I was surprised to read in the Sept. 5 ThisWeek the guest column by Bill McNutt.

To the Editor:

I was surprised to read in the Sept. 5 ThisWeek the guest column by Bill McNutt. After a good beginning discussing the Republicans in the Ohio legislature, Gov. Kasich and the president's health plan, he suddenly and inexplicitly turns his guns on the Catholic Church. Why? Well, this isn't entirely clear, since this part of his column begins with a huge non-sequitur, "Similar tactics are utilized by the Roman Catholic bureaucracy," he writes.

Similar? Similar to what? To the American healthcare system which he had just been discussing? To the Ohio legislature? To what? Unfortunately Mr. McNutt does not enlighten us on this point.

No matter though, for there is a certain kind of writer for whom the Catholic Church is always fair game. Though one might have hoped this sort of anti-Catholicism had ceased in 1960, if not 1928, still one is not altogether surprised to see it alive and well today. Alive and well? Well, at least alive, for Mr. McNutt reveals that any special, or even accurate, knowledge of Catholic matters is hardly his forte. For example, "beginning with the papacy of John Paul in the 1960s" he writes, meaning of course not John Paul but John XXIII. The first John Paul was not elected until 1978, he might recall. And then comes the deep research from an obituary in The Economist magazine, that doubtless excellent source for ecclesiastical news and opinion.

But a Catholic should not be too hard on Mr. McNutt. A writer out of his depth should always be more an object of pity than of irritation. But what of the newspaper itself and its editors? I cannot imagine that they would ever have approved an article criticizing the internal policies and modes of governance of any other religious body. Is a Catholic entitled to wonder why the Catholic Church is the one exception?

Thomas Storck