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Catholics should look elsewhere
Regarding Ashwell ejected from priesthood, Whidbey News-Times, Nov. 19.
Perhaps, the Catholic Church in America should consider accepting candidates for the priesthood from other countries that still have a good number of candidates to the religious vocation. It may be possible that, due to the lack of candidates for the priesthood, American seminaries are lenient in screening and accepting such candidates. If very few candidates are seriously considering the priesthood in America, the Catholic Church may be too eager to accept most of these candidates in an effort to stem the tide of falling vocations.
There are still many good and worthy candidates from other Catholic regions outside of North America who may help the Church. The important thing is to encourage American Catholics to return to the faith, especially now that these episodes of scandals rocking the Catholic Church have given the clerical position a not too favorable image. Good candidates from other countries who are serious with their vocations may just give a somewhat positive image to the clerical state in America.
More potential candidates for the priesthood could afford the American Catholic Church to thoroughly screen and choose the best candidates. As such, seminaries could establish more stringent rules and employ better disciplinary measures that would produce better priests. This would be better than having to come up with any child-protection program.
Philip L. Valero