Opinions of ‘expert’ source are suspect

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

When the secular media want a “Catholic” source for an article they often go to Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, as he provides rationale that is on or over the edge of Catholic teaching. That is exactly what he provided in this article.

He first says the issue is “complicated,” but then asks “... why the only sins that get a person fired are sexual.” He does not seem to understand or ignores that the Church’s teaching is that homosexual activity is an intrinsic evil, like abortion and embryonic stem cell research. That means that these evils can never be condoned, even if for an ostensibly greater good. I guess you could term these “sexual sins.” Then he goes on to list other “sexual sins” which are not intrinsic evils, but nevertheless would appear to be sins. Depending on factors/situations, these may be mortal sins.

Is it any wonder even Catholics get confused on the Church’s teachings when “experts” render opinions like this?

A. F. Kertz, Glendale, Mo.

Ranting source

It was unfortunate that such prominence was given to the rant by Father Thomas J. Reese in Brian Fraga’s article. Father’s comments will likely be remembered rather than calm reasoned explanations given by others. This article is similar to those found in the National Catholic Reporter, rather than those typical of OSV Newsweekly.

Sister Ruth Karnitz, via email

No reason for fear

Re: “Conservative, pro-life groups feel chilling effect of audits” (News Analysis, June 2).

Why should any person or group who is honest and has their financial house in order feel a “chilling effect” when they are audited by the Internal Revenue Service?

Susan Iyan, via email

Important reminder

Re: “Understanding what Pope Francis said about atheists, redemption” (Essay, June 9).

Thank you very much for this beautiful and extremely important article.

There is not now, nor ever, a single person for whom Jesus did not suffer and die — i.e., redeem!

But it is only by accepting this gift of Our Lord’s redemption to us, and by applying it to our own lives by our own personal love and service to him and to others, that we can make his universal redemption our own personal salvation. Thanks be to God!

Indeed a very, very important article! Again, my thanks to Our Sunday Visitor and to Brandon Vogt!

Jarlath Whalen, Westwood, Mass.

Praise for columnists

Amen to Carl Olson for “Truly incredible gift” (Opening the Word, June 2) on the veracity of the Eucharist where the living Christ literally gives us a blood transfusion.

And to Msgr. Charles Pope (“Male-female distinctions” (Pastoral Answers, June 2)). Perhaps these distinctions help us better understand the Blessed Holy Trinity.

Robert J. Bonsignore, Brooklyn, N.Y.

No more bashing

“No good man left” (Catholic Journal, May 19).

I was livid when I read Robert P. Lockwood’s article. There are many of us left but what can we do but pray!!

I was pleased to read that Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik responded to the university student’s anti-Catholic display, but there isn’t always a response when we read our papers.

I am sick of Catholic bashing. Someone in authority has to speak up. It makes it sound like only priests are guilty.

What of other religions?

Our biggest offenders are fathers, uncles, brothers, boyfriends, mothers, teachers, coaches, Boy and Girl Scout leaders, but priests are always in the headlines.

For a few who committed these terrible crimes (one was one too many), I am not condoning it or saying because others are doing wrong it is OK. But I am tired of the bashing and headlines. So, tell me what can I do?

Dionilla Valentini, Chisholm, Minn.

Which commandment?

Recently, a letter writer ranked the gravity of the commandments by their numerical order, reaching the bizarre conclusion that missing Mass was a worse sin than murder! I don’t suppose it occurred to him that God might have written the commandments in ASCENDING order of severity. Considering that false testimony sent Jesus to the cross, wouldn’t God consider that a worse offense than shoplifting?

In “Avoiding high taxes” (Pastoral Answers, June 9), Msgr. Charles Pope said it’s a violation of the Fourth Commandment to cross a state border for purchases to reduce one’s sales tax burden. I have no idea what honoring father and mother has to do with sales tax! I’m also not aware of any civil law obligating us to purchase items in our state of residence. I am, however, quite certain there are laws prohibiting foreigners from sneaking across our borders. Yet Our Sunday Visitor and our bishops are silent about that sin.

God would probably be better served if we all stopped trying to figure out which commandments have greater importance and start loving God and neighbor instead.

Jim Canale, Homer, N.Y.