Letters to the Editor

Strategy for avoiding ‘nincompoops’ at election time 

Keeping in mind the Church’s need to “preach the whole counsel of God” during the 2012 election campaign, I will, as usual, not vote for a “pro-choice” candidate in either party (“How Catholics should be prepping to vote in 2012,” May 22).  

At the same time, I will not vote for the pro-life candidate if he is a complete nincompoop on “social justice” issues.  

But if the pro-life candidate is simply a partial nincompoop on social justice issues, then he will get my vote if only to help thwart the “pro-choice” opposition.  

Death is final. Hunger can be alleviated at least temporarily with food.  

But if neither candidate measures up, I will not vote. I sleep better that way. 

— Donal Mahoney, via e-mail 

Royal example 

Re: “A royal role model for modesty?” (Our Take, May 15). 

The royal wedding has come and gone with the bride and groom dressed in their finest. I was especially taken by the bride’s dress, which covered her shoulders and arms, yet she was beautiful.  

Already this dress is being copied, and what I hope is that this may be the beginning of a new style of wedding dresses, instead of the strapless ones that have been so popular for many years. It’s time for a change. 

— Dorothy Anderson, St. Louis, Mo. 

Not so modest 

I wouldn’t exactly call Catherine Middleton’s dress modest. The big slit down the middle of her dress immediately draws attention to her breasts. I don’t believe it was appropriate to be worn in church. Back in the days, the rule of thumb for practicing modesty was that a woman’s dress or blouse did not go below the collar bone. I wish female extraordinary ministers of holy Communion would follow this rule. 

— Anita Alvarez, Montebello, Calif.

Difficult teaching 

Hooray for Emily Stimpson’s article on divorce (“Divorce dilemma,” May 22). She brought up a very difficult, unpopular, but necessary truth: Divorced Catholics with a living spouse who do not have an annulment are not free to date because their marriage is presumed valid until proven otherwise. 

It is all too common to see divorced Catholics in this situation, and I am guilty myself because I briefly dated a man who did not yet have an annulment.  

How clever many of us are at rationalizing sin, without ever considering the bad example we set or the scandal we cause. Most of us Catholics are either silent or encouraging when we witness these dating situations among our family and friends. 

— Nancy Dunne, city, state withheld

Immigrant vs. alien 

Re: “Why be a do-gooder” (Editorial, May 22).  

You mentioned in this editorial “In our own communities, we have the poor, the homeless, the unwanted immigrant.” 

I have never met anyone who is against immigrants, as that term implies they are in the United States legally. Everyone I know is against the illegal aliens, who have broken our laws. Please do not confuse the two terms. 

Dan Barton, Fayetteville, N.C.

Heavenly critters 

Re: “Fellow travelers” (In Focus, May 15). 

They truly are! Your thoughtful reflections on the blessings that pets can bring to people affirmed my own lifelong experiences with many devoted cat and dog companions. These beautiful creatures have been so important in my personal faith journey that I cannot imagine leaving their companionship at the gates of heaven.  

How sad I felt then as I read the story of the monastic community’s beloved dog Bella and the sisters’ resignation of the “probability” of not seeing their pet in heaven. As an alternate possibility, I would like to suggest a happier expectation — a likelihood that the sisters of the convent will continue to enjoy the friendship of their dear Bella in eternity. Many Catholic thinkers from St. Augustine to St. Francis of Assisi to Franciscan Father Jack Wintz, among others, have presented plausible arguments lending credence to such belief, inspiring hope that our creature companions in this life may indeed share with us in the joys of the next.  

Since God has seen fit to bless us with the gift of animal companions on earth, I think it is reasonable to believe he will perpetuate so great a blessing in the world to come.  

Perhaps the new heaven and the new earth (Rv. 21:1) will include the renewed splendor of all of God’s creation — not just humans in their glorified bodies, but every animal, plant and mineral restored to perfection, forever joined in praise and thanksgiving to our great and loving God. 

— Ronald D. Parshall, Poland, N.Y.

Virtuous behavior 

Scripting disaster” (Spectator, May 15) by Greg Erlandson included the following quote: “Many couples ... ‘want to test whether the milk is good before they buy the cow.’”  

Erlandson also reported the conclusions of a study: “Cohabitation is a win-win for men ... stable access to sex, but no commitments.”  

Alas, the victory is only illusory since cohabitation merely perpetuates juvenile men, who are ever so slow to rise to virtue. Christian society depends on modest women who elicit virtue and honorable behavior in men. 

Father W.M. Gardner, Peru, Ill.