Practical tips needed along with lectures on social justice

Re: “Consumers play role in workplace injustices” (News Analysis, May 26)

Your article made some very good points regarding the need for Catholics to play a role in workplace injustices. However, as is typical of what we are finding in the Church today, Catholics are receiving lectures from priests and theologians regarding social justice issues, but not one shred of practical advice.

Father Crosby suggested that Catholics ask themselves questions, “How was this made? Who’s being hurt?” All well and good. But just how is the average Catholic supposed to answer these and other questions posed in the article? I have articles of clothing in my closet made in Haiti, Vietnam, India, China, El Salvador, Honduras and Pakistan. How am I to know whether these items were made in accordance with Catholic social justice teachings? Better yet, tell me where I can find clothes made in America? Even the more expensive clothing stores use overseas labor.

What this article needed was to point out the necessity for Catholics to make informed decisions, and then provide them with the practical advice necessary to make those decisions. How can we form our consciences if our priests and theologians speak to us in vague double-speak language? The last paragraph illustrates my point: “We can do something about it. There is a moral obligation on the part of not only Catholics but also everybody to really inform their conscience,” he said. Yet, no where does the author offer any suggestions other than the Internet. So, what specifically should we do?

Before priests and theologians accuse Catholics of remote material cooperation or formal cooperation, they have to be prepared to offer advice on how to make these decisions in our everyday lives.

Jim Riveiro, Spring Hill, Fla.

Pray and speak up!

Re: “Pro-Lifers: Gosnell case the abortion industry norm” (News Analysis, May 26).

How foolish the abortion industry is to believe the pro-life community will think that Kermit Gosnell is just a fluke in a world of “safe, legal and rare” abortions.

If you Google “Babies Born Alive U.S. Government Information,” you can find case studies documenting the tragic lives of these tiny ones. And this is only a fraction of what is happening across our country each and every day. What can we do? We can contact legislators, we can write letters to the editors of large metropolitan newspapers, we can attend pro-life rallies, we can support unwed mothers through Pregnancy Resource Centers, Birthright and more. We can advocate for defense of the unborn in our parishes. We can support Father Frank Pavone’s Priests for Life. And most of all we can pray for the unborn, the newly born, physically and mentally challenged and the elderly.

Kathy Raimondi, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Media to blame

OSV noted that Gallup found that most Americans weren’t paying any attention to Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s trial. OSV should also have noted that mainstream media was not reporting on Gosnell’s trial. It was not public indifference that led to people not paying attention to Gosnell’s trial; it was the media not reporting on the trial.

Helen Corey, Nashville, Tenn.

Unorthodox source 

Re: “Enforcement of teachings puts Church in uneasy spot” (News Analysis, June 9).

I was appalled once again that Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese — well-known dissenter from Church teachings — was extensively quoted as an authoritative source by Brian Fraga. Father Reese’s inane arguments and comments do nothing but confuse the faithful. Frankly, if I find Fr. Reese quoted as an authority in OSV ever again, I will consider it time to cancel my subscription because OSV will have revealed itself to be no longer a serious Catholic publication.

Patrick Christle, New Haven, Ind.

Day is truly worthy

Re: “There are better models of sanctity than Day” (Letters to the Editor, May 19).

If the Church used Jan Hicks’ criteria for canonization (i.e., mortal sins committed before conversion make one a poor candidate for sainthood), we should “de-canonize” St. Augustine (fathered an out-of-wedlock child), St. Paul (persecutor of Christians), and St. Mary of Egypt (dissolute lifestyle). This is what conversion means: turning away from sin and to Christ. Dorothy Day repented of her abortion and Bohemian lifestyle and spent the remainder of her life being one of America’s greatest exemplars of the practice of the works of mercy.

I hope I live to see her canonized. She deserves it.

Stephanie Choury, San Leandro, Calif.

Modesty a must

Re: First Communion or fashion show?” (Our Take, May 12).

I see the point in the thought that one could avoid this syndrome by holding baptism, chrismation and first Communion together. Unfortunately, we may just be delaying the inevitable. Meaning, has anyone noticed brides’ and bridesmaids’ attire at many weddings in the past years? That can be a bit overstated and showy as well.

Appropriateness and modesty in dress starts at a young age — that way all sacramental celebrations are what they should be.

Name withheld