Bishops should be supported for standing firm   

How disheartening it is to witness the former courageous and intellectual defenders of Catholic Church doctrine — Jesuits — now aiding and abetting our detractors and criticizing the legitimate teachings of our bishops (“Bishops clash with magazine over mandate stance,” March 25). 

Let’s assume the next rules mandate that all Catholic employers pay for abortions sought by their employees. Would the Jesuit magazine concede the right and duty of our bishops to resist? Or, would it instead accuse the bishops of political improprieties and urge compromise even in regard to fundamental constitutional and religious principles? 

God bless our bishops for standing firm! We in the pews should enthusiastically support them in united fashion. 

Wouldn’t it be reassuring if America magazine rejoined the team and helped defend against this anti-Catholic discrimination? 

David J. Young, Supply, N.C.

Smiling at strangers   

Re: “Are you lonely in your parish?” (Openers, March 25). 

Have you been sitting in our church? You hit our church right on the head. We have an elementary school, but if you don’t have kids going to school, you have cut yourself off from bunches of people right there. We have a million programs available, but who wants to go sit for hours with strangers?  

Anyway, I go to Mass and go home. We have been in our parish seven years and I smile at every one, but I have no friends at our parish. My husband and I recently went to the 50+ luncheon and all we did was smile, every one was nice but no one was especially friendly.  

I am currently doing “welcoming ministry” all I have to do is say good morning to people as they come into Mass. It’s fun, then I go into Mass and in an hour I go home until next week. 

Rosemary Carter, Harvest, Ala. 

Friendly community

I have been a Catholic all my life but only after retiring to the Canyon Lake, Texas, area and attending St. Thomas the Apostle Church by Canyon Lake Dam did I encounter a friendly congregation. I was so surprised. My husband was not Catholic but started going to Mass with me. He was inspired to become Catholic by the friendly people, especially our deacon, who instructed him in the Catholic faith. I was so happy about that. He has since died but was baptized, we renewed our marriage vows and attended Church regularly until his death.

After my husband died, I joined Helping Hands, a ladies church organization and became a eucharistic minister and have found great joy in all these things. The congregation helped me overcome the loss of my husband and I remain active in the church today. 

Fran Baker, via email

Double standard?

Re: “Misjudgments threaten would-be saints’ reputations” (News Analysis, March 18).

Why do we pick on Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Jesuit Father John A. Hardon for their mistake of listening to that child-abusing priest when his own superiors did nothing about him?

What about Blessed John Paul II? When he was pope, he did nothing about two priests who were child abusers and the Vatican reportedly took a lot of money from one of them. And yet we beatified him.

Dolores Estrada, Howell, Mich. 

Guilt by friendship

“Misjudgments threaten would-be saints’ reputations” leaves the impression that Father John Hardon should be thoroughly scrutinized for his choice of friends and his imprudent inaction when Father McGuire’s escapades became known.

I knew Father Hardon for 37 years. My thoughts of him remain unchanged. If I ever knew a saint, it was Father John A. Hardon.

The charge against Father Hardon seems to be guilt by friendship. It is not hard to believe that the charismatic, ingratiating and manipulative Father Donald McGuire was able to break through the protective mechanisms and holy naivety of Father Hardon.

Lucky the person who has not had his faith in a friend upset by revealed foibles and weaknesses. History is full of friends that did not live up to expectations.

This writing shows two modern trends. First, write about a great person’s character weaknesses after he is dead and unable to defend himself. Second, seek the weaknesses in great men and leaders. By so doing, perhaps we believe we reduce our own failings.

Joseph E. Kincaid, M.D., F.A.C.P., Portage, Mich. 

Reasons to renew

I recently received my OSV subscription renewal notice for $42.95. Due to the cost, I considered not renewing the subscription.

The following day, I received the March 25 edition. I realized why I must continue to support OSV’s efforts to keep readers informed of facts and events important to Catholics. I found the content helpful in educating the reader on the Catholic understanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution and its guarantee of religious freedom for all citizens. I have used that information to discuss with friends and acquaintances the Church’s position.

My subscription renewal is in the mail.

Bill McCarthy, McLean, Va.