OSV, where are your pro-life priorities?

Strange. A small group of pro-life activists expose the deceitful and evil ways in which Planned Parenthood operates (“Debate over pro-lifers’ undercover deception,” March 6). Does Our Sunday Visitor urge its readers to join in the fight against this most evil of organizations in our midsts or write their congressional representatives to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood?  

No! Instead we are provided a full-page discussion of the “morality” of the methods used by the activists in conducting their expose. Outrageous. Shame on you, OSV. 

— Francis D. O’Brien, Marietta, Ga.

Trivial matter 

When I read the OSV article regarding the morality of the undercover operation at the abortion clinic, I was reminded of a video I saw as a prosecutor (“Debate over pro-lifers’ undercover deception,” March 6). An undercover officer in a car with a hidden camera is looking to buy cocaine.  

The deal approaches, the officer puts in his order, and the dealer says: “You ain’t the cops, are you?” The officer says: “H--- no!” They both laugh; the sale is completed; all on video. 

There is a category of morally acceptable speech based on social conventions. “How are you?” I say “fine,” but actually I’m not fine. Then, there is Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy. Jesus told parables without warning that they were not literal truth. 

People, including those who break the law, know about undercover operations and “stings”; for criminals they are a normal business risk. 

If the above are technically “lies,” they are de minimis and the law, which must be reasonable and does not concern itself with trifles that do no harm. 

— Jan Hicks, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

American evangelization 

Kudos to John Norton! “Welcoming 15 million new Catholics, and other fun facts” (Openers, March 6) was phenomenal! It certainly gives the reader a great deal to ponder. 

I found the following sentence to be the most profound: “... while only 13.6 percent of the world’s people live in the Americas, 49.4 percent of all Catholics live there.” 

This shows the great influence that those of us who live in the Americas can have in the world at a time when the Church is being attacked by forces within and outside the body of Christ. We must return to honoring the Catholic teachings of the magisterium.  

It is imperative that we restore Roman Catholic tradition and history by evangelizing our own and purging all institutions that claim to be “Catholic” yet do not foster Catholic beliefs! 

Through prayer and faithfulness may we have the courage to renew the bride of Christ. 

— Janie Clifton, Austin, Texas

Gubernatorial scandal 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is living with a woman who is not his wife, thus breaking one of the Ten Commandments (“Cuomo Communion,” March 13). He periodically receives holy Communion, thus profaning the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  

He is pro-abortion. He is pro same-sex marriage. 

This blatant disregard of Catholic teachings makes Catholic teachings appear trivial and inconsequential to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. In reality, it is a grave scandal to his children and to all. 

I thought it was part of the Church hierarchy’s responsibility to pass moral judgments, especially when the salvation of souls (and not just the soul of Gov. Cuomo) requires it. Apparently, I was wrong.  

— Bonnie Franz, Ogdensburg, N.Y.

Swedish lesson 

I generally read my copy of OSV Newsweekly with great interest; however, I am now very concerned about your fact checking and research. 

I am writing to you regarding the article “Lenten Traditions from Around the Globe” (In Focus, March 6). Being born and raised in Sweden, I was insulted to see you did not even bother to find the correct flag to illustrate the little article about Swedish Lenten customs. The Swedish flag is blue with a golden cross. I do not even recognize the white, blue, and orange striped flag printed in your paper. 

Swedes do eat pancakes and pea soup at times, but not on Fat Tuesday. The tradition for Fat Tuesday is to eat semlor, wheat buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream. (It is all together a different story that Sweden, generally speaking, is a secularized society where very few people even care about Lent. Semlor are usually available in bakeries from right after Christmas until around Easter time.) 

Children dress up as witches on Holy Thursday and get candy, comparable to our Halloween trick-or-treating custom in the United States. Easter candy, often in the form of eggs and chickens and presented in a decorative cardboard egg, is given on Easter Saturday.  

— Birgitta McGuire, M.D.via email

St. Casimir correction 

The feast of St. Casimir is celebrated on March 4, not March 3 as listed in the Feb. 27 issue. 

— Maria Smilga, via email 


The March 20 Openers column (“Keeping our Catholic minds ‘fearless, thirsty and supple’”) incorrectly identified the location of blogger Father Dwight Longenecker’s parish. He is pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, S.C.