Speech and Action

Relevant to the U.S. bishops’ upcoming statement on the scourge of pornography:

British Prime Minister David Cameron is presently taking actions designed to shut down the freedom of those committing horrifically unacceptable atrocities dealing with child pornography and sexual violence against women.

For this, he should be unquestionably commended. However, those furthering the cause of freedom of speech have a problem. They do not see the difference between freedom of speech and freedom of action. The freedom of speech is one thing, and freedom of action is quite another. And Prime Minister Cameron is proving that point.

The freedom-of-speech argument simply has no place in the debate. It should be noted, also, that the freedom-of-speech enthusiasts offer no answer to the problem and are interfering with someone who is seeking an answer.

Robert J. Byrne

Waukegan, Illinois


In the Translation

Pertinent to "Liturgical Renewal, 50 Years Later" (In Depth, Dec. 1 issue):

Some of the changes that came after Vatican II weren’t caused by Vatican II. For instance, in Latin, the current Collect for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time is the same as the old Collect for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost. The Father Lasance Missal that my grandmother gave to my father for Christmas 1943 read:

"Almighty and merciful God, in thy loving kindness, do thou keep us from all things that war against us, that, being unhampered alike in soul and body, we may with free minds perform the works that are thine."

And with the original ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) translation of that, we got this "dynamic equivalent" of that opening prayer:

"God of power and mercy, protect us from all harm. Give us freedom of spirit and health in mind and body to do your work on earth."

You can see why people got the idea that things were changed and missed the "old" Collect. But with the 2010 translation we get:

"Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours."

As far as I can tell, the new translation is even closer to the Latin than the Father Lasance translation.

Don Schenk

Allentown, Pennsylvania



Has our engagement made us collaborators?

We hear often from our Church leaders, "We must engage the world." Recent articles in this newspaper, as well as the bishops’ website, contain such sentiment. The Church’s mission has always been to engage the culture and be its salt, light and leaven.

Shouldn’t we ask: How has this engagement with the culture been working these past 50-60 years? Are we the only ones who see that the opposite has happened? The culture has infiltrated the Church to such a degree that it is being destroyed. What will we say to the thousands of Catholic saints who were executed rather than put a pinch of incense on the emperor’s altar?

Prominent Catholics say that homosexuality is okay, marriage is not necessary and abortion is a right. Not only is the Church not calling them out, but her silence is telling the rest of us that it is okay.

At a minimum, shouldn’t the Church teach her own why her beliefs are correct and those of the secular (pagan) culture are wrong? When was the last time you heard a homily about contraception, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality and why Catholic marriage should be sacred? For most of us, the answer is never.

On health care alone, the "engagement" of the Catholic Church in politics is directly responsible for the Obamacare law that promises to be the destruction of our nation.

Our small company has to make the decision to accept the evil in the health-care plans that we are offered or drop health insurance for all our employees, one of whom has cancer. We were all lied to, and yet did our bishops learn anything? We don’t think so.

The USCCB website (USCCB.org) prominently rails for us to pass another deeply flawed law on immigration — and Catholics re-elected our anti-Catholic administration while Catholic bishops practiced "engagement."

No doubt our society needs reforming, but doesn’t it matter who is in charge and what the reforms cause?

It is long overdue that we separate ourselves from the evil in our secular society. We cannot compromise with or collaborate with evil. If the Boy Scouts are teaching immorality, don’t support or join the Boy Scouts. If government grants lead us to hire people who don’t share our beliefs, stop the government grants.

Did we sympathize with Nazis who said in 1945, "It wasn’t our fault; what could we do? We were ordered to do it." No, we did not sympathize! We called them "traitors and collaborators."

Michael and Lou Ann Kilmer

Wyalusing, Pennsylvania