BY The Editors
October 11-17, 2009 Issue | Posted 10/2/09 at 3:09 PM
I can hardly believe I am reading what has happened to me for the past 20 years.
Melinda Selmys has her finger on the pulse of exactly the daily obstacles we face in regard to our faith (“The Center Cannot Hold,” Sept. 20).
I am a writer/actress, and my sister is the director of a museum in Miami Beach, Fla. For years, I have sought my beloved (God) in art, but have found only confusion dressed up in aesthetics — the postmodernist response to modernism.
Even as a student at Boston College, I walked around campus in a postmodernist haze — Sartre, Marx, Nietzsche and Beckett swirling around me, mocking Truth. Why weren’t the Gospels more prominent at BC?
Regarding “Reform: Health or Harm?” (Sept. 27):
President Obama has shown a lack of ingenuity by copying the “40 Days for Life Prayer Campaign” with his own version of “prayer” — “40 Days for Health Reform.”
The similarities are remarkable. Take a look at 40DaysforLife.com and FaithinPublicLife.org and see for yourself. The one major difference is “40 Days for Life” is asking people to pray for an end to abortion and “40 Days for Health Reform” is asking people to pray for health-care coverage that will pay doctors to perform abortions.
On July 31, the Capps amendment, which explicitly states abortion will be funded in some health-care plans, was passed. It is amazing how good people can be duped into paying for something they would never want.
A woman’s choice to abort her child stands in complete opposition to God’s choice to create new life.
Yorba Linda, California
Regarding the editorial “We Cannot Live Without Sunday” (Sept. 20):
Keeping the Sabbath holy means that the Lord’s Day should be marked from beginning to end by grateful and active remembrance of God’s saving work. Sunday is the day of rediscovering the true nature and deep roots of joy. This joy should never be confused with shallow feelings of satisfaction and pleasure, which, as in the case of football and other sports, inebriate the senses and emotions for a brief moment, but then leave the heart unfulfilled and perhaps even embittered.
In the Christian view, joy is more enduring and consoling. It leads to a more intense time of sharing and encouraging all the inventiveness of which Christian charity is capable.
As a day of rest, Sunday is a day in which we are called to withdraw from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew our awareness that everything is the work of God. In this way, Sunday becomes the soul of the other days so that the perfect Christian is, in a sense, always in the Lord’s Day.
Bishops Condone Sin
The Sept. 13 issue of the Register contains an article entitled “N.J. Bishops Defend Marriage.”
From the list of bishops that signed the letter, it appears to be the same group of hierarchy that favored the current Civil Union Law in New Jersey granting homosexual partners the same rights as heterosexual couples who are legally married.
Since the bishops of New Jersey have already condoned couples living in a relationship where acts of sodomy may be tolerated, why are they pretending to be concerned about same-sex “mar-riage”? When did the Roman Catholic Church accept sodomy as an acceptable practice?
Genesis 16 clearly relates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah due its inhabitants practicing the sins associated with homosexuality. When can we expect our shepherds to truly lead us in teaching our true faith and morals?
James B. Keating
Belmar, New Jersey
Kennedy and Hyde
I admit I am conflicted about “Edward Kennedy’s Catholic Legacy” (Sept. 6). On Aug. 29, the annual Peoria Diocese (Ill.) meeting of parish pro-life representatives was held. The day began with 9 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church in Peoria with Bishop Daniel Jenky as the main celebrant. During his encouraging homily, Bishop Jenky made the statement: “You can’t be both Catholic and pro-abortion.”
At that very moment, preparations were under way in Boston for a Mass of Christian Burial for the late Sen. Kennedy, D-Mass. Kennedy was known for his adamant support of nonnegotiable moral issues opposed by the Church (abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and homosexual and lesbian “marriage”).
Attending the funeral were such noted “practicing” Catholics as Vice President Joseph Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., both of whom support the aforementioned nonnegotiable issues.
That Sunday, we prayed for Kennedy at our parish Mass. I don’t recall any prayers at our parish for Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., at his passing. Hyde (1924-2007) was a strong, courageous pro-life advocate.
Is it any wonder that we have a spiritual crisis in our Church today when clear moral teachings are articulated by the hierarchy but are ignored in practice?
Relevant to “A Natural (Law) Communicator” (Sept. 27):
President George H. W. Bush admitted that he was not good at “the vision thing.” But in President Barack Obama we have an eloquently gifted man with a strong “vision” for a future United States who has surrounded himself with aides similarly directed and Chicago-trained to “not let a good crisis go to waste.” They work for a man with a vision of a “new” United States, one of global leadership and massive central government controlling in areas constitutionally off limits, one who has a messianic complex about his role in reconstituting these United States, thus explaining why a president would risk the financial stability of the United States in seeking to complete a self-defined mission.
Obama has a mission to recast the United States from “a voice of the people” to a directive from the government. How else can one explain the appointment of so many White House “czars,” officials given power by presidential appointment rather than through the electoral process or senatorial approval?
The Bill of Rights, Amendment X, states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution lists the executive’s responsibilities to specific areas. Nowhere is found the White House authority to fire a private company’s CEO, to “own” an automobile company, nor decide whether the amount of executive pay within a company is appropriate.
This is a man who campaigned for “change.” Now he governs to change — to the detriment of this representative democracy.
Change is a promise he has kept — but in ways that we will regret.
William F. Brennan
Las Vegas, Nevada
Home Sweet Home
Relevant to “Church Awaits Word on Liturgical Reform” (Sept. 20):
For the past year, I have been driving 32 miles to attend the traditional Latin Mass each Sunday, and I am being treated to a veritable feast.
Added to the liturgy are the sight of most females wearing head covers, the personal missals are in much evidence, the decorum is as reverent as anything I remember from the years before my 40-year exile among Pentecostals, and the aroma of sanctified incense wafting heavenward all tell me I am home, truly home.
J. Norman Sayles
My Sister’s Keeper/Kindle
Relevant to “Kindling the Fires of Faith” (Aug. 23): My daughter bought me a Kindle, and so far I have downloaded Butler’s Lives of the Saints, The Douay-Rheims Bible and several about or written by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
The best part: It doesn’t take up room on your bookshelves, and you can always read one of these anywhere you go.
On the other hand, I was disappointed with the review of My Sister’s Keeper (“Bioethical Tearjerker Misses the Story,” Aug. 23). Joan Desmond should have read the book first. It would have answered a lot of her questions. I haven’t seen the movie, but I understand that they have done a “Hollywood version” of it, and it didn’t have the depth that the book had.
Content on Kindle
Regarding “Kindling the Fires of Faith” (Aug. 23): I too am a Kindle user and made my purchase in large part due to the ability to have a Catholic library in one small package and already have Aquinas, Chesterton, Sheen, The Roman Catechism (from the Council of Trent), Haydock Bible commentaries, Douay-Rheims Bible etc.
Unfortunately, two important elements remain missing: a good modern Catholic Bible (NAB, New Jerusalem) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It’s very disappointing that these are not available, and I have even written to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about this and have received no response. A Catholic “library” can’t be sufficient without these volumes.
Bruce J. Lull
Buffalo, New York
With regard to your hope for an appropriate Lenten Message to Catholics from President Obama (“Obama’s Ramadan Message,” Daily Blog, Aug. 21), I would say just one thing: Don’t hold your breath.
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