Pertinent to "Pope to Bishops: Keep Church Charities Catholic" (page 1, Dec. 16 issue) is a welcome response and correction by Pope Benedict XVI to all the abuses that have taken place in U.S. Catholic charities for the past 20 years.
Being from Massachusetts, I am well aware of the role Catholic Charities of Boston has played.
Several years ago, Catholic Charities of Boston began quietly placing children for adoption with homosexual couples. Practicing Catholics discovered this and protested. Cardinal Sean O’Malley intervened and stopped the arrangement. However, our state then said that was "illegal." So Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to give up all adoptions, despite the fact that children had been placed for adoption with normal couples by Catholic Charities of Boston for the past 60 years. Upon investigation, it was revealed that many of the members of the board of 100 were non-Catholics. They resigned in protest when Cardinal O’Malley said Catholic Charities of Boston could not place children for adoption with homosexual couples.
Obviously, this is one of many examples of a lack of oversight by American bishops of Catholic charities, including many so-called Catholic charities that support abortion. It is also a lack of oversight and concern for who works for supposedly Catholic charities and who is appointed to their boards.
Satan has wormed himself into the very heart of Catholicism, and this is yet another example.
Another solution besides bishops exerting strict and orthodox control over American Catholic charities is for these Catholic charities to not accept government money. That would make it more difficult for the state to intimidate and pressure Catholic charities.
They would then depend on God for support, not the corrupt state.
Sadly, Pope Pius XII continues to be publicly chastised for his so-called alleged silence during the Nazi Holocaust. Listed below are just a few references that demonstrate how unfounded these ongoing charges truly are.
On the occasion of Pope Pius XII’s death in October 1958, for example, a number of prominent Jewish leaders lavished praise on the late Pope for his efforts on behalf of European Jews during the Holocaust (their names were published in The New York Times the day following Pius’ death).
Moreover, the Israeli scholar Pinchas Lapide thoroughly assessed Pius XII’s wartime role on the Holocaust in his book entitled The Last Three Popes and the Jews and concluded the following: "The Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pius XII, was instrumental in saving the lives of 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands. This figure far exceeds those saved by all other churches and rescue operations combined."
Interestingly, one of the most powerful eulogies on the occasion of Pius XII’s death was expressed by then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who said: "During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims."
Having been a history teacher for 32 years before retiring, I’ve written and lectured about the Nazi Holocaust. I know of what I speak.
There is absolutely no historical justification for the ongoing maligning of Pius XII. But some individuals will resurface this issue — without one iota of proof — when it serves their purpose to do so. As such, it is a classic example of revisionist history.
Sayville, New York
Understatement of 2012
Relative to your look back at the major events of 2012: The caption under your Al Smith Dinner photo of Cardinal Dolan dining with President Obama, which labeled the event a "Touchy Subject" (Nation, Dec. 30 issue), was a serious understatement and an unhappy reminder of the cardinal’s poor judgment in a political context.
Chancery staffers’ excuses — "it’s traditional" or "the dinner made lots of money for charity" or "Christ dined with sinners" — do not cover an egregious prudential call that effectively honored a foe of the Church. It was on par with the cardinal referring to the presence of two "Catholics" on the national tickets.
The Register also referred to the two conventions at which Cardinal Dolan spoke; fortunately, he corrected his confused, but politically correct, opening at the GOP convention (rolling together "father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus") by the time of the Democratic convention.
While the Church does not endorse political parties or even the democratic system of government, her leaders must speak and act in the public square.
Vatican II urges the exercise of "the right to pass moral judgments, even in matters touching the political order, whenever basic personal rights or the salvation of souls make such judgments necessary" (Gaudium et Spes, 76).
The dinner invitation and photo op were worth many votes for the vigorously pro-abortion president. Let us pray for the cardinal, his underinformed staff and a more prudent guest list for future Al Smith dinners.
Sandy Hook Sadness
Regarding "In the Face of Horror, Faith in Action" (page 1, Dec. 30 issue):
In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where 20 elementary children and seven adults were murdered by a mentally disturbed young man, I have watched all the news about this horrible event, and I am deeply perplexed not only by this incident, but also by the public’s outcry at what took place.
Yes, this is a horrible thing that has happened. I even recall one woman’s remarks to a journalist who was interviewing her: that "these were just babies." I cannot imagine the grief the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and spouses must be experiencing during this time. The loss of a child or spouse is horrible and unimaginable. Surely, all in heaven grieve with those who have endured loss and carry a heavy cross at this time.
Are the people of our country — including our president, congressmen and senators — aware that almost 200 Sandy Hook massacres occur every day in the United States in the form of not allowing unborn children to live? These babies are children too, but these children don’t seem to count to half of the people in our nation.
Many certainly don’t see these children as equals — or else we wouldn’t have had legalized abortion in our nation since 1973.
God is love, and, therefore, he loves all his children and holds them equally in his heart, both born and unborn.
Without love, these kinds of killings will continue until our nation’s citizens and leaders realize that without the love of the unborn over self we can legislate ourselves into oblivion, and nothing will change. When life is loved and protected in its most vulnerable state, then all life becomes precious. When it is not, then all life becomes expendable. And this is exactly what has happened in our nation, and the direction we are heading in is frightening, because we, collectively as citizens of a "free" nation, have become an immoral people who lack the love needed to continue to thrive.
We are becoming a "manmade utopia," void of any obedience to and acceptance of God’s love; a nation quickly headed toward dictatorship, whose people are completely blind to their own illness and who also embrace unjust leaders and unjust practices.
We need to collectively pray for a revelation from God and repent as a nation of our ways — to change by rejecting ourselves and embracing God’s plan for us. A nation without love will soon die.