Much-needed reminder to deepen one’s faith

Re: “The challenge for Americans to identify as ‘Catholic first’” (Openers, Nov. 6). 

John Norton’s article has a practical application for me. While I was reminded to apply these principles in the recent elections, in my family relationships, I am confronted over and over with those who are not faithful to “Catholic first.” When topics like co-habitating, same-sex marriage, etc., come up, I am outnumbered. 

Last week, there was another example of this ongoing challenge during a family conversation — and it blindsided me. While I am certain that my “faith should shape my life,” while I choose to “live by Catholic teaching,” I can feel numbed and fall silent when I’m with those who have let the culture steer them, who have stopped practicing their faith. 

I need articles like this to remind me how important it is to be “committed to studying and deepening my faith” so I can be a proper witness in my family. 

Dianne Spotts, Hatfield, Pa.

Educational matters

While I agree that the purpose of your message, and that of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, that “we should see ourselves as Catholic first ... as the main way we identify ourselves” in every area, I think we have to realize that American Catholics are at a crossroads with their faith. It is no secret that the largest denomination in our country are Roman Catholics. The second-largest are “inactive Catholics” or some six out of 10 who do not worship Christ in the living Eucharist.  

The Cardinal Newman Society reports that the majority of Catholics attending Catholic universities and colleges believe in same-sex marriages, premarital sex and generally do not listen to the teaching of the magisterium or local bishops. This is probably in part due to the fact that the majority of our same institutions of higher learning do not follow the mandatum of Blessed John Paul II’s promulgation that all teachers of theology must signify in writing with the local bishop that they will only teach orthodox Catholic doctrine in faith and morals.  

Catholics must first be informed and then transformed into Christians who put Christ at the center of the lives in all that they see and do. If they do not understand the living Word of Christ they will never understand the living Eucharist. Once they do, they will carry the Gospel message of “Love one another as I have loved you” into their environments of culture, politics, communications and economics.  

Deacon John M. Edgerton, Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Sovereign wealth

John Norton’s column contains a statement that the Vatican’s proposed solution to the “global financial crisis” includes “creation of a new global economic authority.” Assuming such an authority actually had the power to impose outside collective will on the economy of any nation, the potential results would be devastating not only for the developed world, but for the underdeveloped world the Vatican wants to help.

One need only observe the current gradual implosion of the Eurozone to see why this is true. National wealth no longer exists as hoards of gold in guarded vaults, but as data in interrelated databases. A Greek default will hurt not only Greece, but will destroy much wealth in most of Europe, and to a lesser extent in all the world.

It is only the sovereign wealth of the developed countries that enables them to provide help to those in need. The great wealth explosion of the last 150 years benefited not only the developed nations, but has raised standards of living around the world. Diluting economic sovereignty in the attempt to “share the wealth” will only result in sharing the misery. 

I resent the implication that rejecting the Vatican’s advice means I am not thinking as a Catholic first. I fail to see how making the rich nations poorer will have any lasting positive effect on the truly poor among us. 

Richard F. Colarco, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Unfair headline

Re: “Bishop, diocese indicted in child porn case” (This Week, Oct. 30). 

Upon reading the headline, my first thought was Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., was connected in child porn. But on reading further, it was a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a child abuse case. There’s a big difference! Why don’t you put the bottom line of that article on “top of the page” in bold letters? The statement that Bishop Finn said.  

It seems to me the more scandalous the article, the more you play it up. As a Catholic paper, whose side are you on? 

Teresa Morgan, Ispwich, S.D. 

Feds’ role

Re: “Could Catholic parishes fill the welfare gap?” and “New tensions between bishops, White House” (News Analysis, Oct. 30). 

These two articles are closely related. The first deals with the principle of “subsidiarity.” According to the principle of subsidiarity, the federal government should not be in the “charity” or “health care” business. What happens then? Should each individual state (50 that is) take on this responsibility? How about every county in each state? The second article deals with power the federal government has when it controls your money and how it is spent. They, the feds write the rules and I doubt if the secular fed regime will grant waivers to the bishops regarding abortion, conscience violations of Catholic health care workers, defining marriage, etc. 

L. Curley, Dearborn, Mich.