As I was reading "A Fracture of Faith: Catholics Divided on Contraception at Clinic" [front page, Oct. 20], I wondered what caused this alleged fracture.

The Pregnancy Aid Center in College Park started out as a faith-based organization. However, it became dependent upon federal funding in the form of Medicaid. Medicaid requires the provision of contraceptive information as a condition for funding. Apparently, many of the center's board members saw this as a compromise of their principles and resigned in protest.

This is not the first time that such has happened to a former faith-based charitable organization, nor will it be the last. Faith-based organizations would do well never to accept any federal funding. Such acceptance places the organization in danger of compromising its founding principles and its long-term ability to accomplish its mission.

JANET M. BAKER

Montgomery Village

I would like to salute the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Washington on their decision to no longer support the Pregnancy Aid Center. Some of the works of the center go directly against church teachings on contraception and morality.

It is refreshing to hear of consistent teaching on the sacredness of human life and of the sexual union. It is nice to hear of a church that stands up for what it believes. Should we expect less? No.

The Catholic Church cherishes life from conception to natural death. As Pope John Paul II said, "Practices such as contraception are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception."

MICHAEL J. DeMEO

Cheverly