The headline read, "Parish Punishes Abortion-Rights Candidate" {Metro, July 10}. It should have read "Candidate Baits Pastor for Publicity," for that is what John Hurson did to Monsignor William F. O'Donnell and Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Bethesda.

This conclusion is easily drawn from reading the article. Monsignor O'Donnell asked Mr. Hurson to resign from the parish council because he advertised that he was a member of his parish council and pro-abortion in his campaign literature. The monsignor said Mr. Hurson knew the two were incompatible; Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, said the monsignor's actions were "almost like an unsolicited campaingn contribution."

Serving on a parish council is not necessarily indicative of an outstanding leader as many people rotate through the position. By putting this in his campaign literature, Mr. Hurson advertised that he is a Catholic; that is of little consequence in the primary election in his district as most of the primary voters are not Catholic. The only way it is an advantage is for Mr. Hurson to use his position to gain much needed publicity.

Congratulations to Monsignor O'Donnell for standing tall and not letting the Catholic Church be abused by Mr. Hurson. JOHN NAUGHTON Rockville