Re: “New Big East conference has distinctive Catholic feel” (News Analysis, April 7). 

Scott Alessi’s article on the “Catholic 7” Big East basketball schools contained much wishful thinking as far as the schools’ Catholic images are concerned. Not one of the schools appear in the Cardinal Newman Society list of authentically Catholic institutions.  

Orthodoxy is not a concern of these schools, Alessi’s claims notwithstanding. It may be claimed that Butler, a non-Catholic member, is as “Catholic” as any of the others. OSV should investigate and report on the weaknesses of these universities, as well as other so-called “Catholic” schools, rather than give a blanket endorsement of heterodox attitudes and practices. 

Ed LaNeve, East Liverpool, Ohio

Look West

Re: “New Big East conference has distinctive Catholic feel” (News Analysis, April 7). 

The article by Scott Alessi seems to state this is the first and only time that Catholic universities have banded together and formed a conference. Not true. What about the West Coast Conference? It started years ago, and it contains seven Catholic schools: Portland, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego, Saint Mary’s, Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga.  

Maybe the problem is that all these schools are located out WEST! 

John P. Adams, Arvada, Colo.

Vocation voices

Re: “Embarking on a vocational voyage” (Special Section, April 7). 

Very nice issue on vocations — an impressive panoply of new voices using new media to reach our secularized society. 

New Evangelization could concentrate on these critical concerns confronting Catholicism — journalism, jurisprudence, legislation and health. We need a greater and effective presence in mass media, law (and courts), elected officials and medicine (pro-life physicians, nurses and technicians).  

Edward Bode, Jefferson City, Mo.

Arrogance of court

“Supreme Court weighs same-sex marriage” (News Analysis, April 14). 

It’s pretty arrogant of the U.S. Supreme Court to accept a case in which they think they have the authority to decide an outcome regarding something that God has already established — marriage! Thirty-eight of 38 states (that would be 100 percent) have voted for DOMAs and have rejected same-sex marriage.  

How does that allow for the Supreme Court to even consider overstepping and usurping our right of self-governing, in order to make such a ruling?  

Debra Holbus, via email

Beautiful letter

“Dear Holy Father” (Essay, March 24). 

The guest column was superb. 

Russell Shaw’s address to Pope Francis was beautifully written and spoke the words that many of us Catholics would like to say. 

I look forward to our new Holy Father coming to our shores for a visit, just as his two predecessors did. 

We need him. We need his guidance, comfort, support, encouragement and inspiration. 

Sallie Barreca, St. Louis, Mo. 

Hopes for new pope

Re: “A pope of the people” (March 31 issue). 

I liked the articles on Pope Francis. He is experiencing a honeymoon interlude. The hard job of the new pope is to reform the Curia, defend against heresy and correct Catholics, including the clergy and religious, who are dissidents.  

Not everyone is a Catholic who claims to be one. A Catholic is only one who accepts all of the teachings of Jesus Christ as taught in The Catechism of the Catholic Church.  

One can be a sinner but must believe all the teachings of Jesus that have come down to us through the living Catholic Church. 

Anthony D. Lutz, Vienna, Va.

Prayers and witness

Re: “Moral chaos, U.S. style” (Editorial, April 7). 

This article nicely describes the moral confusion that reigns at this time in our culture; and the Word tells us who is the author of confusion. Pray, you mighty Church! Preach, you pure priests and deacons! Witness, you would-be saints! Shine like the city on a hill the Lord calls us to be. Summon all your strength to the task before us as never before. Let the heat of the battle make your feet nimble and quick upon the hills of Zion. He who is with us is greater than he who is in the world. 

Margaret Miller, via online comments 

Liturgical laws

Re: “A tale of two popes” (Spectator, April 14). 

I am disappointed that newly elected Pope Francis chose to forgo tradition and wash the feet of two women during the liturgy of Holy Thursday. Liturgical law prescribes that only men can be chosen for that rite. The Holy Thursday Mass recalls the Last Supper where Christ introduced the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood, which is reserved to men only. 

There are no doubt many ways in which the new pope can reach out to women. Flouting tradition and abandoning liturgical laws are not one of them. 

Sam Wright, North York, Ontario