Stand up, speak out against defective moral reasoning

After starting a required “cultural diversity” online training at work yesterday that referred to respecting “sexual orientation,” and then reading at home the articles in the June 13 OSV (“Same sex parents and Catholic schools,”  “No right to ‘choose,’” “School conundrum”), I am rather heartbroken, as I think, “How did we get to this point?” In his column, Msgr. Owen F. Campion hit the nail on the head: “Americans who respect life were too timid” back in 1973 ( Roe v. Wade ), and (I would add) even further back, in 1968, when Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae — when many Catholics actually rejected the teaching magisterium of the Church. Truthfully, not only have we been “too timid,” we are, perhaps often unbeknownst, cooperating in the use of evasive language (like “same sex parents” — a contradiction in terms). Our bishops brought this to our attention in the 1998 statement “Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics” — a document well worth our rereading. They told us that “revising names” is the “ecology of law, moral reasoning and language in action. Bad law and defective moral reasoning produce evasive language to justify evil” (No. 10). Catholics and all people of good faith must stand up and speak out now, or we shall endure more than we see already and would have ever imagined just a few years ago.  

— Pamela T. Haines, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Life decisions

Re“Excommunication over abortion approval” (News Analysis, June 6). 

I am pregnant with my sixth child. Thank God, they have all been fine and healthy. However, I can imagine being in the situation of the ill mother and I cannot imagine ever putting my life before my child’s. 

The medical community is not God. I have seen a lot of misdiagnosis. I don’t believe they could say with certainty that the mother would die. In that situation, I would pray that I could live until that baby was viable and then let God’s will be done. 

— Becky Cahill,Salem, Mo.

Reason for devotion 

Re “Defending Mary” (Faith, May 30). I do not wish to tread on Mark Shea’s series regarding Catholic belief and the Virgin Mary, but I’d like to say this about having a reason for a Marian devotion. 

The Gospels make a statement about Our Lady in the early chapters. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to Mary to tell her she would bear his son. She was to be over-“shadowed” by the Holy Spirit and give birth to Jesus.  

That should be enough of Scripture for anyone if they trusted in God. 

Now, if you don’t agree with Our Father and you think he made a bad choice picking his daughter-in-law and his son’s mother, one day you will get a chance to correct him — good luck with that. 

Second, for those who think Catholics show way too much devotion to Mary, perhaps a trip to the foot of the cross at the crucifixion to tell Jesus that you have issues with his mom and you don’t think she’s worthy of all the credit given to her. I don’t think that will cheer him up. 

If God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth chose Mary, gave her the Holy Spirit and his son, to me it’s enough reason for my devotion. I don’t have to read any further. There is more, but I’ll leave it to Mark Shea to enlighten you. 

— Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Not a private choice 

I read with particular interest the outstanding column by Msgr. Owen F. Campion regarding former first lady Laura Bush’s support for legal abortion (“No right to choose,” June 13). 

The former first lady wrote in her recent book, “Spoken from the Heart,” the following inconsistency: “While cherishing life, I always have believed that abortion is a private decision” (Page 303). 

How can Bush support the principle of life itself, while denying legal protection to the unborn child, the most innocent and defenseless of all God’s human beings and whose only crime was to be unwanted? 

Moreover, the unborn child is biologically human and genetically complete from conception. This is a scientific fact! 

— Thomas E. Dennelly, Sayville, N.Y.

Living clutter-free 

Re “Virtue of Simplicity” (Faith, June 13). 

Please do many more articles on this topic. I need to hear it over and over again. I asked a priest once in confessional if my hoarding was a sin or a disease. He said that he didn’t know, so I confess it every time I go to confession because it’s an ongoing problem. But I am working on it. I really enjoyed your article a lot. It was very informative.  

Also, it’s not true that nuns and priests live clutter-free. I saw a nun’s bedroom one time because she was going to be moving and needed help decluttering. Her room was a big mess. I also saw a priest’s office once, and his office was a big mess too.  

— Anita Alvarez, via email

Worthwhile addition

This is just a note to tell you that this new special section (Catholic seniors retirement and assisted living, June 13), in my opinion, is a very worthwhile addition. Too bad that we have to wait another year before we get another sample. I especially enjoyed the sections on the profiles of the priests and the six (you said there would be seven!) keys to volunteer service. 

Keep the new ideas flowing into OSV! 

— Richard B. Luthin, via email