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Eleri Kerian, Grafton, N.D., Published June 16 2012

Sinner’s view of my church deeply flawed

I am a 28-year-old woman, and unlike E. Jane Sinner (Forum, June 10), I will not claim to speak for all women or their experiences of the church. While Sinner insists that women have been disregarded by the Catholic Church, I have had a lifetime of witnessing the pivotal role the church plays in promoting women and the underprivileged.

The Sisters of Notre Dame who taught me also serve in war-torn Uganda to provide education to young women. At my former employer, a Catholic hospital, the religious sisters with the highest levels of education skillfully kept our hospital doors open to provide excellent patient care while other local hospitals were closing. My friends who have become sisters, including my college roommate, have found joy by living their lives in spiritual community and in service to others.

Through the medical technology of the Pope Paul VI Institute, my husband and I await the birth of our son, John, after experiencing the horror of recurrent miscarriages. This miracle is due to the diligence of Catholic physicians who seek to heal women of the pain of infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and pain caused by hormonal balances and reproductive abnormalities. This is health care that transforms lives – this is not the destructive “women’s health care” of abortion that Sinner wants me and other people with conscientious objections to be forced to fund.

In our diocese, we see the wonderful works of Catholic-run charities. Our diocese and its ministries serve the poor, the abused, the widowed or single mother, and the orphaned. If these Catholic ministries (along with our 141 priests, 117 religious sisters, and laypeople) disappeared from our plains, women and children would suffer.

Whether you are Catholic or not, recognize the great works the church has done throughout the world, our country and our own diocese. I am a Catholic woman, and yes, this includes being unabashedly against the murder of unborn baby girls and boys in utero.

Sinner’s portrayal of the church’s treatment of women is misleading and based in a vitriolic hatred toward a church that has provided 2,000 years of education, health care, science, philosophy, the arts, service and justice throughout the world.