Archbishop received a needed wake-up call

Re “Priest offensive,” by Archbishop Timothy Dolan (Essay, April 10). 

First, I would like to welcome the good bishop to the real world, where these type of events are fairly common. He was a fortunate witness to the depth of the devastation of this current scandal and what it means to every father, religious or not. 

Anyone who loves his child has an instant and constant fear that he will be hurt or harmed in some way, and when a holy man violates his own vows, the effects run deep. Sometimes even worse than the archbishop encountered. 

I know Archbishop Dolan to be a holy and contrite man, and this time his wit and experienced gift of conversation were able to relieve the situation. I believe, though, that he is clueless to the fears, the pain and the mental anguish of the faithful concerning this scandal and the anxieties of not knowing you can trust a holy man of God, or not. 

Perhaps the archbishop could learn of what I speak by taking a lesson or two from the TV series “Undercover Boss.” It would be a good way to talk to people and realize the true nature of the laity who aren’t awed by the Most Reverend Fathers’ presence. 

— Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio 

Testifying to the truth 

In a world that has embraced the sentimental claptrap and psychobabble of the “politically correct,” Archbishop Dolan answered as should be expected from a priest who represents Jesus Christ: with truth in faith and reason. 

Jesus stood before Pilate and said: “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 

I believe the man who was “raised a Catholic” heard the echoes of these words from the archbishop and found the essence of the Catholic Church, “forgiveness in truth and love.” I pray for his return.  

— John Patrick Pie’, Laurium, Mich. 

Apparition findings 

Re “Is Japan’s Our Lady of Akita apparition ‘worthy of belief’?” (Profile, April 3). 

The final sentence of the article seems to make the usual mistake. 

There are three positions the Vatican can take on an apparition: 

1) We have found it is worth of belief. 

2) We have found it is not worthy of belief.

3) We have not found it is worthy of belief. 

The third position is that the matter has not been resolved, either positively or negatively. The second to last paragraph (from the Vatican) appears to say No. 3; your writer appears to have taken that to mean No. 2. 

— Tim Moore,Tualatin, Ore.

Divorce and Communion 

In the issue concerning annulments (In Focus, April 10), the statement was made, “Being civilly divorced has absolutely no bearing on your standing in the Church and you are free to receive holy Communion.” This is not completely true. Divorce is grave matter, and if one divorces with full knowledge and freedom, one commits grave sin. Therefore, in this circumstance one is not free to go to holy Communion unless one repents through the Sacrament of Penance. 

However, it is true that many people are not fully culpable for a divorce. They may have been unjustly abandoned by their spouse or may have been in a situation of abuse and civil divorce was the only means possible to protect themselves and their children. Those who are not fully culpable would indeed be free to go to holy Communion.  

— Father Mark Gurtner, J.C.L., South Bend, Ind.

In defense of nuclear 

Re “Catholics debate benefits, risks of nuke power” (News Analysis, April 3). 

When are Catholics going to debate the benefits, risks of the automobile? Every time there is a nuclear incident this topic comes up for debate, and yet we kill 30,000 to 40,000 people each year in the United States alone, not to mention the 100,000 or more injured or maimed for life.  

God gave us uranium, along with all the other elements, for a reason. It is estimated that if we reprocess our nuclear fuel, we have an energy source for a thousand years. Reprocessing fuel will also eliminate most of the problems with long-term waste disposal and spent fuel storage at each nuclear power plant. It would also provide high-paying jobs. 

— Armond Conti, Royal Oaks, Calif.

Why I stay Catholic 

I loved your article“Have you thought about why you are (or stay) Catholic?” (Openers, April 17). I wish more people would ask that question. I was raised Catholic and went to a Jesuit high school and university. While I was in college I had an evangelical roommate that was raised a Catholic and was trying to convert me. We had a lot of good debates about religion. I was strong enough in my understanding of the faith to see the inconsistencies in what he was saying. The real benefit of that situation was that I was obligated to try to explain the Catholic faith in a way that was both true and not insulting to someone who was pretty firmly anti-Catholic. I was forced into a deeper understanding of my own faith. 

— Thomas M. Kelly, via email


The article “Michigan pilgrims cook up creative ways to raise World Youth Day funds” (Profile, April 17) misstated the number of counties in the Diocese of Marquette, Mich. The correct number is 15.