JAMES CARROLL feels wronged by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church (''Basilica of Denial," op ed, Dec. 5). Like many Catholics, I, too, have been overwhelmed by the brutal fact that many bishops felt that protecting themselves and predator priests was more important than protecting children. Yet I disagree with Carroll's assessment that the Vatican's instruction barring certain men with homosexual tendencies from the priesthood indicates that the church ''has no real interest in reckoning with the priest abuse catastrophe."
The truth is that this document was produced to address the problem of homosexuality in seminaries and has been 10 years in the making. The document was never intended to be a ''priest abuse problem" solution. By highlighting the sins of so many Catholics throughout the ages, Carroll does nothing more than stamp his feet at a situation he cannot change.
Apparently Carroll's answer to the problem includes ordaining women and repealing the church's teaching on the meaning of sex. His problem is not with the church but with the author of the teachings with which he finds himself at odds. Carroll's problem is with Jesus Christ.
MICHAEL COLLINS, Quincy