In regards to the Catholic traveler article regarding Mont St. Michel (“French Fortress of the Faith,” Sept. 9-15), there is one very important new historical development to inform your readers about.
As of this summer (June 24), custodianship of the shrine changed hands from diocesan Benedictine monks and nuns to the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem. This is very significant for many reasons, one of which is that the new residents are part of a growing number of orthodox movements sweeping across Europe.
Established in Paris in 1975, the Monastic Communities of Jerusalem already have more than 150 monks and nuns living in monasteries in France, and they have an average age of 32 among their members. To learn more about the new custodians of the legendary Mont St. Michel, you can visit their Web site at jerusalem.cef.fr
KEVIN J. WRIGHT Littleton, Colorado
Regarding “Why Sexuality Is Too Good To Waste” (Sept. 2-8):
Mary Beth Bonacci wants more respect for human sexuality. I'm sure the writer is sincere, but it might be helpful if she used more reverence when discussing sexuality. She compares herself to our Holy Father and states: “John Paul II. See, there's another celibate who spends a whole lot of time talking about sex.”
As a mother of seven children, [I believe that] there is still much to learn from our Holy Mother Church about sexuality. But I do expect the topic to be treated with sensitivity in our home, never crassness. Consideration of the age and vulnerability of our “listeners” (young people) is especially important. The first lesson on sexuality is respect.
Similarly, no one would talk jokingly or crassly about the topic of death to bereaving family members. Rather, gentleness and tactfulness would be used out of respect for these vulnerable “listeners” (the survivors). In both situations it might be most respectful to remember that the less said, the better.
Keep up the good work of trying to keep us struggling Catholics afloat with the Truth. Your paper is in demand at our home and devoured cover to cover, as we each wait for our turn to read it!
LYNNE BOVICK ALBRECHT Cleveland
We Jail Asylum Seekers?
It was good to read a fair and balanced story regarding the illegal alien situation, but this issue should not be addressed until the inhumane treatment of legal asylum seekers is rectified (“Bush Ponders Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants,” Sept. 2-8).
Few Americans are even aware that thousands of refugees from all over the world are currently detained in maximum-security, prisonlike facilities here in the land of the free. Under President Clinton's watch, a draconian law was passed in 1996 confining these innocent people until they can prove that they warrant asylum. Some refugees have been impris oned for over four years as their cases sputter through a xenophobic legal quagmire.
Ironically, one of these barren camps is located about 10 miles from Ellis Island where Lady Liberty must cry for the poor tempest-tossed souls. It has absolutely no windows and — as in all such places — the residents are never allowed outside. They must wear prison attire, husbands and wives are separated until they are released, and visitors are only allowed in on weekends for an hour at a time.
The Clinton administration boldly displayed its view of immigrants by violently kidnapping Elian Gonzalez away from his loving family and returning him to a life of slavery in Cuba. Before President Bush tackles the complex issues surrounding illegal aliens, he should remove the shackles form those who have not violated a single law, and once again the world's tired and poor will look to America as that Shining City on the Hill.
STEVEN FANTINA Phillipsburg, New Jersey
George W.'s Pro-life Record
Thank you for reporting the efforts of George W. Bush to promote the culture of life.
Since becoming president, Bush has helped promote the culture of life in many ways. For example, he stopped federal funding of groups that provide or promote abortion in foreign countries; he cut Medicaid payments for the abortion pill, RU-486; he increased funding of abstinence programs; he actively supported the strongest pro-life bill banning human cloning; he announced a policy to provide greater insurance support for pregnant mothers at or near the poverty level; he actively supported the Unborn Victims of Violence Act; he has supported all pro-life initiatives in Congress; he has changed the makeup of all delegations that represent the United States at the United Nations and abroad from pro-abortion to pro-life; he even overruled his secretary of state and insisted on a pro-lifer to head the State Department's refugee bureau; and he has installed pornography filters in Army barracks.
If Mr. Gore had been elected, all the foregoing would have been reversed and instead we would have extreme pro-abortion initiatives including forced abortion abroad as an anti-population policy. Although he's not a perfect pro-lifer, we should thank God for President Bush and pray that he will be able to withstand the pressures of the culture of death.
EILEEN HUGHES Springfield, Virginia
This is how the Sept 9-15 Facts of Life feature should have looked.