No social justice without the right to life
Re: “Pro-life and social justice Catholics increasingly at odds” (News Analysis, Oct. 28).
Catholics who think that they can have social justice without pro-life are either kidding themselves or allowing themselves to be fooled. Why? Because Pope Blessed John Paul II said so. In 1987, he wrote an encyclical letter called “On Social Concerns.” There he said, “Love of preference for the poor and the decisions which it imposes on us cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care, and above all, those without hope of a better future.” In the same section (see No. 42), he went on to say, “In this concern for the poor, one must not overlook that special form of poverty which consists in being deprived of fundamental human rights.” And the Church has always insisted that the right to life is one of the most fundamental human rights. In his encyclical “On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum,” Pope John Paul noted further that “the socialists encourage the poor man’s envy of the rich and strive to do away with private property, but their contentions are so clearly powerless to end the controversy that were they carried into effect, the working man himself would be among the first to suffer.”
The inevitable result of expanding government’s role in the economy is totalitarianism, as modern world history has amply demonstrated. Not only Catholics but everyone concerned about justice for people at the lower end of the economy should wake up and see how absolutely necessary the right to life is for social justice to be real.
— Father Joseph Follmar, via email
Virtue of women
“The sexualization of girls” (In Focus, Oct. 28) shows starkly how much more we are influenced by secular forms of communication than by the family. My mother, by her life and by her teaching, taught my two younger sisters and me what a beautiful woman is. She taught us that the woman sets the moral standard of society. But my dear friend Father Fred Westendorf of blessed memory said it best: “If your women are virtuous, your men will be saints!”
Is it not sad that so many women have been deceived into relinquishing such power? Let us pray that the Lord will send his Spirit to our women so that they will regain their natural role as moral leaders of society.
— Otto M. Bonahoom, Fort Wayne, Ind.
E.J. Dionne in OSV?
I received my current issue and was surprised to see at the Washington Post syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne quoted on the “insight” of the “Nuns on the Bus” on the ethics of something or other (This Week, Oct. 28).
Dionne has admitted on PBS that he is a nominal Catholic. That depends on how you define “nominal.”
Nuns on the Bus should not be quoted on anything relative to the Church.
Leave Dionne to the pages of America magazine. Maybe he will graduate to the National Catholic Reporter.
Hire another orthodox editor soon.
— Donal Mahoney, via email
On Father Groeschel
Re: “Only last act a tragedy” (Spectator, Oct. 14).
Thank you for the meaningful article on a renowned and most humble man, Father Benedict Groeschel. When I listened and absorbed his wisdom on EWTN each Sunday evening, I was ready to tackle the coming week.
Needless to say, I always dreaded when he would have to give up his duties.
He is much admired, loved and saintly. I give thanks for his understanding and true teaching!
He will be missed terribly. May God bless him. Father Groeschel’s reward is a huge list of gratefulness from “countless” people of all walks of life who have been so inspired by this holy man.
— Barbara Rose, Saint Louis, Mo.
Re: “Reflecting on 10 years of the luminous mysteries” (News Analysis, Oct. 21).
It amuses me that we have “special” months for praying the Rosary. Why not every month?
At age 90, I remember attending Christian Brother College High School in St. Louis from 1936 to 1940, where we started each daily religion class praying a decade of a selected mystery for the week.
I can’t help but wonder if any of our Catholic schools these days start each day praying a decade of the Rosary? I’m sure our Blessed Mother would appreciate it, spending just five minutes a day with her.
— Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.
“Maintaining integrity during the election” (Faith, Oct. 28) seems to imply that pro-lifers have no concern for the poor. I think we can care about both issues at the same time, but clearly concern for innocent life takes precedence over social justice, and people should chose the party and vote for the candidates who will support our Catholic beliefs. Read the party platforms for clarity on the values they hold.
Furthermore, when did it become the proper function of authority (government) “to make accessible to each” food, clothing, health, education, work and culture. Is the individual citizen supposed to do anything for himself and his family?
— Phyllis Ross, Fountain Valley, Calif.