Wolf in the Fold
Regarding your article on the Florida abortion lobbyist who was a former "unpaid" board member of a Catholic Charities affiliate ("Fla. Planned Parenthood Lobbyist Was on Catholic Charities Board," April 10, NCRegister.com):
Because she resigned her post in January and testified in support of infanticide in March, I would guess that she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing for some time, suggesting that the "vetting" she underwent before she was hired for the board was either not effective or the process to ensure continued acceptable service was not effective.
Perhaps even more disappointing: the director of communications’ comments trying to defend its process when it obviously failed. And, by the way, when you give someone a title in your organization, you are giving them "pay," not only monetary, but, even more importantly, standing.
A suggestion: Once someone is accepted, think about certifying the oath occasionally, at least giving him or her the chance to choke on the words and turn back. Think of the Church’s teaching at each Mass, "I believe in one God ..."
Regarding "Churches Must Be Beautiful to Reflect Faith" (Culture of Life, April 21 issue):
Isn’t it because Catholic churches house the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that they should be as transcendentally beautiful as possible? They are not just meeting places for parishioners to hear the word and sing God’s praises.
"Loving a Child With Same-Sex Attraction" (In Person, April 21 issue) is of help to not only the families of persons who are homosexual, but also to all who are working in the loving care of souls and the family-life apostolate. Thank you.
To restore an understanding of marriage in accord with the way that God has created us in his image and likeness, there is need to develop an awareness of the universal rhythm of life in relation to marriage. Contraception has erased this.
The rhythm enables us to see how, through participation in the interrelationship of the two orders of life, human and divine, we are "called to share in the Trinitarian love of the living God; and this is only possible in the marriage of a man and a woman" (Humanae Vitae, 12).
Blessed John Paul II defined this twofold meaning — procreative and unitive — within the sacrament of marriage in his theology of the body. He described it as being the sacrament of creation for the procreation of human life and the sacrament of redemption, which is for the regulation of birth, but "above all" to obtain grace "for the remission of sins."
As we develop family-life programs based on the universal rhythm of life, we see how the very sacrament in jeopardy will redeem us. Husbands and wives can offer the sacrifice of periodic continence in the sacrament of redemption and obtain the grace that is needed to encourage those who struggle for the courage to cling to Christ.
Take No Prisoners
Regarding "Gosnell Trial Bias" (page one, May 5 issue):
In the final battle of the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the evil White Witch says, "I have no interest in prisoners; kill them all."
Evil is trying to kill us all, and if we do little, we will be culpable for the ones who are killed by evil. Gosnell and his victims are some of those we as a Church have let down and may be culpable for.
We are currently overwhelmed with abortion’s "pound" of cure because we neglected our "ounce" of prevention 40 years ago. Then, there was one Catholic Supreme Court justice (he voted for abortion); today there are six. If these justices’ bishops do not tell the six justices that voting to affirm "gay marriage" would result in real, public disciplinary action, to include possible excommunication, our current "ounce" of prevention on "gay marriage" will become another "pound" of future cure.
I am not looking forward to fighting two major fronts (abortion and "gay marriage"). Theologians say God is pure Act. Maybe we should be more like him and actually do something.
I have recently read the Book of Judith. In Chapters 5 and 11, it mentions God delivering up the Israelites (maybe us) for doing what is evil. In the end, a woman (Judith) saves them. Since our men are doing little, I look forward to, one day, a woman doing something.
Real men, where have you gone? At least EWTN is reaching the world with sound Catholic teachings that are not being heard from the pulpit. Is it a coincidence that EWTN was founded by a woman?
Flower Mound, Texas
Thank you for your article on silent prayer, "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" (Culture of Life, April 7 issue).
It may be instructive to note that the name of God, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH), is silence itself; its pronunciation is silence (pronounceable silence), for it silences the tongue and heart and leaves one in the awesome presence of God.
I would encourage all to speak his (silent) name in deep, prayerful reverence. God bless!
Your article on the search for an acceptable U.S. ambassador to the Vatican ("Serving God and Country," Nation, April 7 issue) neglected to mention Catholic University of America professor Stephen Schneck’s co-chairmanship of "Catholics for Obama."
His 2012 attempt to ingratiate himself with the administration seemed to follow the 2008 game plan of Doug Kmiec — equally unsuccessfully. The Vatican is evidently not taking Schneck.
This is significant, and not without a lesson, because Schneck’s disingenuous efforts for Obama contributed to the division and confusion among American Catholic voters during the election campaign.
The result, sadly, was the support at the polls for our strongly pro-abortion president by a majority of our uninformed American Catholics.
The nation’s secular media should take careful note of marvelously detailed contributions on volatile subjects in the Register’s April 21 edition. Both appeared, with admirable detail, on its front page.
One story by correspondent Brian Fraga involved the arrogant attempt by the Obama administration to undermine our country’s religious liberty via the Health and Human Services Department by means of its not-very-subtle attempt to bring the Catholic Church and other religious groups to heel through its contraception "mandate."
Let’s face it: This was an effort by the White House and HHS to bring all religious believers under federal government control.
The other piece was a superb interview by Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond with Courage’s director, Father Paul Check, over an increasing national push for the "marriage" of two men or two women to each other.
Despite some obvious questions and the dangers to our society it raised, at no point was the reader invited to look down at the personhood of anyone who felt a same-sex attraction, which often poses a mystery to them. The danger posed by same-sex "marriage" is that it trivializes marriages under its traditional definition and the problems that it would pose for American society at large.
My unabashed compliments to both Brian and Joan — and to the Register — for their superb work on these complicated subjects. Keep up your admirable efforts.
St. Louis, Missouri
Catholic Truth Proclaimed
Regarding "Bishop Vasa Stands Up for Catholic Identity" (March 7, NCRegister.com; and March 24 issue): What an uplifting article for aspiring teachers for the faith of Christ!
In recent events, my encounters with Catholic schools for interviews for teaching positions have led me to wonder where Catholic education is going in the midst of a culture that has led many to undermine the quality of the formation of young people to defend the faith in all of its fullness.
Much is needed to redirect the hearts and minds of educators today to bring to reality the awesome splendor of the magisterium of the Church. We are in dire need of young and vibrant educators who are willing to defend the faith with a great zeal to form in the young the ultimate truth of what it means to be truly Catholic.
We are in a generation that constantly bombards us with new media and technology, which can lead us astray from the voice of the Shepherd.
Bishop Vasa’s effort to renew our understanding of Catholic education revitalizes my faith — knowing full well that, as a teacher called to live my faith in its fullness, I will be a witness of truth that speaks louder than all the words I can say in the classroom because it is also lived fully in my personal life.
Thank you, Bishop Vasa, for your shepherding — and we love you.
Also, regarding "Christlike Love of Same-Sex-Attracted Persons: A Timely Reminder" (March 26, NCRegister.com):
"First and foremost, every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God, who, in Jesus Christ, reveals his transforming love and truth" (Spe Salvi, 4).
In the midst of a culture that degrades the very dignity of man, it is vital that we place Christ back in the center.
In this dilemma, we are faced with how to counteract the confusion that can lead children to wonder if there is objective Truth at all — when society continues to condone behavior that contradicts the very dignity of man as an image and likeness of God.
Does accepting families who live a disordered lifestyle mean that Catholic schools condone this behavior? It certainly is confusing. Christ calls all of us to respond with generosity towards those who are ill, so that they may "encounter the living God, who, in Jesus Christ, reveals his transforming love and truth."
Dialogue is necessary for healing, as well as much prayer and fasting for the conversion of those who have been lied to about their very essence as man and woman: the essence to know the dignity he or she has as a child of God. All of us are in need of his Divine Mercy, Divine Mercy that breaks through the hardness of man, so that Christ can work freely through the soul for a complete regeneration of new life.
The hardened heart can only be softened by the Truth that essentially will set man free from his own indignity of living by putting Christ first. The same is true with Catholic schools: Fortified by the Truth and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, they can proclaim it even in the midst of a culture that contradicts their very existence.
We must not give in to a false sentimentality that allows families to continue to live in this indignity. But we must teach the Truth in compassion and charity.
Meryl Viola Bravo
San Bernardino, California
Editor’s note: Bishop Vasa, after conferring at length with school administrators and officials, announced March 19 that implementation of the proposed contract addendum for Catholic teachers and principals — in which the diocesan educators are acknowledged as "ministerial agents of the bishop" and reject the intrinsic evils of abortion, contraception, homosexual "marriage," euthanasia and other issues inconsistent with Church teaching — would take place in the spring of 2015 after a period of catechesis called a Diocesan Catechetical Enterprise.