With invitation, Cardinal Dolan put faith into action

How appropriate it is that the article on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s invitation to President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner (“Cardinal Dolan’s defense of engagement with Obama,” Sept. 2) and the article defining stewardship (“Putting faith into action,” Sept. 2) ran in the same paper. Cardinal Dolan’s reaching out to the president, despite their widely divergent political and moral views, is a sign of true stewardship. He is giving Obama the gift of his time and his talent by reaching out in an effort to keep the door open to the possibility of constructive dialogue and is definitely putting his faith into action — something we are all called to do. A wise priest recently told me, “Don’t let other people’s neuroses make you neurotic.” In the same way, Cardinal Dolan should not allow Obama to adversely impact the cardinal’s desire to live both Gospel and American values. Who knows ... this might be a starting point for a conversion of heart for many people! 

Valerie J. Cadarr, Aiken, S.C.

Rethinking priorities

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

The director of The Catholic University Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, Stephen Schneck, is quoted as saying, “We are morally obliged as a civilization to care for people who can’t care for themselves.” He also says he supports President Barack Obama for re-election. 

During the nearly four years of Obama’s term, almost 5 million unborn people (at least half female) have lost their lives through abortion. Parenthetically, an abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by about 40 percent (NCI report, 2009). 

The so-called moral failure that Schneck claims is in the budget plan does not remotely compare to the moral failure of those who support abortion. 

How can Schneck support a regime that sponsors the real war on women, both born and unborn? Perhaps Schneck should re-evaluate his priorities. 

Arthur Conrad, via email

Call to holy obedience

After seeing the Aug. 26 cover photo of the ladies waving scarves around at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly, and reading the accompanying article (“Can LCWR and Vatican find common ground?”), I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. 

Two years ago I was baptized and received into the Church because of a nun — a somewhat crusty nun with an ironic sense of humor. Because of her obedience to Church teaching, the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Commandments of our God, I heard the Truth. 

Everything that I heard on EWTN was explained and supported by Scripture. Everything I heard was faithful to Catholic teaching. Never did they try to mitigate or downplay difficult principles of the culture of life. 

It was because Mother Angelica, the Poor Clare nuns and the Franciscan Friars of EWTN that I was able to make the difficult journey to become Catholic on the firm foundation they provided. 

I pray that the sisters of the LCWR assembly will come to know the great secret of having real power. The secret of having power in the religious life is to give it up and embrace holy obedience. 

Sue May, Summerfield, Ohio

Propaganda piece?

Re “Catholics experience benefits of donation” (In Focus, Aug. 19): 

Healthy vital organs for transplantation must be excised from living persons with beating hearts, circulation and respiration. Vital organs from a dead body cannot be utilized for transplantation. Organ donors are administered a paralyzing drug to subdue them, inhibiting their ability to move and react. It is an excruciatingly painful death. Like my son, Brandon, a multi-vital organ donor, as each organ was excised, one at a time, the beating heart was the last, and at that point, true death of the organ donor, my son, Brandon, occurred. As the mother of an organ donor, you can only imagine my horror having learned, after the fact, this most terrifying truth. 

The OSV articles rely on decades-old propaganda of the “gift of life.” Well articulated, this campaign was conjured to entice the reader through emotionally charged platitudes that are void of truth in promoting increased numbers of organ donors. This propaganda focuses on the so-called growing “number of people on the waiting list to receive organs.” Like the priest featured in this article in receiving a heart transplant, we Catholics are to be elated with his having been given a “second chance” at life. What chance did the heart donor have? Life is to be denounced as a mere “chance”? Is the Catholic Church to be known as the church of “chance”? 

Bernice Jones, via email

Valuable learning tool

I can understand Robert Lockwood’s disappointment that his grandkids won’t be playing baseball (“Anarchy of childhood,” Aug. 26). 

In my youth, I couldn’t get enough of baseball. I was always playing baseball with my two brothers and our friends. In today’s world, kids are bored and revert to soccer and probably to their rooms to play with their computer or iPod. 

Baseball is not boring when seen in the proper light. It is a tool sent by God for kids to value friendships that baseball gives you for a lifetime. 

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pa.