Sex abuse scandal isn't "behind us" everywhere

Thank you for “Abuse accountability” (Editorial, May 29), except for the statement “the scandal is in large part behind us.” 

That statement may be true elsewhere, but not in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 

Earlier this year, our parochial vicar — Father Zachary Navit — was yanked from ministry. I cannot — do not — believe he is guilty. Some of the accused priests are not accused of sexual abuse, but of “inappropriate behavior.” What does that mean? 

The information given to us is sketchy and, for the most part, in the secular press. I am so confused, worried and anxious. 

Reports, innuendos and rumors fly. I have concern about the vocations of the accused priests. Since some are probably innocent, will their faith be strong enough to withstand the assaults thrown at them? I pray for them. 

Thanks for letting me “sound off.” 

Patricia M. Devine, New Hope, Pa.

Need for home schooling 

Thank you for the timely article “Home-schoolers sometimes at odds with dioceses” (News Analysis, June 5). 

The recent scandals in the Church, unfortunately, underscore the challenges parents have ensuring quality and orthodox education for their children and their sometimes not unexpected lack of trust in the local schools, parishes and priests to provide sound Catholic education and spiritual formation. 

Over the decades we’ve seen vast improvement in local Catholic schools. Let us all pray the trend in this direction continues and that in the future, the home-school option will not be a necessity, as it was at times for my family, but just another option. 

Don Sternhagen, J.D.via email

Pro-life help 

Re “Working concretely for the culture of life for 40 years” (Openers, June 5). 

You asked at the end of your article about Heartbeat International to tell you about other such groups. For the past seven years, I’ve been volunteering for Birthright International. We are a pro-life crisis pregnancy center that offers counseling, pregnancy tests, referrals, maternity clothing, layettes and other help to enable women/girls in crisis to carry their babies to term. There is a 24-hour hotline, staffed in Atlanta, that can steer someone to the closest Birthright office; we also have a presence on the Internet (www.birthright.org). 

Birthright International was founded in 1967 in Toronto by the late Louise Summerhill. Her core philosophy for the group is that “every mother has a right to give birth, and every baby has a right to be born.” 

Christine Rath, Cleveland, Ohio

Anti-illegal immigrants 

My father’s parents came here legally in the late 1890s. My mother, her seven siblings and her parents came here legally in two groups between 1904 and 1910.  

I state this as a prelude to voicing an objection to what I consider the yellow journalism tactics of the Catholic and secular media, abetted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

They all seem to be unable to understand that opposition to ILLEGAL immigration is not anti-immigration. Any process that allows illegals to stay is amnesty — period. 

In “Seeing no borders” (Editorial, June 5), it is stated that “our current policies are breaking up families in the name of enforcing our laws.” This is a deliberate obfuscation of the facts. The families are being harmed because people come here illegally, marry, have children and then are caught.  

If a parent is here illegally and is to be deported, the whole family should go. Is this harsh? Yes!  

Do we show so much concern about citizen lawbreakers who are being sent to prison? What of the breakup of their family? 

Robert E. Mangieri, ivia email

Father’s Day gifts 

Re “Father’s Day: Celebration and examination of conscience” (Openers, June 19). 

The best way to be a great Catholic dad is: Accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and fear of the Lord) so that my relationship with my wife and children will manifest love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control, and be always aware that if those fruits of the Holy Spirit — Christ’s presence among us — are not present in me, then Christ is not present in me, without whom all my pious protestations are for naught. 

Otto Bonahoom, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Faithful discussions 

The interview with Norbertine Father Alfred McBride concerning his explanation of the fidelity crisis in our Church’s population was forthright and revealing concerning this problem in our modern Catholicism (“Revised book on fidelity reflects modern struggles,” June 19). 

The unfortunate problem is that of the 77.7 million Catholics in the nation, relatively few will take time to read his discussions. Sadly, it is doubtful the crisis will be any part of a homily at our Sunday Masses, since it seems those homilies always avoid discussing “bad stuff.” 

Discussions of problems should be a priority, to reach those millions of Catholics who do not partake of printed Catholic news or discussions in our Catholic print media. 

Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.