Two articles in the March 6 issue struck me as being so relevant I had to comment.
Carl Olson’s “Opening the Word” Scripture column, “A loving warning,” reads like an apologetic for the pro-life group Live Action (News Analysis, “Debate over pro-lifers’ undercover deception”). A questionable action requires closer scrutiny as to method and motive. Whether or not this deception by Live Action is a sinful act goes directly to motive. Olson states that “every word and action must be animated by divine life and love, which is what it means to do the will of our heavenly Father. ... This will of God is not that we perform mighty deeds, but that we truly live the new law given by Jesus. In order to live this law we have to really hear it.”
Indeed, Live Action heard the word and then acted in a most resourceful manner with the purest of motives — to live out their commitment to saving innocent lives by exposing Planned Parenthood’s horrendous and illegal practices. Live Action is not guilty of speaking or acting against the truth in order to lead someone into error. Quite the opposite, they did it to expose the truth and correct a very egregious error. Why would anyone think they were lying?
— Priscilla E. Shelton, Rochelle, Ill.
Sting operation justified
If Lila Rose and her Live Action group’s actions are immoral, what about sting operations to catch pedophiles? Or sting operations to catch prostitution rings, terrorists, criminal gangs or money launderers? What about anyone who spies for our country? Moral theologians might do better working harder to stop abortion instead of criticizing these young people who are showing the wickedness of Planned Parenthood.
— Ellen Drewry, via email
It’s not digital confession, of course, but the digital iPhone app has helped me through several confessions (“Pondering mystery of reconciliation via flawed conduits,” Feb. 27). It walks me through the Ten Commandments and asks other questions I might not ask myself. If the priest has questions, he can always ask for clarification. I’m 74 and believe anything that facilitates a good and more frequent confession is worthwhile.
— Jere Joiner, Divide, Colo.
I was alarmed at Msgr. M. Francis Mannion’s response to the question about why we say “for us men” in the Creed (Feb. 20), but I do not want to denigrate it (mainly because it is certainly in keeping with “old gender inclusive ‘men’”).
May I humbly suggest only a few of the new gender inclusive possibilities: 1. All of us; 2. Everyone; 3. Every human being; 4. All human beings; 5. Each and every person.
— Iris Crystal, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Re the special section on helping the poor during the current recession (“Catholics continue to step up to the donation plate,” Feb. 27).
Isn’t it instructive that the state and local governments that have been most “compassionate” according to the liberal playbook are the ones now close to going bankrupt and having to cut back on assistance programs? Meanwhile, governments that have been fiscally responsible haven’t suffered as much from the recession and are better able to maintain services for the disadvantaged.
So, in the long run, who is more compassionate? Those who generously fund every welfare program that’s proposed, without acknowledging that there might be negative unintended consequences or worrying about what will happen when the bills come due? Or those who manage their resources carefully, create a climate that encourages economic growth and job creation, and are thus better to help their poorest citizens get through the bad times?
— Michael Sullivan, Lincoln, Neb.
Not so ‘new’
Re the story on changes to the Roman Missal (“We’ll be saying what?” Feb. 20).
I am 64. I was amused to read that the “new” replacement for “I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do” is “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” The latter is not new — we used that when I was a child in the 1950s and ’60s. Apparently the translation used when I was younger was right. Just an observation.
— Kathy Ochs, Dearborn, Mich.
The time will come, I hope, when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will discern the need for a strategic plan involving the creation of about a dozen national college-seminaries in parts of the United States. Each of these institutions will also offer degreed programs in Catholic studies, classical studies and the Great Books (“Classics programs struggle to stay alive on campuses,” Feb. 27). The development of such a program is not a “nice idea”; given the rampant corruption of our times, such college-seminaries are a moral and intellectual imperative.
— Deacon James H. Toner, Kernersville, N.C.