Getting to the meat of the gluttony matter

I recently read the article on gluttony by Mary Eberstadt (“Gluttony — the most widespread deadly sin,” Jan. 17). It was quite thought-provoking and gave me insight into a subject that I had never thought of or had learned previously. 

However, I was curious about the reference to eating meat. I’m not quite sure how this relates. If I understand correctly, Eberstadt was saying that eating meat can be seen as excessive and unseemly for those who have available the alternative of just eating vegetables. After all, my source of vegetables is the grocery, and many vegetables, especially in the winter, are shipped from warmer places. This could be construed as excessive also, I would think. Interesting twist. 

— Cynthia Lucas, Springfield, Va.

No need for reform 

Re “U.S. bishops set sights on immigration reform” (News Analysis, Jan. 24): Unemployment is at 10 percent; 15 million Americans are out of work. Millions more have given up, or are working fewer hours than they desire. Yet, the United States brings in 125,000 legal immigrants a month, who take jobs from Americans and compete with our unemployed for jobs that do open up. 

Don’t forget the estimated 10 million illegal aliens in the United States that are still working. 

The Census Bureau says that almost all the occupations to which unskilled and semi-skilled illegal aliens gravitate, native-born Americans hold most of the jobs! 

If the bishops really want to help Americans, ask Congress to vote for a moratorium on immigration ... and urge the government to renew the raids and enforce the laws against employers who are taking jobs from Americans by illegally hiring illegal aliens! 

 — Daniel Barton, Fayetteville, N.C.

Needed: Strong message 

Re “Contrasting views: Religious leaders vs. members” (This Week, Jan. 17): Several years ago my wife and I attended a rally for a large group of immigrants as they traveled through Kansas City on their way to Washington. This was about a 130-mile drive for us. 

There were several Catholic nuns in attendance. There may have been one or two priests. Conspicuously absent were the bishops of both Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. 

On the way home I mentioned to my wife that we would likely see changes in immigration policy if and when our Catholic bishops put as much emphasis on immigration as they do on abortion. 

Having a short statement issued once a year isn’t getting anything done. Being fearful of losing financial support is no excuse for not preaching “The Great Commandment.” 

— Raymond Schmitz, Seneca, Kan.

Priestly examples 

After reading yet another letter regarding the shortage of priests, this one suggesting lowering the standards for admittance, I feel compelled to write. I don’t necessarily think there is a shortage of priests at all. The Holy Spirit leads the Church. In John 15:1-2, Jesus says: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 

“He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” 

I think the vineyard of the Lord was and may still be in serious need of pruning. It is only after this pruning of the priesthood and religious that we can resume growth. 

We often hear from the pulpit of the need for vocations and how we as parents aren’t fostering our children’s desire to serve the Lord, but part of the problem also rests with priests and religious. I have seen priests give eloquent sermons only to rush through the rest of the Mass. I’ve also seen priests set the sacred vessels on the altar after Communion, turn their back and walk away so that hopefully an extraordinary minister of holy Communion will gather together the Hosts and put them in the tabernacle and cleanse the chalices. 

Such nonchalance does not inspire vocations. People will sacrifice for a higher cause, a truly noble cause, but not for just an easy alternative lifestyle or job. 

— Name Withheld, Posen, Mich. 

Church and Islam

As a Protestant, I found it interesting that Peter Kreeft equates Protestantism with Islam in that both lack a living magisterium and other structures (“Is Islam a force for good? Or for violence?” Jan. 3). 

Kreeft and OSV ought to be concerned of the alarming changes in the Catholic Church in that it now teaches that “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims” (Catechism of the Catholic Church; No. 841) despite the fact that Islam rejects the Trinity, deity and resurrection of Christ, which is absolutely imperative for a true Christian to believe in order to achieve eternal salvation when one reads the Paul’s epistle to the Church at Corinth, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain” (1 Cor 15:17). 

— John Clubine, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada 

Papal wisdom 

I read the articles on Pope Pius XII in the Jan. 10 issue, especially the editorial, “Papal surprise.” 

I am 78 years old, and the one thing I remember about Pope Pius XII was that he once said, “Give me an army that will say the Rosary, and I will conquer the world.” 

The world desperately needs that now as so much of the world promotes things that are not of the Lord.  

— Leonard Beckman, Elgin, Neb.