Spreading the Gospel to China

Re “Chinese priest tells of persecution,” (Profile, Sept. 9). 

My husband and I were blessed to go on mission to China with fellow Catholics this spring. It was one of the best experiences of our life! People were very receptive to faith teachings. And they were so warm and kind — extremely attentive to our needs. 

We found fervor and evangelistic zeal. At one retreat, prayer leaders traveled one thousand miles to attend! In another town, lay evangelists used a truck converted into a stage to perform skits, dance and invite townspeople to become Catholic. 

People are hungry to discuss sexuality as many reported it’s not talked about and there’s great confusion with a government-mandated one-child policy and forced abortion and sterilizations. 

God bless and protect Father Chan. I second his message to “send missionaries.” Go to China! You’ll be glad you did. 

Maeve Smith, Schenectady, N.Y.

Trending downward

Re “Second Vatican Council” (In Focus, Aug. 26).  

This article covered history quite well, but also mentioned the split opinions about the subsequent effect of the council on the Church. An objective look at the Church over the past 50 years certainly provides a compelling answer.  

From time to time, Our Sunday Visitor contains an article on some aspect of Church life today compared with several decades ago. There is usually an accompanying graph of data on the subject covering the past 70 years or so. Without exception, the graphs show an upward trend from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, then begin a sharp decline in the mid-1960s just when the changes in religious attitude from Vatican II were introduced. And that steep downward trend continues to today. The supposed purpose of the changes in Catholic attitude brought about by Vatican II was to correct what was promoted to us as a stagnant Church at the time and thus make the Church a better institution. However, by every objective measure the Council had the opposite effect on the Church.  

Bill Migley, Mobile, Ala.

Eliminating debt

Re: “VP candidate’s budget plan sparks debate” (News Analysis, Sept. 2). 

Our government is incapable of being charitable (social justice). It has amassed a huge “immoral” debt of $16 trillion in its attempt to do so while also continuing to fund legitimate functions of our federal government. That debt needs to be paid back. Who will suffer the most if our government collapses? Who is holding the vast majority of that debt? To call Ryan’s proposal to balance the budget “devastating” to the poor shows ignorance — his proposal does not call for the eliminating any social program, just stemming the growth! If we do not address the debt as our most serious national fiscal problem, our country is doomed. 

Catholic social teaching was developed by men and women living under financial systems and governments that resemble nothing like our U.S. Constitution and our free market system. It is, therefore, impossible to apply these teachings to our U.S. form of government with any success.  

What does Catholic social teaching say about borrowing money from future generations in order to be charitable today? 

Lawrence J. Reichert, Hays, Kan.

Fresh ideas needed

It appeared to me that the major part of “VP candidate’s budget plan sparks debate” was a negative presentation of Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. The timing of this article is questionable since it adds fodder to the attacks from Ryan’s opponents. Practically speaking, after 50 years of the failure of the “War on Poverty,” we should welcome fresh ideas to correct the mire into which our nation has settled. It seems to me that creating more jobs by spurring the economy, rather than putting more people on the dole, is the sensible approach. 

Most discouraging was the commentary of Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute of Policy Research & Catholic Studies of The Catholic University of America, when he states, “I think those cuts (budget cuts for the poor) are immoral, a moral failure on the part of this budget proposal,” and then he disclosed that he is supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election bid. How can he morally support a candidate who avidly endorses the killing of 1.2 million pre-born babies each year and publicly attacks the sacredness of marriage? 

David F. Maier, Philadelphia, Pa.

Timely articles

Having just read the Aug. 26 issue for the second time and carefully, I marvel at how much important information it contains. 

The scholarly treatment against abortion by Msgr. Charles Pope (“Aquinas and abortion,”), for example, is the best I have ever read on the subject. And the exposé on Planned Parenthood as an abortion provider (“Ex-Planned Parenthood director alleges fraud”) is magnificent.  

So is the fact that banning same-sex marriage in Hawaii has been ruled constitutional. 

Daniel Lyons, Bloomsbury, N.J.


A time line on Page 3B of the Sept. 30 OSV centennial issue, which was preprinted, had the incorrect year for Pope Pius XII’s election to the papacy, which occurred in 1939.