Marriage to a woman or to the Church, but not both

Re: “Pope Benedict XVI creates U.S. ordinariate” (News Analysis, Jan. 15). 

It seems all very nice and welcoming to rejoice over the entrance into the Church of so many former Anglican ministers, who are now becoming Catholic priests. However, at the risk of sounding like a crank, I have to question the wisdom of these ministers who are married with children taking on this very serious vocation of Catholic priesthood. 

We have had so many mistaken voices shouting about the scandal of some priests who sexually abused others, and how if the Church would only allow priests to marry, well this would never occur. Of course, we who are faithful Catholics realize that this is pure fantasy, and not at all related to what happened in abuse cases. A man who is called to the priesthood, we have been instructed, is given the grace to live a celibate life. The charism of celibacy is a gift to the priest as well as to the Church. The priesthood is a full-time vocation, and one in which the priest is married to the Church. This renders a physical marriage to a woman as almost an act of bigamy in my mind. How can a man who is married to the Church be married to a woman and be a father to children? 

Mary Floeck, Katy, Texas

Progressive leanings?

I hope I’m just getting a little paranoid, but as a longtime subscriber and reader, I fear I am seeing the destructive cancer of progressive liberalism slowly creeping into the pages of OSV. 

The insinuation that the so-called “Occupy” movement is somehow equal in its beliefs and actions to the tea party movement was one recent example (“2011: A year of protests,” Jan. 1). 

Now we are told that we should not be investing in companies that manufacture weapons (“Investing with a clear conscience,” Jan. 8). Typical liberal, progressive thinking. Is it no longer Catholic teaching that weapons, like gambling and alcohol, are not inherently wrong, only when they are misused? Are there no such things as defensive weapons?  

And please tell me that Msgr. M. Francis Mannion was kidding when he seemingly proudly related his earlier, and typically liberal progressive, leanings toward socialism and communism (Pastoral Answers, Jan. 8). 

— Bob McBride, Cheswick, Pa.

A case for vigil Mass

A recent letter to the editor in reference to “Mass shift: Christmas Eve trumps day liturgy” (News Analysis, Dec. 25) got me thinking about how I began to attend Mass while I was still a Protestant. I was in the Navy at the time, and often had to work on weekends. While I knew that if I asked I would’ve been allowed time off to attend the Protestant service on Sunday morning, I noted that the Catholics had a Mass on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. I could go to church after work on Saturday then without causing inconvenience to my co-workers or a disruption in work schedules. Because of this, I grew to love the Mass, which gave me the incentive to learn more about the Catholic faith and eventually led to the realization that this was where I belonged. I can, therefore, say that my conversion to Catholicism began with Saturday evening Mass. I now attend Mass on Sunday morning, but I am always thankful for the existence of those Saturday evening Masses that opened a door for me and welcomed me home. 

Carrie Bowler, Springfield, Mass.

Straight talk, please

Re: “Ministries extend compassion to those who’ve had abortions” (Respect Life section, Jan. 15). 

One director of such a ministry says, “If you say that abortion is murder, it will reinforce the feeling that what they have done is unforgivable.” But abortion is murder, and God forgives repentant murderers. 

The founder of Project Rachel is quoted: “There is still that lie out there that if you had an abortion, you are thrown out of the Church.” The procuring of an abortion does result in excommunication, which can be lifted during confession. Compassion and healing must be based on truth without resorting to euphemisms and less than candid expressions about the evil of abortion and its consequences. 

Janice Hicks, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Language matters

Re: “Pro-life gains” (Editorial, Jan. 15).

 Why do you use the language of abortionists when writing about pro-life gains? I counted no less than three times when you referred to abortion supporters as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-abortion.” Why is that? 

It is wonderful that you point out the pro-life gains. However, it is disturbing that you at OSV seek to educate Catholics by adopting the language of the very people who are advocating the killing of our innocent children! Choose your words carefully when describing anti-life advocates! 

Larry Reichert, Hays, Kans.

Focus on positive

Please, no more articles about sex abuse. You had it on Page 2 and 3 and 4 in the Jan. 22 issue. Why should I read any more? 

Please recall that Jesus chose Twelve Apostles. Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, Matthew was a public sinner and Thomas refused to believe that Jesus rose from the dead! Four out of 12 failed — not a very good record. 

Write about the 96 percent very good, dedicated and hard-working priests. Give them credit. Present them as models for young men to follow them. 

Matthew Luczycki, via email