Letters 07.03.11

Men: Step Up

I just finished reading some of the articles of the “In Depth” section of the June 5 edition of the Register and was particularly taken by the article “Make Room for Father” by Brian Caulfield.

I lived through the fabulous ’50s and the sensational ’60s. I have to say that I miss the men who were our role models during that time. We had men like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who had a nationally broadcast TV show that gave us a strong male role model to follow in Jesus Christ. Those were the days of Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet, as well as Leave It to Beaver. All of those shows showed the father as a positive, active person in the family, albeit driven by the lovely little woman. There was a complementary notion of husband and wife that is sadly lacking today.

Today we lack any positive role model for our young men. Our televisions are polluted with shows like The Real Housewives of ... or Jerseylicious or any number of crime shows. Where are the positive role models? Sports figures, music makers and young actors are either drugged out or unfaithful, and there are no positive father roles on TV for young men to emulate. How about the absence of men in the family?

The article noted that in 2008 40% of births were to single mothers. I have been a professional lay worker in the Church for more than 25 years, and the absence of male participation in the Church is just getting more and more pronounced every year.

Why? I think Mr. Caulfield has a point when he says: “To address the health of marriage and family, we need to pay special attention to men. ... In short, we need a Catholic men’s movement to focus on a few key issues that affect men especially, and recognize that renewal will not come within the Church without the full participation of laymen.”

This large-scale Catholic men’s movement needs to begin at the parish level.

Is there a national or diocesan council of Catholic men similar to the National Council of Catholic Women?

Do we have any priests, prophets or other leaders out there who will take the lead and bring men back to their place as leaders in their families, churches and society? I’m not advocating the rise of paternalism, but the equitable sharing of leadership between men and women. God made us differently for a reason — and that was to be complementary to each other.

So, how about it guys: Will you step up and take on the leadership you were made to do?

James P. Yencha

Bristol, Tennessee

Doing His Christian Duty

In the report “Archbishop Dolan and Rep. Ryan Talk Catholic Social Teaching” (June 5), we read that “U.S. bishops’ conference president, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, praised Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for his attention to Catholic social teaching in the federal budget debate, but he emphasized the need for ‘special consideration’ for the poor.”

While Archbishop Dolan is doing his Christian duty assuring services for the poor are maintained, he and the rest of the bishops’ conference should also help by critiquing and criticizing the way our taxes are being spent to promote immoral activities and the many ways our moneys are being wasted.

President Obama and Democrat legislators are promoting the killing of the unborn here in the U.S. and abroad. Examples are giving $363 million to the lawless Planned Parenthood annually and sending over $40 million to communist China to support their disastrous one-child-per-family policy, which is enforced with severe penalties.

The bishops should also speak out against Obama’s promotion of homosexuality.

Waste is rampant in the federal government. For example, the Social Security system made payments of $8 billion last year to people who were ineligible to receive them.

In addition, Obama is spending hundreds of millions on an unconstitutional war in Libya and is promising billions to Greece to enable worker benefits far exceeding those of U.S. workers. And the country is spending hundreds of billions on services to illegal immigrants.

While we should all support the bishops speaking on behalf of the poor, hopefully the bishops will also speak out on behalf of the people who work to provide the funds necessary to support the poor.

They deserve to have their money spent frugally, legally, morally and justly, not the way much of it is being spent now.

John Naughton

Silver Spring, Maryland

Good Fruit

I am writing in regard to a recent experience I had with the evangelization of our Catholic faith. Over the past several years, we have accumulated a large pile of National Catholic Registers in our home. I asked my husband to please put them in the recycling pile. Being the dutiful husband that he is, he put them there.

Two days later, a friend of mine (who is a fallen-away Catholic) came to my home and commented that she saw a large pile of newsprint in my recycling bin and asked if she could have them for her garden. She indicated that newspaper makes great mulch. I gave her the whole stack.

One week later, she came over again. I asked her how the garden was going.

She responded, “I haven’t gotten to it, because every time I go to use that newspaper you gave me, I end up reading it. It has some wonderful articles, and I am cutting them out.”

I responded to her by saying, “Linda, God is going to bring you back to his Church. It just might be through the National Catholic Register.”

Keep up the great articles.

Amy Cavanaugh

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Christ’s Peace Be With You

Regarding “The Socially Awkward Person’s Guide to the Sign of Peace” (NCRegister.com, June 3):

Many, if not most, Catholics think it’s just a friendly handshake and treat it as a social interaction, one of the worst effects of which is that it distracts us from the prayer before and entering into the Lamb of God prayer that follows.

I am not an expert or a catechist, but I do know that the “peace of Christ” greeting is not intended to be from me to you, but from Christ in me offering you his peace.

It has been completely misunderstood, secularized and dumbed down. It’s not social; it’s liturgical!

Mary Cracraft

Burnsville, Minnesota