Regarding your story "Catholic, Pro-Life Groups Targeted by IRS" (page one, June 2 issue): I feel my story should be told for the common good, along with those that come from groups and organizations.
I am a Catholic priest in good standing and a member of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn. I am 87 years old and retired for age and health reasons. I was ordained on June 2, 1951, and am now the second-longest ordained priest still living in our diocese. I have served in 10 parishes in the past 62 years and have held a few other positions in our diocese.
Since this letter is about my treatment by the Internal Revenue Service as an individual and not as a corporation or officer of any such, it shows that even individuals are targeted by the IRS. This is about the fourth or fifth year that I have been harassed by the IRS.
In the past, I merely took the IRS letters to my CPA, and that ended it for another year.
In early February 2013, I filed for this year. About six weeks ago, I received a threatening letter from the IRS demanding a bit more than $1,400, along with threats of fines and/or imprisonment. I turned these over to my CPA.
Last week, I got another letter from the IRS, not clarifying anything, but insinuating that the search was still going on and that I would hear more from them.
So, what are and what have been my finances?
The most costly thing I have ever owned is my car, which was expected to enable me to do my parish work. I currently have a 1995 Ford Taurus. I have never owned any investments, stocks, bonds or whatever, or even understood any of that sort of thing.
My finances today are my diocesan pension, Social Security, funeral fund and interest on savings. It takes all of my pension plus most of my Social Security just to pay my rent, which increases on July 1 every year. The interest on my funeral fund and savings amounts to only pennies for the year.
My remaining amount after paying rent goes for medical expenses, food, insurance, auto, charities, etc. I do not belong to nor have ever belonged to any political party.
When I get requests from some of them seeking funds, I write back that I am not a party member, although I might answer their questions on political and social subjects.
I write frequent letters to the local editor and put various stickers on the outside of the envelopes for the benefit of curious postal handlers.
Apparently, this is why I am targeted. Or is it for being Catholic, a Knight of Columbus or other persona non grata to the powers that be in Washington and the IRS?
Father Richard Partika
Six Degrees of Marriage
Relevant to your coverage of the redefinition of marriage in the United States:
Recently, former New Hampshire Congressman Charles Bass warned fellow Republicans that they risk being "on the wrong side of history" if they continue to support the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). There are at least six reasons why it is actually Bass and the proponents of "gay marriage" who will actually end up being "on the wrong side of history":
- In more than 4,000 years of recorded history, no society up to the present has ever considered that two men or two women could marry.
- No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court or any court rules, it will remain a biological fact that sexual intercourse is possible only between a male and a female.
- There is no natural means for two people of the same sex to propagate future generations.
- The necessary complementarity of the sexes extends beyond the physical and includes the psychological and spiritual.
- At some point, society will again become rational, since we are rational beings. (Consider for example that in today’s irrational society a woman might feel sorry if she accidentally killed a squirrel and yet see nothing wrong with killing an unborn child.)
Love is intolerant of falsehood because it is eternal. People who advocate for same-sex "marriage" are showing a mistaken form of love because they are not showing concern for the persons’ immortal fulfillment as masculine or feminine persons.
Sister Mary Rose Reddy, DMML
Rochester, New Hampshire
I had bought some of your "Guide to the Rosary" years ago when they first came out.
I’ve been looking on your website to see how to get more, and I was also hoping that you would have PDFs of the guides available for download.
Would you consider making them available for download like the other guides?
The editor responds: Thank you for your great suggestion. Yes, we will consider it.
The Train Has Left
Pertinent to "Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Homosexual Youth" (page one, June 16 issue):
When the Boy Scouts of America announced their acceptance of openly homosexual boys and young men as scouts, we were assured by those responsible that the acceptance of openly homosexual men as troop leaders and a more homosexual-friendly Scouting magazine and Handbook are not far behind.
Any sexual activity outside the bonds of matrimony is a deadly or mortal sin, in that it is a serious rejection of God’s love and the teaching of his Church.
Homosexual sexual activity and the lifestyle it portends is an especially heinous and sinful practice that is both difficult to leave and particularly dangerous to boys and young men experiencing sexual awareness.
That the Catholic Church in the United States did not immediately ban scout troops from each parish and advise all Catholic fathers and their sons of the danger involved in associations with openly homosexual boys and men is stunning. That Catholic fathers are quiet is most likely a barometer of their own faith and their sensitivity to peer pressure.
Instead, when asked, parish leaders warble about how "loving" all persons is somehow a palliative or excuse for exposing Catholic boys and young men to this dangerous and serious sin — or how "good" scouting is or how "nice" troop leader Jones is.
Some dioceses have even announced Catholic scout "committees" to "study" the issue. The silence from pulpits and from Intercession Requests during Sunday and daily Masses is deafening. Fundraisers and camporee plans are going forward unabated.
So Catholic boys and young men see that all that "sin" stuff isn’t really such a big deal. If the troop stays in the church basement, if Father never mentions it, and if Dad doesn’t say anything … what’s the big deal? What difference does it make? Anyway, Mom and Dad have told other adults how they still support politicians who support other big sins, so this must be no different. And if they have to "study" it, there must be something I don’t understand that could make it okay to go along with it.
Do you think I exaggerate? Wasn’t it Catholic clergy, lay leaders’ and fathers’ indifference largely what contributed to Catholics believing that birth control was okay in the 1970s? Other examples of this can be found in the acceptance of relativism and homosexuality.
Now, we show our young men that, once again, sin isn’t so bad. And, who knows: If you study it enough and "love" enough, then you may soon enough come to support it, vote for those who implement it, send off your sons to places where it is "open" and maybe even try it yourself. Abortion, same-sex sex, same-sex "marriage," same-sex exposure and instructions to the young are all a seamless garment of sin that Catholics have no business supporting.
The train has left: Our sons and daughters have seen something in the past weeks that they will never forget and that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Don’t blame the schools or the country or the law or the media. Blame yourself for not speaking up boldly and courageously before this latest train just left the station.
An absolute and unhesitating response 24 hours after the BSA announcement would have been something our sons and daughters would have remembered and pointed to for the rest of their lives.
Instead, we have just dug a deeper hole for succeeding generations to try and hide in.