Words can hurt, and the pain of verbal bullying festers

Thank you for Robert P. Lockwood’s column on bullying (“Truth about bullying,” Nov. 21). Bullying doesn’t just disappear when a person graduates. TV (even commercials) and movies are full of adult bullies. We prompt our children from the time they can talk to say “please,” “thank you” and to be nice to others, yet are we nice to others? Do we mind our own p’s and q’s? I’ve been in department stores when a person goes off on a clerk or manager in front of their kids. So much for our example.

It doesn’t just occur there. I have been bullied by co-workers (I am handicapped, so I am “different,” something some folks just can’t handle), fellow members of a health club, members of support groups, etc. We all need to be reminded to watch our mouths. 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a flat-out lie. Words do hurt, and the hurt goes deep and festers. We all need to remember to follow our own example — Jesus the Christ. In Matthew 12:36, he warns: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account of every careless word they speak. By your words, you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Let that be our wake-up call. 

— Nancy Sonneman, Cincinnati, Ohio

Trashed trinkets 

Re “Stop sending me your religious trinkets” (Our Take, Nov. 14): 

Magnets, nickels, address labels, Christmas seals, scratch pads, raffle tickets, crucifixes, rosaries, holy water, holy cards, calendars and greeting cards. You name it, I get it. So now I don’t even bother opening the envelope. In the trash it goes. 

I have my own personal charities that I donate to, and I don’t need or want anything in return. 

— Anita Alvarez, Montebello, Calif.

Prickly issues 

In “A preview of the American bishops annual fall meeting” (Openers, Nov. 14), you stated, “For the first time in quite a while, there aren’t any particularly contentious or prickly matters on the bishops’ agenda.” But there are two morally serious matters that should definitely be on the bishops agenda. 

Something besides nominal articles need to be done to curtail so-called Catholic pro-abortion and pro-choice legislators on all levels; 4,000 murders of unborn babies per day IS a contentious and prickly matter. 

Another serious issue are the Catholic colleges and universities that tolerate heresy. The magisterium has provided Canon 808 of the Code of Canon Law to take away the title of Catholic from those colleges and universities. The magisterium also has the authority to withdraw the priestly faculties of priests who remain in those colleges and universities no longer Catholic. 

There must be some action to stimulate bishops who are only concerned about their popularity. Where are our shepherds who are leading their flocks? 

— Charles and Magdalene Sippel, Waterloo, Wis.

Edifying In Focus 

I found Russell Shaw’s article on Bishop Denis O’Connell (“Lost to the ages,” Nov. 21) to be very interesting and very edifying. I have read Shaw’s articles in other Catholic periodicals and they are always quite informative. We are fortunate to have a writer like Shaw. 

— Bob Barattini, West Palm Beach, Fla.

An EWTN collection? 

Within the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, there are many subsidiary groups that are expediting the mission of Catholicism. Each parish, at the behest of each diocese, asks us, on given Sundays, to contribute to such groups as Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Peter’s Pence and Propagation of the Faith, etc. 

The one glaring omission is the Eternal Word Television Network, which has an enviable record of evangelization. It reaches out worldwide to peoples of all faiths and no faith. The number of converts and reverts resulting from their propagation of the unvarnished message of the magisterium is outstanding.

 Why then do we not have a special collection once a year in each church, directed by each diocese, to support EWTN? It would certainly be easier to monitor than such entities as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (“U.S. bishops overhaul controversial program,” Nov. 14)

— John O’Brien, Ocala, Fla.

Working with numbers 

I enjoyed your article by Pope Benedict XVI on the distribution of the world’s migrants (“Pope’s prescription for immigration debate,” Nov. 14). As a former accountant, I took the liberty of taking the distribution number per nation to the population of that nation. Please note how the ranking changes, with the United States moving to No. 3 on my list. The new high ranking goes to Saudi Arabia, with a very low population at the outset. 

Statistics can be very revealing depending on how one correlates the numbers. However one calculates these figures, it is a disgrace upon the human race that such conditions exist. I wonder about the fate of those millions who are unable to migrate. 

— Glenn Slaby, New Rochelle, N.Y.


The website for the Frontline Faith Project, which sends MP3 players to service members (“Keeping faith alive on the front lines,” Nov. 7), is www.frontlinefaithproject.org.