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BY The Editors
Your article about the Presentation
of the Lord (“Light of the World Revealed,” Jan. 31) reminds me of a local
tradition where I live that’s associated with Candlemas: Groundhog Day.
No, I’m not referring to Puxsutawney
Phil: He lives in the wrong part of the state. But the Pennsylvania Dutch
farmers who settled in southeastern Pennsylvania followed the Lutheran calendar
and regarded Candlemas as the halfway point between Christmas and Easter. And
that time of year you either have cold, clear winds blowing down from Canada
(which lost their moisture and cloud cover while heading south) or warmer,
moisture-laden and cloudy winds blowing up from down south. Adding the bit
about the groundhog is a bit of whimsy.
The Pennsylvania Dutch also
introduced such customs as the Christmas tree to this country, being Lutherans
rather than Puritans. On the eve of the Lenten fast, Fastnacht,
I’ll follow another one of their customs by eating some doughnuts (which, of
course, you’re not supposed to eat during Lent).
Regarding “The ‘Worst Crime’: Will
Pope Reorganize Irish Church in Wake of Abuse Scandals?”:
There have been scandals in
Christianity since Judas betrayed Jesus. Some may be scandalized by what has
happened in Ireland and leave the Church. David Widdoes was scandalized and
left the Church because nobody stopped President Obama from speaking at Notre
Dame (June 2009 letter).
As Catholics, we are called to
follow the infallible teachings of the Church and not let our faith be shaken
by those who do not follow them. We must pray for those who cause the scandal
that threaten a person’s faith. Why? Because: “Woe to the man through whom
scandal comes” (Matthew 18:7).
The Trinity and E.T.
I read Ben Wiker’s column “The Truth
Is Out There. Extraterrestrials, Probably Not,” in the Dec. 13 issue, which
prompted this comment.
It seems to me that the Trinity is
ideally suited to apply to the entire universe.
If there are other life-forms, then
God could certainly become one of them to show them how to live.
The second Person of the Trinity
could become any other form of life we could imagine.
So there seems to me to be no
barrier to extraterrestrials.
The only question would be if those
life-forms (or races or what have you) needed redemption.
If they had no “fall,” if they had
retained friendship with God, then God need not come to them to redeem them.
But the Trinity is ideally suited to the task of loving and becoming any other
life-form in the universe.
2 Saintly Popes
Regarding “Venerable Pius XII” (Jan.
10) and the new decree by Pope Benedict XVI recognizing Pope John Paul II
and Pope Pius XII as “Venerable.”
I commend the Vatican for moving
Pope John Paul II and Pope Pius XII a step closer to sainthood.
Pope John Paul II, a man of deep
faith, will one day be canonized a saint by the Catholic Church! The Holy
Father was an inspiration and a model witness to the life of Christ, a Shepherd
of Truth immersed in profound humility and immense love for both God and man.
His many writings and tireless, worldwide
pilgrimages of faith were a source of strength, encouragement, confidence,
optimism and enlightenment not only to Catholics but to all men of good will.
Pope Pius XII also possessed
“heroic virtue.” It is an irrefutable fact that Pius XII and the Catholic
Church saved more Jews in Europe during the Second World War than any other
party, with the only exception being the Allied liberating armies themselves.
He often acted secretly and silently
because, in the light of the practical situations of that complex period of
history, he foresaw that only in this way could he avoid the worst and save the
greatest possible number of Jews.
In 1946 Isaac Herzog, chief rabbi of
Jerusalem, wrote a letter to Pius XII thanking him for helping Jews during the
Holocaust and for “sheltering thousands of children, who were hidden in
Catholic institutions.” Herzog further stated: “God willing, may history
remember that when everything was dark for our people, His Holiness lit a light
of hope for them.”
“Some See Opening for Roe Overturn in New Court Ruling” (“Register
Exclusive,” Jan. 29):
deciding Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court didn’t merely avoid the
fundamental question of when life begins — it specifically rejected it.
fact, by noting that the case would collapse if “the personhood [of the unborn]
is established,” it practically begged that the question be settled by another
body or at another time. While our knowledge of human development has grown
since 1973, the greatest factor supporting a personhood amendment is simply
wider access to that knowledge thanks to the sonogram, cable TV programs that
graphically depict the beginning of life, and efforts by pro-life organizations
and individuals who aren’t afraid to challenge long-held distortions. It is now
clear to the majority that abortion takes the life of a complete, distinct,
living, unconditionally viable and fully human being, as I have written
publicly and unchallenged several times.
than three decades after the Supreme Court decided that abortion was just,
public opinion is marching the other way, with a majority of Americans now
declaring themselves pro-life, many harboring an ever more realistic hope that
the decision will ultimately be overturned or nullified.
enjoyed Father Dwight Longenecker’s article “Does the ‘Springfield Spirit’
Point the Way Home to Protestants” (Jan. 17) tremendously. Father Longenecker
makes excellent points on how to attract evangelicals and sincere Protestants
to the Catholic Church.
years ago, our family found St. Anne Byzantine Catholic Church in San Luis
Obispo. Divine Liturgies at such churches are indeed a foretaste of heaven.
Reverence, poetry of language, friendly congregations where everyone is known
by name, and fellowship so precious and warm, making any new persons right at
home, is indeed a gift from the Lord.
the Holy Spirit bring non-Catholics into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic
Church that Jesus founded.
and Mrs. Constantino N. Santos
Jay Study Flawed
The John Jay study (“John Jay Study
Divides Observers,” Dec. 20-Jan. 2) strikes me as flawed. In the ’90s, The
New York Times did a similar spin, calling a homosexual problem in
the Catholic Church pedophilia.
The unfortunate intersection of our
sexual revolution of the 1960s with the direction of change of Catholicism
after Vatican II led to disaster in our seminaries. Too often openly homosexual
men were welcomed and heterosexual men made unwelcome. Reform changed that.
Anyone desiring a detailed study of
that sorry generation can read Goodbye, Good Men by
Michael Rose. The Faithful Departed by Philip Lawler is
Lightbearer no Longer
Regarding “Laughing at Lucifer”
(Feb. 14): I prefer to refer to Satan as Beelzebub, lord of the flies. He
forfeited the glorious name and title “Lucifer” when he said, “I will not
As Lucifer, he would have been like
“Viceroy”; i.e., the greatest servant to the King of Kings, the Son of God.
Ever since Mary said to the angel
Gabriel, “Be it done unto me,” she is entitled to the name that means “carrier
of light.” Jesus is the Eternal Light, and Mary carried him. The very first
verse of the Gospel according to John, when read with Gabriel’s greeting and
Mary’s answer, is very consoling and interesting.
Regarding your March for Life coverage:
We Catholics should not be surprised that most Americans (and most Catholics,
unfortunately) know so little about the March for Life in Washington.
I read three newspapers: San
Bernardino’s The Sun, Riverside’s The
Press-Enterprise and the Los Angeles Times.
Not one of these papers even mentioned the march this year. No story or photos.
However, both The Press-Enterprise and the Times
found plenty of room for articles about the trial of Scott Roeder for the
killing of abortionist George Tiller. People won’t know what’s going on when
the news media refuse to report it. Bias, anyone?
In our special message “Lord, Hear
Our Prayer for Haiti” (Feb. 14), we listed among our recommended aid
organizations Cross International. The name and contact information were not
incorrect, but they were incomplete. The full and complete listing:
Cross International Catholic
370 West Camino Gardens Blvd.,
Boca Raton, FL