Letter 04.05.15

No-Strings Social Justice

In response to “‘Seamless’ Argument” (Letters to the Editor, March 8 issue): I, too, believe abortion is murder, but do you realize the Affordable Care Act actually demands that taxpayers fund abortion? If insurance is provided for the poor, it’s because taxpayers are supporting it. Thousands of already-insured people are paying higher premiums, with higher deductibles, than they were before, partially because of the one-size-fits-all plan (i.e. near-retirement people paying for maternity coverage; single men paying for obstetric care; young families paying for sex-change procedures, etc.).

It is very frustrating when Washington insiders award themselves benefits while putting the squeeze on us. Wage increases are not the incentive needed to reduce the abortion rate — morality, self-control and the presence of God in their lives are. I believe this is the part the Church has to play in this dilemma — definitely not the political scene. 

The minimum-wage controversy must be studied for cause and effect. All businesses must clear a percentage of profit, or else close their doors. If all employees came with a “can-do” attitude, always showed up when expected, were willing to learn, treated customers with courtesy and even made an effort to improve their own work performance, the wages they receive would most likely increase without a law put into effect, but, unfortunately, this is not the case. We all should realize by now that social justice performed by any government is always to gain power in some manner. The social justice Jesus taught and performed was a projection of his intense love for us.

         Susan Sisson

         Ainsworth, Nebraska

 

Prayer and Fidelity

Joan Frawley Desmond’s article of Feb. 8 (“Religious Orders Deal With Sexual Offenders in Their Ranks”) regarding the handling of sexual offenders by religious orders was highly informative. But the untold story of this sad moment in our Church history is how the tens of thousands of Catholic priests, in our country alone, held up under the pressure of such a burden.

The huge majority of priests who continued to follow their daily spiritual regimen — offering the Eucharist, counseling their parishioners, administering the sacraments and contending with the bitter vituperations hurled from the media on a daily basis — demonstrates the strength and deeply spiritual nature of the priesthood.

Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit was certainly at work lifting up and inspiring these men every hour of the day. Without great support from any faction, the work of the Church continued uninterruptedly. The broad brush of condemnation that was so visible could not effect or diminish the work of spreading the Gospel.

The extremely small number of men who violated their ordination promises certainly did not represent the vastly larger number of faith-filled men of the Eucharist. Yet all suffered for the sins of the few.

But so many of the innocent voluntarily offered penance and prayer in reparation for those few violations of the trust Christ places in his priests. In all of this, the Church and the priesthood has grown stronger and even more committed to doing the work of the Lord in a broken world. What a great demonstration of what prayer and fidelity can do in facing down the powers of darkness that seem to be enveloping our society in a myriad of different ways.

The untold story is how God has blessed his priests with an inner strength that enables them to keep the ship of the Church afloat and moving forward, no matter how great the storm becomes. May God continue to bless these wonderful priests and carry them forward in the great task of building a more faith-filled world.

         Father John Vondras

         Newburgh, New York

 

Pray for Unity

I have been a serious Roman Catholic all of my life, but my attention has recently been transferred to the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church.

I am an ecumenist, dedicated to the reuniting of the Eastern and Western branches of Catholicism, e.g., the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, and the ending of the Great Schism of 1054 A.D.

I have become fully aware that my Roman Catholic bishops, pastors and clergy (at least in my Archdiocese of New York) are not occupied with giving attention to reuniting the apostolic Churches and are not speaking of such matters from the pulpit or in the diocesan press.

Nor are these bishops and clergy educating the faithful about the Eastern branches of the Catholic Church, which, at least in tradition and ideology, are related to the Orthodox and their liturgies.

I am joyful that high-level talks are going on between Pope Francis and representatives of the Orthodox Churches. I believe that these talks will eventually lead to reuniting the Churches and holy unity.

Why aren’t the pastors of the Roman Catholic churches, our bishops, our cardinals and the Catholic press talking about the coming together of the Churches?

Recently, someone in church asked me: Who is the holy Theotokos? Why should that be? Why do we keep the Eastern Catholic Churches so separate from the Roman Catholic Church, so that each does not know the other exists?

Let us pray for the reunification of Eastern and Western Catholicism and not regard the Eastern Churches as “not one of us.”

         Peter D. Aglione

         Hawthorne, New York

 

Corrections

The advisory accompanying the Register’s review of the film St. Vincent in the March 8 issue should have stated that the film was for adults.

The March 8 In Person interview (“Father Serra, the Synod and Sanctity”) incorrectly stated that Archbishop Jose Gomez is the chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration. He is the former chairman; the current chairman is Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle.

In “Defender of Church Teaching or ‘Homophobe’?” (March 22) the email address for Marquette’s president was incorrect. It is [email protected] (not .com). The Register regrets the errors.