Pope Francis’ style a welcome change for the Church

Re: “Francis calls for Church of vibrant evangelizers” (News Analysis, Dec. 15, 2013)

It is refreshing to read of our Holy Father’s exploits as he plunges ever forward into his papacy. I believe the entire world waits to see what he will do next. He doesn’t hide much, he speaks plainly about his intentions and doesn’t waiver in his campaign to awaken us to the plight of the poor or his request of us to show mercy.

Our pope is calling for unity within our own Church, both clergy and the faithful. It doesn’t matter if we are liberal, conservative, traditional or cafeteria Catholics. Christ must be the first focus for everyone. Loving God together as one body unifies us to the foot of our savior’s cross to begin our journey.

Pope Francis has been visual in his actions noticeably audible in his direction, but he needs a little help from the peanut gallery, us! Our pope has more moves than a junebug on a hot stove, all the while our hierarchy rests comfortably within their diocesan castles. They don’t seem too anxious to join hands with the Holy Father in his mission.

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Let’s fix Obamacare

Re: “Fate of HHS mandate could lie in Supreme Court” (News Analysis, Oct. 27, 2013).

I want to share some things which have been nagging at my Catholic heart after reading.

Although I believe we Catholics should stand up for our religious freedom against contraception overlooked by this law, and I realize there are some serious “flaws” with the execution and layout of the law, I fail to see the use of a Catholic newspaper saying/insinuating that our president is a liar, unknowledgeable and ineffective. Even if these thoughts were true, which I believe are far from truth, they have no place in a Catholic newspaper.

The quote from Father Orsi that “we are stuck with Obamacare” rings like the condemnation and ensuing helplessness of me having original sin. It is unproductive, and I never read of Jesus talking like that.

I am thankful to God that we now have the opportunity to provide a right of every American, I believe, in our right to health care, along with the liberty, etc., stated in our Constitution. The law needs some serious fixing, I freely admit.

As the author (from Massachusetts, where ACA works) said, the ACA had to be hastily thrown together as a complete package in order to not have it pass and forever be hung up by a dysfunctional Republican Congress that proposes doing piecemeal bills, as it is presently doing with our immigration and gun problems. So, let us attempt to fix ACA instead of wasting time complaining that it isn’t as perfect as we envision it. Let us take this opportunity God has given our country and make it work!

Michael O’Lear, Missoula, Mont.

A better alternative?

Re: “Is health care sharing a good alternative to health insurance?” (Family, Dec. 1, 2013).

I was considering a medical cost sharing plan due to the concerns about many traditional insurance plans paying for procedures that are against Catholic moral teachings.

While these programs don’t provide coverage for morally objectionable medications and procedures (contraception, sterilization and abortifacients), there were a few issues. If you have a pre-existing condition you are excluded from participation. The plan I looked into did not have any mental health coverage.

This is a serious shortcoming. There is a very large percentage of people affected by mental health issues that can be controlled by medications. Any type of medical cost sharing or medical cost sharing that does offer mental health coverage is not even up to 20th century health care practices.

I understand that the cost sharing programs are trying to provide medical care for people who are living a lifestyle following biblical principles, with the thought that this group would have less medical problems due to their lifestyle. But this also is contrary to Catholic practice of charity by taking care of all people because they are made in the image and likeness of God.

Deacon Ron Pirau, via online comments

Nelson no saint

Re: “Nelson Mandela: A man of granitelike grace” (News Analysis, Dec. 22, 2013).

I’m really saddened by all the people who seem to want to put (Nelson) Mandela on a pedestal. He opened up abortion-on-demand in South Africa which is said to have led to the deaths of 1 million babies.

Why OSV would have an article about him is very puzzling to me.

T. Rainey, via online comments

Abortion is a sin

Re: “Notre Dame program hits road to promote Catholic schools” (Feature, Nov. 24, 2013).

What a shock! Notre Dame promoting Catholic Schools. I hope the president will follow suit since Obama spoke at a recent ND graduation.

When is the Church going to teach that abortion is a sin? Voting for candidates who support abortion (Biden, Pelosi and the 50 percent of Catholics who voted for Obama) is also a sin. Wake up Catholics!

Dan, via online comments