Atonement would heal Church from ugliness

Re “Clerical atonement” (Letter to the Editor, May 30), I agree with Jeanne Brewer, but there is a payment to be paid to someone higher.

The Catholic Church just finished the Year of the Priest; now we need a Year of Atonement. These representatives of Jesus need to offer to God their sorrow and guilt, to eradicate the evil that was allowed to enter Christ’s Church.

I cannot think of a better way of liberating the Church than offering God Masses of atonement, and Holy Hours, just for this, in all churches of America.

Jesus spoke of forgiveness, that we should seek forgiveness for sins committed. Now it is time to seek forgiveness of Christ the sins we have committed against him and all of heaven.

If there is to be mass forgiveness in our communities, let it begin now in our churches. The newspapers are having a field day and make things worse. Our innocent priests are suffering and hurting by mistrust. Then there are those souls that are shattered over what happened to them. Atonement to God is called for.

 I love my Catholic Church, and I know it can rise again from this ugly, evilness that entered Christ’s Church. Then maybe the Church will begin to heal in and out.

— Rose Borges, Bristol, R.I.

Taking issue

Several items in the June 13 issue cause a letter to the editor. One email message will suffice.

1. In “Foisting religious belief on legal system (not)” (News Analysis) Father Tad Pacholczyk superbly writes about pro-abortion laws. He makes clear the shallowness of the claim (by Catholics as well others) that anti-abortion laws impose our religion on all. Thanks.

2. Carl E. Olson in his column on the Sunday readings (“Mercy at Jesus’ feet”), always offers insight behind the words. His comments extend what we’ve heard from the ambo on Sunday. He “sees” more in the readings than a casual observer may observe.

3. Teresa Tomeo writes about the reverence she observed among the many visitors to see the Shroud of Turin (Eye on Culture, “A pleasant surprise”). Super!

 Her column will go to a (non-Catholic) friend we know as the “Shroud Lady” who has made a deep study of the shroud and who lectures extensively on it. I’ve kept her informed. Maybe she, too, visited the exposition the past month.

 But one comment: Tomeo stated 2010 is one of the toughest years of the Church. That feeling arises because we are seeing it in the present. There were far worse times for the Catholic Church — the Reformation, for example.

We are still here and growing! Adversity does that, you know.

4. Relative the Scott Alessi article, and others, on Catholic schools accepting children sponsored by same-sex partners (“Same-sex parents and Catholic schools”): Did anyone ask the sponsors why they wanted the children in a parochial school? Did the authorities miss a chance for evangelizing?

Seems to me the children come first, providing the sponsors don’t openly cause scandal and providing they accept the fact that the school will teach Catholic marriage.

— L.C. Bearer, Bartlesville, Okla.

A different take

Your enthusiasm about the Catholic media, its purpose and effect is admirable (“Dispelling gloom among Catholic media professionals,” June 20), but how many of the 81,089,403 Catholics listed in my Almanac really “read” Catholic news? I would guess a bare minimum, since most don’t even read secular newspapers or news magazines. So, I think the Catholic press has a minimum effect.

I base my feeling on the lack of attention I observe at Sunday Mass by the younger generations, and the bishops’ report of the “downsizing” of participating in the Church by these generations.

Now I read the Mass is going to be revised. Great! Just a little bit more to confuse the attendants at the celebration.

I pray for the Church every day, to avoid the diminution of Catholicism.

— Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.

Choosing murder

Msgr. Owen F. Campion notes in “No right to choose” (God Lives,” June 13) that Americans still feel the seductive appeal of the “pro-choice” slogan. We all believe in free choice.

But the issue remains: If the baby in the womb is a human being — the Supreme Court hasn’t dealt with this — then abortion is murder.
In a sane world, we don’t have the freedom to choose murder.

— Father George P. Carlin, SOLT, Covington, Ga.

Proper ID required

Re “Bishop challenges immigration law” (In Brief, May 10).

Bishop [George Kicanas of Tucson] is wrong. Police cannot “question or detain anyone they believe is an illegal immigrant.”

In order for the police to ask the person for identification the police must be responding to some action (traffic violation or accident, a crime, a fight, etc.)
We are all asked for identification under these circumstances. Police cannot just question anyone without cause.

Gary Degner, Deal, N.J.