Letters 05.31.15

Lead by Example

Regarding the Register’s immigration coverage and how it relates to the U.S. bishops:

Our bishops’ attitudes seem to come from someplace beyond reality. If they really want us to take in any and all and take care of all their needs, then every bishop should open his home and take in a dozen people or so, feed them, clothe them, insure them and educate them. Pope Francis recently asked the new cardinals to reach out to the marginalized. Let them lead by example, from the top.

         Anne Marie Slattery

         Charlevoix, Michigan


Register ‘Complaint’

I have a bone to pick with the National Catholic Register. This publication is severely interfering with my productivity. Every single article grabs my attention and focus in such a complete way that I am neglecting other tasks. But seriously, thank you. I have never received a publication that is so thoroughly engaging.

EWTN, via broadcast, print and electronic media, is providing the faithful a desperately needed beacon toward the Word, the Truth! I am sincerely grateful to Mother Angelica and to you all for your “Yes,” and I praise God for calling you! Now, on to the Culture of Life section — the dishes can wait!

         MJ Kurdys

         Westfield, Indiana


Judicial Domination

Relative to the Register’s coverage on same-sex “marriage”:

The relationship between God and man didn’t end with publication of the Bible. It’s in newspapers, encyclicals, all media and in every human life.

This chronicle begins with a baker whose customers were free to purchase any goods and services the baker offered. Two male customers wanted a special same-sex “wedding” cake; but it wasn’t a service the baker offered to anyone — so he declined. A judge ruled that the baker did not have the right to say, “No,” but should have acceded to the demand of the two men.

Will blind, obedient servitude be mandated for other businesses — or for priests and ministers even though they don’t offer or perform same-sex services? Judicial domination in state after state nullifies voter rejection of deviant sodomy and same-sex “marriage.” Business owners aren’t allowed to say, “No” to mandates demanding provision of feminist contraception and abortion services.

God gave humans a faculty of the mind called free-will choice — of good or bad, of Yes or No. Anyone who takes away human freedom to say, “No” is exercising domination and supremacy — imposing servitude.

         Ruth Ruhl-LaMusga

         Chico, California


Educational Shortfall

Regarding the article “Archbishop Holds Firm on Teacher Contracts” (page one, March 8 issue):

The furor over Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco regarding his recent proposals to teacher contracts prompted Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, Calif., to comment, “We have a poorly catechized Catholic population, and we are much more permeated by our secular culture than we even realize.”

Yet no one is asking a critical question: Why are Catholics poorly catechized, and how do we fix that?

My experiences as a parent and as a teacher in a Catholic elementary school proved to me that most catechetical materials in use for years now have led to a dumbing down and, in essence, an undermining and trivialization of the faith. Students and their poorly catechized parents often receive basically what I call a “loving, caring, sharing” approach to the faith — without the full body of truths of the Catholic Church.

In many cases, the result is “Catholics” who support abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage,” embryonic stem-cell research, etc. — and who also vote for politicians who legalize these activities.

I urge a return to the Catechism as the primary catechetical source for all Catholic schools and religious-education programs. Even though the Baltimore Catechism was successful, it was discarded for use in the late 1960s, following the Second Vatican Council. Other teaching materials since Vatican II have not succeeded in proper catechesis. My experience using the St. Joseph Revised Baltimore Catechism confirms that this is the best approach to teach students and their parents who work with them.

The Catechism has:

  • clear, complete, concise statements of the truths of the faith,
  •  Q-and-A format for easy retention of material,
  • discussion questions,
  •  Scripture readings for biblical authority for the truths,
  •  reinforcement exercises and projects; and
  •  prayers and additional resources.

The comprehensive set of three booklets is divided into grade levels, and the materials are used over an eight-year period, so they are also very cost-effective.

I urge all bishops to return to what worked, namely the Catechism, for all students in Catholic elementary schools and religious-education programs.

         Marion Smyth

         Finksburg, Maryland


Two Takes on Social Justice

Re: Nick Wineriter letter: I, too, believe abortion is murder, but do you realize the Affordable Care Act actually demands 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, but I have a question: Since Democrats sympathize with the common citizen, it would have spoken volumes if some or all of them had refused those “perks,” or at least the increase they received. How many did?

Wage increases are not the incentive needed to reduce the abortion rate; morality, self-control and presence of God in their lives are needed. 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 the 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.

This mandated raise could possibly cause a new, untrained employee to be dismissed, a reluctance to hire additional people and closure of a business with a very narrow margin.

In most cases, the wages received are determined by the productivity and dependability of the employee and the availability of competent personnel in the area of expertise, etc. However, on the other hand, groceries, hardware, restaurant menus, etc. would have increasing prices. Essentially more would be received in wages, but more would be required for living expenses — pretty much a wash.

The social justice performed by any government is always to gain power, in some manner. The social justice Jesus taught and performed was projections of his intense love for us.

         Susan Sisson

         Ainsworth, Nebraska


Hierarchy of Values

Nick Wineriter calls himself a pro-life Democrat who is not a one-issue voter (Letters, March 8 issue). I am not a one-issue voter either.

He asks, “How can anyone vote Republican when their platform is against raising the minimum wage?” Raising the minimum wage may put people out of work.

He is for the Affordable Care Act, under which millions of Americans lose their current health plans or end up paying more money. More importantly, the Affordable Care Act includes abortion coverage.

Whether a Catholic calls himself a Democrat or Republican, he should vote based on a hierarchy of values. First and foremost is the right to life. Without life, the other rights are meaningless. Furthermore, I would not trust a politician who is for the killing of unborn babies.

         Joel Fago

         Hereford, Arizona



In the May 17 issue of the Register, our story on Archbishop Oscar Romero (“Archbishop Romero and Liberation Theology”) incorrectly stated the archbishop was assassinated in the cathedral in San Salvador in 1980. He was shot and killed in a hospital chapel. In the same issue, “Building a Culture for Christ” (Education) incorrectly listed Pope St. John Paul II’s birthday. It is May 18. The Register regrets the errors.

Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 17, 2014.

Recalling the Unlikely Ginsburg-Scalia Friendship

Justice Antonin Scalia’s love of debate was one of the things that drew him to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman with whom he disagreed on many things, including many aspects of the law.