Release of files is dehumanizing
Re: “Release of files is latest chapter in clergy abuse crisis” (News Analysis, May 5).
I have just received my OSV and I ask those who decided to do this article to specify ONE good result intended by this and expected to result from this action.
Why this discrimination when no such ultimate procedure has been applied to the numerous other persons found equally guilty of the same crime? Isn’t it already unfair that the fines for the same sin were higher for Catholic clergy than for others? Who is thirsty for that last drop of blood? Is this the decision of the Catholic Church leadership? Is there any precedent in any example of Christ?
I am well aware of the enormity of the crime for which the punishment (it appears) is now meant to completely destroy any shred of humanity left in even the justly condemned.
— Theresita Polzin, Ph.D., Denver, Colo.
Playing devil’s advocate
Re: “The Remarkable life of Dorothy Day” (Faith, May 5).
Many of us of a certain age have a somewhat different take from your generally laudatory article on Dorothy Day. The piece represents a form of historicity that attempts to bifurcate her life to come up with a plausible candidate for sainthood.
While it is certainly true that she worked tirelessly for the poor in this country, she did so on her terms and with little interest in cooperating with other organizations that might have been able to assist in bringing greater resources to the cause.
Her pacifism was in direct opposition to Church teaching that there are times when coming to the aid of one’s neighbor can be moral imperative. She evinced no concern about the fate of the Southeast Asian people, who were left to the tender mercies of the communists in three countries following the pullout of America in Indochina.
In fact, her comments on most leftist countries was studied silence and on a few, approbation. Fawning articles appeared in America and National Catholic Reporter at the time.
Before the Second Vatican Council, a cleric, euphemistically known as the devil’s advocate, was appointed to collect and present all negative information regarding the candidate to insure there was no impediment to the process.
To my knowledge, no one was ever denied sainthood for repented sin but many, whose names are thankfully not openly commented on, were terminated in the process because their actions in some or another area may have caused confusion among the people.
This may be one of those times when deference should take precedence.
— Donald Link, Louisville, Ky.
Gravity of missing Mass
Re: “Mortal sins” (Pastoral Answers, May 12).
Though I have great respect for the views of Msgr. Charles Pope and I have agreed with him almost 100 percent of the time, I am quite concerned with his recent comment regarding the equivalency of missing Mass and murder as if comparing a rat and a man as being equal because they are mammals.
In fact, the Ten Commandments are not equivalent to each other, and the first commandments are more important than the other ones below them.
Since “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day” is Commandment No. 3, while “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is Commandment No. 5, a Catholic who purposely misses Mass on Sunday has, in reality, committed a greater sin than if they kill someone.
Also, Commandment No. 3, when broken, is a sin directly neglectful and insulting toward God, which is worse then killing, which is primarily a sin against your fellow brother or sister, but not directly against God like purposely missing Mass.
I believe Msgr. Pope’s statement makes it seem that missing Mass is not such a bad thing after all. Priests need to remind people that they can go to hell for simply purposely missing one Mass. Since they don’t care to do so, 70 percent of Catholics in the United States and over 90 percent of Catholics in Europe don’t attend Mass.
I wonder who will be held responsible for this, because I suspect many more Catholics are on their merry way to hell because they neglect to attend Mass than those who do so for murder (simply because 70 percent of Catholics are not murderers). Hopefully, the ones held responsible for this will not be the priests who neglect to remind parishioners that missing Mass is actually as bad as killing someone or maybe even worse.
— Thomas Zabiega, Bolingbrook, Ill.
Fracking and quakes
Re: “Balancing risks, rewards of hydraulic fracturing” (News Analysis, April 21).
Your article has certainly received a lot of letters, but I am surprised that none of them has yet addressed earthquakes. While the definite verdict is still out, there are reputable scientists who believe that fracking may cause earthquakes. Unfortunately this is hard to prove as they don’t occur while the fracking is being done. It happens later.
It would have been nice if the author of this news analysis had mentioned this in the piece.
— Kristen Kurth, Wichita, Kan.