappointed at the continuous effort to canonize Pope Pius XII to the detriment of continuous ecumenical effort with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

We question the welcoming of married Anglican ministers to the Roman Catholic priesthood, while refusing to allow a married clergy.

We are lifelong Catholics, educated in Catholic schools, active in parish and community life. We continue to support these schools, our local parish, social justice and support services that we value. However, we will no longer do it through the diocesan annual appeal. We urge others to do likewise.

Dick and Joan Meister
St. Giles Parish, Oak Park

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