Not just those with Down syndrome

Re: “Cherished Children” (News Analysis, Oct. 2), I wanted to share my thoughts and input. I appreciated the stories about families of individuals with Down syndrome and in particular, the focus on the many gifts that these children and adults offer. However, I would like to challenge OSV to include all persons with intellectual disabilities (formerly referred to as mental retardation), not limiting the stories to those with Down syndrome. 

While Down syndrome is a particular type of intellectual disability that is most often recognized by the greater society, there are thousands of others with intellectual disabilities. These individuals also possess inherent gifts that they share as they are able—and as others are open to receiving them. 

As the director of a faith-based community for adults with and without intellectual disabilities, I would like to encourage you to expand your understanding and coverage beyond those with Down syndrome. 

Again thank you for the article that addresses the gifts of those with disabilities. 

Amy Finn-Schultz, Jacksonville, Fla.

Repeal. Then what?

The Oct. 2 issue included two letters to the editor in opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and none in favor. The Republican agenda to repeal this important legislation has apparently been very effective and ignores the legislation’s many positive provisions. 

Does the legislation need a conscious clause amendment? Most definitely.

But what about other important protections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? When evaluating the new law we as Catholics must rely on facts, not opinion, as to the strengths and weaknesses of the law and on how well it meets Catholic social teaching. 

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical “The Gospel of Life” spoke about millions of human beings who are forced into poverty because of an unjust distribution of resources between peoples and social classes. 

Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would play into this unjust distribution. If the law were repealed, when, if ever, would a replacement be passed? And any replacement of the law by this Congress would most likely put insurance companies back in charge. 

Would that best serve the poor and middle class? 

Fay Helmon, Issaquah, Wash.

Charity in parishes

Re: “How the rising poverty rate is putting the squeeze on one community” (News Analysis, Oct. 9), I applaud the Providence, R.I., Catholic anti-poverty efforts, but even more could and should be done by our Church. 

Bishop Thomas Tobin is obviously a kind and competent cleric, but he misses the point when he asserts “it is only the government that has the financial resources and political infrastructure necessary to respond in a systematic way to the enormous social needs of our time.” This is a cop-out! 

The Catholic Church is pre-eminent to the federal government in organization, infrastructure and members. The federal government doesn’t have the financial resources. It simply takes money from us and returns an unacceptable remainder because of excessive overhead, inefficiency, wrongful indoctrination and political favoritism. 

Here is my proposal. The director of social services in each parish should initiate and monitor an anti-poverty partnership program. Those of us who have been blessed by Our Lord with above average assets and capabilities would be ideal candidates.  

Volunteer partners could, in effect, adopt an impoverished applicant family and provide financial assistance and general advice to ensure that the entire family is prepared for meaningful participation in business, community and church affairs. 

In poorer parishes with inadequate partners, volunteers could be sought from neighboring parishes. Let’s get started. 

David J. Young, Supply, N.C.

Staying in touch

Re: “Newspapers, new media and reading from iPads in Mass “ (Openers, Oct. 16). 

Thank you for your article regarding social media and the dissemination of information. I am one of those people who love techno gadgets, as well as Catholic news and readings. 

My iPad is one way to carry such items as daily readings, the Catholic Bible and other books. It also allows me to stay informed via Catholic news from the Vatican. 

On the other hand, I absolutely am excited when I get the Catholic Virginian (our diocesan paper) in the mail each week. 

Adrian Stevens, via email

Getting the joke

Wow! The letters printed in the Oct. 9 issue might have set a new record for snarkiness. 

But the one lecturing Jesuit Father James Martin about “Priest-author makes case for lightening up — even in church” (In Focus, Sept. 25) should have set off irony alarms for everyone concerned. Except the author, of course! 

Edward Montgomery, via email

Correction: The image on the lower right front cover of the Oct. 23 issue was paired with the incorrect story.