National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 03.22.2009

BY The Editors

March 22-28, 2009 Issue | Posted 3/13/09 at 11:41 AM

 

In the Right Direction

I wish to comment on Aaron Miller’s letter to the editor, “More Than Crucifixes” (March 8).

While Mr. Miller is clearly pleased — as am I — that the Jesuit-run Boston College finally restored Our Lord on his cross to every single classroom after decades of disuse, he remains disillusioned for fear that such sacramentals will quickly be reduced to “Catholic wallpaper.”

I, too, share his concern, especially if we should later learn that BC officials failed to bless such crucifixes before hanging them upon their classroom walls. Nonetheless, the fact that Our Lord’s holy cross is even restored at all is a step — if only a baby step — in the right direction. Here are some reasons why:

First of all, and most obvious of all, God who created the whole world from nothing — including the ground atop which Boston College now sits — has an absolute right to be there.

Secondly, in as much as Our Lord would have consented to become man and undergo his passion if only to save one soul, so too Our Lord is pleased even if his cross inspires contrition and love in the hearts of the few instead of the many.

Thirdly, Aaron Miller sees this only from a Christian perspective. From the perspective of the enemies who have infiltrated our Catholic colleges and universities these many years, they can’t stand it! They would rather have a giant black and red spider crawling around on the wall than a crucifix.

Finally, crucifixes establish an institution as clearly Catholic and not secular. In the past, Boston College has earned a reputation of being secular. Yet, now that BC has restored the crucifix to its classroom walls, more moderate universities such as Villanova and St. Bonaventure will be encouraged to follow.

In fact, now that the cross has been restored to its rightful place at Boston College, I would not be surprised if Catholic college officials in such places as Front Royal, Va., and Steubenville, Ohio, are double-checking all their classrooms to make sure that not one of them lacks a crucifix.

Robert Dow

Red Bank, New Jersey


Anti-Life Bailout

Regarding “The Abortion President” (Daily Blog, March 9), isn’t it ironic, tragically ironic, that the country’s first black president should be our first commander in chief to condone, encourage and facilitate black genocide? For, on Jan. 23, 2009, only three days after taking office, Barack Obama signed an executive order that enables the killing of unborn black babies by abortion in Third World countries (reversing the Mexico City Policy).

More tragic is Obama’s bailing out foreign abortion businesses during our country’s current economic crisis. (Even pro-abortion taxpayers should object to this.) For this fiscally and morally irresponsible action of our new president robs millions of Americans of their money and the most helpless members of our human family of their most precious right: their inalienable right to continue to live their lives inside and outside of their mothers’ wombs.

How does the disbursement of millions of American tax dollars to kill millions of innocent, defenseless unborn children abroad help millions of deprived, unemployed, undernourished Americans at home? This is complete madness.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Marian Anderson, Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers and all of the other real black civil rights icons (who fought and died for the freedom of and justice for all human beings, born and unborn) must be rolling over in their graves.

Would it not be more humane and appropriate for our first black president, whose own people were discriminated against and dehumanized, to do something positive for another class of human beings who have been dehumanized — the innocent unborn — by promoting and pushing for the passage of the Right to Life Act that would guarantee legal right-to-life protection to all human beings, born and unborn?

If President Obama should succeed in getting this kind of legislation passed, he would go down in history alongside President Lincoln.

Richard Carey

Needham, Massachusetts


Tiptoeing Over Truth

Professor Paul Kengor in his article “D.C.’s Double Standard on Bishops” (March 8) undrapes the thunderous storm approaching, a veritable tsunami of carnage targeting innocent human beings, exercised by the ugly abuse of power in the name of freedom and choice. From day to day, it has become clearer to me that various Catholics contorted the U.S. Catholic bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” by nimbly tiptoeing over the essential truths and teachings, while selectively assembling a satisfying rationale for voting for Obama.

The instant replay goes something like this:

• “A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility towards the common good” (30). Thus, abortion is one of many issues such as unjust war, poverty and global warming that molest the common good and deserve to be opposed.

• “A voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity” (34). Thus, I have an obligation to merge a variety of social issues into my decision-making, giving a fair hearing to each issue.

• “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons” (35). Thus, poverty, health care and green energy are grave matters to me, so I cast my vote for Obama, even though I do not intend my vote to support or affirm his radical pro-abortion agenda.

• “As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support” (42). Thus, having formed my conscience, I feel led to vote for Obama.

Result: An astounding crowd votes in favor of Obama, consoled by their ability to reconcile the Church’s teaching with their personal sense of social justice.

Or, put another way, inexpert self-deception.

The misuse of reason and muddled thinking underscores the penalty we continue to pay for the failure of Catholic catechesis in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council: Unschooled in the faith and ill-equipped to assemble a cohesive, substantive, logical understanding of the holy faith has led us to this breakdown.

 Timothy J.A. O’Donnell

Fishers, Indiana


Thought-Provoking TV

The Catholic League needs to find a new critic (“Priests Stereotyped,” March 8). The episode of “House” that featured a priest as the focus of the story was one of the best episodes of the year.

The writers portrayed an honorable priest who had been abandoned by his Church. Anyone who viewed this show and did not have compassion for him (and others like him) is, in the words of Dr. House, a “moron.”

This priest had a very positive effect on the normally godless Dr. House, and the doctor had a very positive effect on our poor priest. Anyone who thinks that this situation is unreal, made up or just done to vilify the Church is living with his or her head in the sand. This episode made me sad for the priest, but made me proud that we still have such courageous priests, who, while being deserted by bishops, continue on to do God’s will. I encourage all to see this episode for themselves.

Pete Pumphrey

Evans City, Pennsylvania


Octomom and Life

In regard to Nadya Suleman (“The Church Looks at Octomom,” March 15): Those who are blasting Suleman are concocting “moral outrage” and “reasonable-sounding ‘reasons.’” What they’re really angry at is that she dared to affirm life, refused abortion to reduce numbers, and dared to say, “These are my children.” She refused to let them die in a freezer or throw them out. She committed the “liberal ‘heresy’” of not accepting 100% of their totalistic “line” without question. (Totalism is the all-or-nothing approach to “right thinking” used by communists, Nazis, fascists, and, yes, liberals; no dissent is allowed.)

What I’m hearing are mass-manipulated news people as spokespersons for the liberal “cult” of abortion and homosexuality attempting to use moral principles to bash someone who acted morally. 

Mary Kathryn

HermitsSkeet.motime.com


Getting Back on Track

In regard to several of your online blog posts and “Pelosi and the Pope” (March 1) about the Pope’s meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I believe we need to do an educational pedigree of Mrs. Pelosi and the other Catholic members of Congress.

The universities need to be held morally and financially accountable for this breach of trust. I say this with tears, loving all of my Catholic universities.

Mrs. Pelosi, Sen. Ted Kennedy and others were left with a confused, unorthodox conscience as a result of the promised (but not delivered) “good Catholic education.”

The question now becomes: How do we get past the “invincible ignorance” created in these legislators by a bad moral formation in Catholic colleges and get them back on track? 

It will take a miracle of grace to get our Catholic legislators back on track — so let’s pray for it without letting up.

Kathryn R. Schutz

Bartlesville, Oklahoma


Stark Sanctuary

The photo of the interior of the cathedral used in “The Gift of Beauty” (Feb. 22), where a black grand piano adorns — smack center — its stark sanctuary, might be a better choice for the next time you run an article such as “Why Our Children Are No Longer Catholic.”

Laura K. Girard

Herndon, Virginia