Letters 12.25.16

Readers respond to Register articles.

(photo: Register Files)

Unsettling Results

A preliminary Pew Research Center analysis of the 2016 presidential election reveals some unsettling results regarding the “Catholic” vote.

For starters, it shows that the overall “Catholic” vote went 52% for Trump and 45% for Clinton. While this is a slight improvement over past elections, when Catholics voted 54% for Obama in 2008 and 50% in 2012, it is still sad to see such numbers of Catholics voting for the candidate whose stated policy is to protect and promote legalized abortion on demand for any reason or no reason.

How can so many Catholics still be disposed to closing their eyes to the most crucial issue that defines our culture and our nation? Further, what is most disturbing and eye-opening is to see Hispanic Catholics voting 67% for Clinton and 26% for Trump.

If the most crucial issue and central criteria for casting a vote for a candidate was his or her stated position on abortion, how is this reconciled by the Church and its bishops?

         Frank Diorio

         Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey


Seeking Clarity

In a recent interview with the Register (“Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia Dubia: ‘Tremendous Division’ Warrants Action,” NCRegister.com, Nov. 15) regarding his letter to Pope Francis about Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Cardinal Raymond Burke uses the word “anathema” in a way that is unclear and is likely to sow confusion among the Christian faithful.

The good cardinal quotes St. Paul in Galatians 1:8, that if “even an angel should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.”

Is Cardinal Burke directly applying this Scripture to Pope Francis? He is not clear. Does he use “anathema” in the scriptural sense, of a judgment by God, as opposed to a matter of Church discipline (since angels can be judged by God alone)? He is not clear.

Or does the good cardinal use “anathema” in its ecclesiastical sense, a proclamation by a pope or Church council that a person is to be excommunicated or a doctrine denounced? Again, he is not clear.

If the last sense is on his mind, however, and if Cardinal Burke does not have much use for the synodal process that produced Amoris Laetitia, perhaps he might find his time more productively used by calling for another ecumenical council, to help resolve these matters in a lasting, truly fraternal way.

         Msgr. Robert M. Siler

         Yakima, Washington


Editor’s note: Msgr. Siler is the chancellor and moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Yakima.


Subjective Duty

Regarding your ongoing coverage about Amoris Laetitia: The key to the cardinals’ concerns in their dubia (questions) seems to be here, when they say (referring to Pope St. John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor):

“It spells out that ‘grave sin” has to be understood objectively, given that the minister of the Eucharist has no means of judging another person’s subjective imputability.”

It seems to me the Holy Father [Pope Francis] is calling on priests to judge the subjective culpability of individuals — deciding, in effect, that this one is culpable and so cannot receive and that one not culpable and able to receive.

This seems to directly contradict the Pope’s own statement: “Who am I to judge?”

         James Kurt

         Sarasota, Florida


Losing Its Bearings

Relative to “Better Business Education” (Education, Sept. 18 issue):

I realize Timothy Busch is respected, and I saw him at the Napa Conference being complimented by Father Robert Spitzer. However, his article praising the Koch brothers, whom I believe are the new “serpent” in the garden, threatening our “earthly Eden,” was appalling.

These two major contributors to political campaigns that allow their “unfettered capitalism,” as Pope Francis would call it, should not be praised, but condemned. When you are the No. 1 enemy of the planet, you show no respect for God’s creation. What happened to ethics, Catholic social principles and the common good?

As the Pope said in his encyclical Laudato Si (Care for Our Common Home), the poor suffer most from climate change. But as I have read, some people want to dismiss Pope Francis’ document because he came from a socialist country. I guess it’s better to make an excuse than accept responsibilities, but we think that being wealthy is a Christian value. It is not; it is an American value.

I also found the Register’s coverage of the election appalling. Again, EWTN and the Register did not want to take on Donald Trump’s complete lack of morality because he claimed to be pro-life. Ignored also were his xenophobia, demagoguery and misogyny, which included the most disturbing sexual predator comments and his denial of climate change (which included a rebuke of the Pope). He doesn’t care about the refugee and the poor (he sued people who worked for him so he wouldn’t have to pay them), and he brewed hate and racism. But as long as he says he is pro-life (he held a pro-choice fundraiser years ago), we will fall in line.

I often try to recruit people to Catholicism, but I fear my Church is losing its bearings on truth and justice for all.

         J. Bortnick

         Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania