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Regarding "Darkness Visible" by Hal Crowther (CL, June 5), it's obvious Crowther has wanted an excuse to release some pent up repression for some time. I agree with him that the Church needed this. It's a cleansing that needed to be done. What these priests did to these children is indelible, reprehensible and a felony. I do not condone that, one iota. These priests, albeit a small percentage (maybe 2 percent, not 50 percent), have breached their vows to God Himself. That will be tough enough to reconcile on Judgment Day. Let's not lynch them all, due to a few. Priests are ordained by Christ and vow to become servants for Christ for the rest of their lives. They are ordained to consecrate the Body of Christ in Mass, an awesome responsibility and privilege. They must be wholly dedicated to Christ. Although unfortunate, I believe an equal or higher percentage occurs in other denominations; they have the same scourge. I believe that is why other religions have been relatively quiet about publicly criticizing Catholic priests. But it's in vogue for individuals to bash Catholics, as Crowther has. It has been for a long time, because people just don't know the truth about Catholicism. If they did, I believe there would be a lot more conversions to Catholicism. Do some research. You are obliged to research Catholicism. I also believe that if you took a poll of Catholics, you would find that they have not lost faith in God or Catholicism as a result of this and feel that the majority of their priests are loved and respected leaders. The Catholic Church has been here 2,000 years and will always be here, because it was pre-ordained by Christ.

- Jim Lashua, Charlotte

NO RULES OR ROLESIn response to "Sexual Etiquette Rules for Men" (Sex & the Queen City by Elizabeth Chapel, June 12), Ms. Chapel must be an insecure old woman who's been burned too many times. As she should know at her age, the only rule to dating and sex is. . .there are no rules. Every situation in dating is different and whatever two consenting adults deem reasonable is just that. Times have changed, which means that there are no rules or roles men or women should play. I recommend that she open her mind, leave her baggage at the door, and move on.

- John Spano, Charlotte

INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIAMy congratulations to Tara Servatius for her article "Cruising for Trouble" (CL, June 12) about gay men cruising for sex in public parks. I thought she was fair and complete, without falling into the trap of voyeurism.

However, there is an element I want to add: the warning of an out and proud gay man. As that man, I want to add my own objections to this self-destructive behavior, as well as the attitudes that have pushed men to live that way. Some men cruise for the thrill they get from the danger. But too many gay men cruise to fulfill their own belief in their worthlessness. As the article mentioned, some are married, and some are in sensitive jobs. They have all bought into the propaganda that they are unworthy of, and unable of, stable and rewarding same-sex relationships. Cruising is a form of internalized homophobia, an unconscious acceptance of rightwing gay-bashing, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The solution isn't law enforcement. Sex in parks should be prosecuted, because it steals the right of others to use public facilities. There have also been reports of entrapment by vice officers. The solution is self-acceptance: to acknowledge one's heart, and to repudiate the opposition to following one's nature. The responsibility of adulthood is to determine one's own path in life, not to follow the path laid out by someone else. That is the solution to self-destructive sexual behavior.

-- Rev. Christopher Cole, CharlotteTRADITIONAL DYSFUNCTIONAccording to "So You're In Love" by Tara Servatius (CL, June 19), 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. And they didn't work too well in the old days either. I grew up in the 30s and 40s. All the women in the neighborhood stayed home and cooked, did housework, raised the kids and played bridge. No TV and no fast food restaurants.

Looking at my old neighborhood, I'd say they were just about as dysfunctional as today. The husbands included a few boozers, salesmen, a teacher, a dentist and corporate commuting businessmen. They all had a streak of Archie Bunker in them. Prejudice was their small talk.

Was divorce ever considered? Rarely. Women put up with plenty. Most of them couldn't leave. Now when it doesn't work the laws have changed so women can get their fair share.

- H.A. Thompson, CharlotteTo send a LETTER TO THE EDITOR,

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