In response to the letter from Rev. Gerard Gentleman Jr., "Choice of bishop not up to vote" [June 4], Catholics know that the "prayer and the trust that we offer to God" are important. However, we also know that this does not guarantee the right action by those in leadership within the Catholic Church. Based on past performance, we cannot depend on the hierarchy doing the right thing.

Gentleman states that it is "not within the bishop's prerogative to conduct an open process to select his successor." Why not? Hasn't the Catholic Church learned from its mistakes that it is not healthy to be shrouded in secrecy?

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I applaud the 23 priests who sent the letter requesting input into bishop selection. The fact that only one had his name published is not an indictment, as Gentleman implies. I think it's an indictment of the overall process of government in the Catholic Church that its priests feel threatened to voice an opinion that may not be in sync with hierarchy.

Priests are the reason so many stay Catholic.

Jean McQuaid, Cutchogue