Re “Priest-author makes case for lightening up — even in Church” (In Focus, Sept. 25).  

I am not sure Father James Martin knows the difference between humor and joy. Joy is felt in the heart, humor in the head. Joy is lasting and substantive, humor is temporary and fleeting.  

I disagree with Father Martin on all points. All over the world, hundreds of human beings are being murdered daily because they are Catholic, while we Americans are being encouraged to laugh at our Church. Not me! I’m not one of the evolving American Catholics. I’m still a good old-fashioned Roman Catholic. I find my humor elsewhere. 

Patricia Parente, Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Prayers for parish

Re “Parishioners, priest at odds in California parish,” Sept. 18.

I’m for Father John Direen. I sense he is on the right track, and I’m saddened by the fact not all parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Berkeley Calif., are behind him.  

What is it to be truly Catholic? How can anyone say or stand behind the idea that it is OK to kill our own little ones? God have mercy on each one of us, because we all must pay the price of our actions. 

I hope and pray that Father George Crespin and Father Direen will be reunited in the faith and begin to work together. 

The devil wants to tear us apart. Let us come together as true Catholics are called and practice the fullness of Christianity and the teachings upheld by the pope and the magisterium. 

Joseph Glen Emerson, Fruitland, Wash.

Unfair practice?

Shame on you for publishing the Page 3 item on his bishop’s beef with Father Frank Pavone without affording Father Pavone the opportunity to reply in the same issue (“Father Pavone suspended,” Sept. 25). It reminds me of the policy of the Federal Trade Commission to release complaints against companies late in the day, before newspaper deadlines and too late for a company to respond. 

Fortunately, Catholic radio was all over it instantly with both the bishop’s action and Father Pavone’s response. Allegations of wrongdoing are not proof of wrongdoing. 

— Noel A. Black, Ada, Mich.

No handouts

Re “A Catholic Democrat’s take on social teaching, budgets and taxes” (Essay, July 24) 

I am stunned that Catholics in America continue turning to the government to handle social issues rather than looking to the Church for guidance and reflecting on our own lives. “Render unto to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” The Church has many encyclicals to address the social issues of our time, if only we Catholics would form our consciences through the Church and not through secular society and the media. 

Why are we relying on the American government to solve our social problems rather than our Heavenly Father?  

Sure, health care for the elderly is costing us money, but why do “about 60 percent of the elderly in nursing homes rely on Medicaid to pay for their care,” as Stephen Schneck states? This is a very sad statement about the state of the family in America. Sure, some elderly need 24/7 care, but do all these elderly need to be in assisted living facilities? What happened to family first? 

Sure, there are people who really need assistance, our unemployed friends, divorced moms and dads with kids, the elderly, the terminally sick.  

Let’s pray for all families, that they work together to understand the importance of the family as God designed it, seek to work toward the “social justice” of the family. 

“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.” Let’s turn to God and family, and rely less on the government for handouts. 

Jim Gardner, via email


A photo caption in the Sept. 25 Culture section misspelled the last name of David DiCerto, co-host of the “REEL FAITH” movie-review TV program. 

A quote attribution on the Oct. 2 “This Week” page misspelled the first name of Courtney Elbert. 

We regret the errors.