Needed: A new business model for Catholic higher ed

Re “What’s the profile of the typical priest ordained today” (Openers, May 8). 

I took note that 67 percent of American priests attended a Catholic college, while many came from bigger-than-average families (54 percent had three or more siblings). One would think that our bishops, along with Catholic colleges and universities, would find some way to make Catholic higher education more affordable for Catholic middle-class families with multiple children, thereby increasing the pool of possible priestly vocations. Our family is unable to send our oldest son to a Catholic college because of the very high cost of private higher education (even after he earned significant scholarship offers). We are a Catholic, middle-class family with four children who are all attending Catholic primary and secondary schools. I’m afraid unless a new higher education business model is found, a whole class of Catholics will be less likely to contribute to the population of American priests. 

— Daniel Malloy, via email

Female altar servers 

The biggest common denominator that you mentioned in your column on newly ordained priests but did not elaborate on was the statistic that 71 percent were former altar servers. In my parish, about 75 percent are girls. It would be interesting to know what percentage of women making perpetual vows were former servers. 

— Jim Anderson, Hollis, N.H.

Gagging over Gaga 

Re “Kudos to Lady Gaga praying on HBO” (Our Take, May 8). 

I can’t believe OSV saw fit to publish Bill Donohue’s saying kudos for Lady Gaga praying backstage.  

Lady Gaga is one of the worst — or maybe the worst — role models from Hollywood of all time. To date, she has worn, said, sung and used outrageous props, words and more. She is shown in a nun’s garment, swallowing the beloved Rosary and more. 

Now OSV will be lying around countless Catholic households — with perhaps teens glancing through and seeing this gushing bit about Lady Gaga? This while parents try to be vigilant against their teens witnessing this type of blasphemy and heresy against our Church and Our Lord. 

We need to pray for her, yes, but to glorify her prayer while backstage as she prepares to go on stage with her obscene acts? No! 

M.K. Gettelfinger, Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Who is in control? 

Re “Budget morality” (Editorial, May 1). 

Where do “needs” end and “entitlements” begin as applied to budget morality? I don’t know, and I think it would be an opinionated guess. The following data is from IRS 2008 tax data: Top 10 percent of Americans pay 70 percent of the total taxes, while the bottom 50 percent pay 2 percent of the total taxes. The bigger political question is not the IRS data, but how much control do you want to give the federal government over your life? If government provides the money, it will dictate how its money will be spent, or make you buy what it wants and not what you might want. The more money the government gets, the more control it has of the individual’s life. 

— L. Curley, Dearborn, Mich.

Anniversary well wishes 

Re “What you’re holding in your hands is a collectible edition” (Openers, May 1). 

Congratulations, and I am very happy as I have been a reader and a favorite of OSV since I was a seminarian in the 1940s. And I love it and have been a faithful reader and make it part of my repertoire for Catholic news. Congratulations, and God bless your paper. 

Father Vincent C. Cornejo via e-mail

Ecumenical coverage 

Re “What you’re holding in your hands is a collectible edition” (Openers, May 1). 

I remember getting the OSV Newsweekly way back in the ’60s. I would get a copy at our parish. Since the beginning, I have been a follower of Pope John XXIII and the ecumenical activities of the Church. OSV always had articles regarding this subject. Then over the years, the paper no longer arrived at our parish and I lost contact. I finally renewed last year and am enjoying it very much. 

“Catholic-Orthodox dialogue making progress” (News Analysis, April 3) was outstanding news. I grew up with Greek Americans, and always felt the two churches would someday unite. Even though the Anglican (Episcopal) Church tries to satisfy the current modern trend, their traditional followers are finding our Church available with open arms. The Lutherans are next in line, and I hope all of the above will occur in the not-to-distant-future. 

— Alvaro Bettucchi, South San Francisco, Calif.

Haunted but hopeful 

Re “Haunted” (Editorial, April 3). 

This transparent assessment of the clergy-sex abuse crisis provides victims, their families, all faithful Catholics affected by the crisis, non-Catholics and the media with an unqualified focus by voices within the Church on the severity of the damage to victims and the reality of Church hypocrisy on this issue. As a prosecutor of civil child abuse cases for more than 20 years, and as a convert one year ago who was deeply disturbed by the Church’s response to the crisis as Easter approached, but who has fallen in love with the riches and beauty of the Catholic Church, this is a hopeful, encouraging message. 

— John W. White, Purcellville, Va.