Witnessing Ugandan faith up close
I wanted to let you know two things. One, John Norton has a great knack for writing — in terms of readability, easy to understand, personable and, sometimes, with a little comedic flair. I really look forward to his Openers as I get my subscription copy of OSV every week. Keep up the good work!
Second, Father Robert Barron’s article on Catholic courage from 19th-century Africa really hit home (“Out of the fire at Namugongo, a deep and burning faith,” July 25). You see, four friends and I were in Uganda to visit four “projects” that the MIMA Foundation is supporting, both spiritually and financially. Our projects include totally restoring and updating the Catholic Church in the village of Kayenje, the Kayenje Catholic Primary School in Gombe Parish and the Providence Home for impaired or orphaned children and young adults in Nkokonjeru. We also were in attendance at the feast of the Ugandan martyrs in Namugongo, which was reported on by Father Barron.
Our small foundation’s work is important to us, of course, but what Father Barron reports is even more remarkable. The crowds were huge, the number of young people in attendance was remarkable, the combination of African culture with the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist was exciting, and the basilica and surrounding areas were so full of colors, both in terms of ethnicity and clothing. An event of beauty in more ways than one. We were delighted that we had almost front-row seats by the small lake where Mass was concelebrated by archbishops, bishops, priests and deacons, of which there were many. This was a very moving experience for us from Florida and rekindled some smoldering embers of our faith. People say that the future of Catholicism, whether one chooses to believe this or not, is likely to come from Africa and Asia. On that day, I’d be hard-pressed to disagree with that statement.
— Art Catullo, commander, U.S. Navy (Retired) Jacksonville, Fla.
Re “Voice in the wilderness” (Eye on Culture, July 25).
The sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was a rebellion against the gender double standard. The revolutionists declared a war between the sexes. Women could win the war by becoming like men — engage in aggressive sexual behavior with no responsibility. Their weapons were the birth-control pill and abortion. Their goal was freedom.
The feminist movement promoted the pill and abortion on demand. We see the results — an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and breast cancer, infertility, depression and guilt. The women did not expect the weapons would hurt them rather than help them. They became trapped in the freedom fantasy and the culture of death.
As Teresa Tomeo stated in her column, today’s feminists see “pornography as a part of a brave cultural effort to help us overcome years of sexual repression.” They will not admit sexual activity with no responsibility is unattainable. They will not admit pornography is the “contin-ual exploitation of women.”
What a shame! Look at the current fashions — exposing more than concealing. Tomeo is right, “all of us, especially women, will suffer.”
— Rosalie Monaco, East Rockaway, N.Y.
Joseph Keenan (Letters to the Editor, July 18) points out a very important fact in regard to the priest shortage — the very small pool of candidates eligible for a priestly calling. One possible solution is to look to the East. Here, I am referring to the Eastern rites and their priesthood.
Besides having celibate priests, the Eastern rites also ordain married men. Now, let’s say that the Western rite would keep the celibate clergy but also ordain worthy married men. This would greatly expand the pool of candidates eligible for a priestly calling.
— Name withheld by request
The illustration on the cover and Page 4 of the July 25 issue was objectionable to me. I am the widow and mother of veterans. The flag is the symbol of our country, our history and our sacrifice, and as such should be respected.
This image, suggestive of the U.S. flag, is despicable. There is nothing in the piece, “Human trafficking scourge not just a far-off problem,” that justifies the selection of that picture.
— Maureen Kingston, Avon, N.Y.
How disturbing that OSV published a photo of the casket of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, and the disgraceful words of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., referring to Byrd as “a great statesman and public servant” (This Week, July 18).
Byrd, a self-avowed bigot, vehemently opposed civil rights legislation alongside his fellow Democrats for years. He was a lifelong member of the Ku Klux Klan. He was an ardent leftist who espoused Marxist ideology and worked tirelessly to deprive Americans of their personal liberty. This is Bishop Bransfield’s definition of a great statesman?
— Angeli Di Lucca Paterson, Pasadena, Calif.
Editor’s note: Byrd once served as “an exalted cyclops” in the Klan, but he was not a lifelong member. Also, while he famously and vigorously did oppose civil rights legislation, he later modified his views.