Why is dissent being tolerated?

Re: “A house divided” (Spectator, Nov. 11). 

As a 92-year-old cradle Catholic and daily communicant, I worry about the faith legacy we are leaving following generations. I’m terribly disturbed by the fact that so many of my generation’s children and grandchildren have abandoned the Church and have accepted so many modern decadent moral standards. 

How is it that so many people who call themselves Catholics are allowed, with apparent impunity, to dispute the Church’s teaching regarding abortion, contraceptives and gay marriage? When Catholics in prominent positions publicly contradict the official teachings of the Church, don’t they commit a sin of scandal? And aren’t the bishops complicit in this sin if they fail to publicly correct them? When prominent officials who call themselves Catholics speak and act contrary to the teachings of the Church, doesn’t it seem like they should be publicly reprimanded?  

Alvin L. Kirtz, San Clemente, Calif.

Devoted to charity

Re: “Are charities harming the people they serve?” (News Analysis, Nov. 18). 

As an active Vincentian trying to practice the philosophy of our founder Frederick Ozanam, that “the poor are our masters,” I was very disturbed by your recent article suggesting the author of “Toxic Charity”’s belief that direct charity toward the poor was unproductive, as if this should be a determining factor in our carrying out this work.  

Those of us who walk this walk, which is always challenging and often frustrating, already know this. We believe our calling, though, is not to be productive, but to simply do what Christ commanded.  

I have little interest in being productive in this work, only in trying to be faithful. And I will never stop believing that this is what being a Catholic Christian is all about. 

Dennis Farrell, Hamburg, N.Y.

False dichotomy

Re: “Pro-life and social justice Catholics increasingly at odds” (News Analysis, Oct. 28). 

The implication is wrong. We are pro-life and are also concerned about and help those in need: We give help to pregnancy care centers through donations of money, baby clothes/baby care items and volunteering. Food banks/food drives receive our support monetarily and through volunteering. In addition to tithing to our parish in the collection basket, we donate to several special appeals included in our box of envelopes; sponsor a disadvantaged child/children here and abroad, domestic and foreign missions. Some of us sponsor a Native American student on a Zuni reservation. I know pro-lifers who are Habitat for Humanity volunteers. 

As my saintly father and mother before me, many times I have helped individuals who need a “hand up.” 

We “pro-lifers” are on the front lines helping the disadvantaged through volunteerism and donations, NOT by aborting “imperfect”/wrong sex/unwanted babies, nor do we support Planned Parenthood, whose founder Margaret Sanger specifically stated that her driving purpose of founding Planned Parenthood was to weed out, through abortion, the “undesirables.” 

We pro-lifers do not tell the sick and the elderly that they are no longer of worth in our society (health care rationing). 

I reject and resent the mind-set of liberals/socialists that pro-lifers are against “social justice.” 

We are pro-life because we believe in and practice social justice for all! 

Agnes G. White, via email

Spiritual reawakening

Re: “This Week in Quotes” (Nov. 11). 

The comment by Jesuit Father James Martin in a tweet reported in Our Sunday Visitor states: “If any religious leaders say tomorrow that the hurricane is God’s punishment against some group, they’re idiots. God’s ways are not our ways.” 

First, I think the good father does not know his Bible history, as the wrath of God was demonstrated multiple times, mostly in the Old Testament. But then, too, Christ did get very unhappy in his Father’s temple at one time. 

Second, this country was blessed by God in its founding, but has for 40 years not only “blessed” abortion with a law but also has exported it greatly. And then, too, is the acceptance of homosexual abomination and contraception as a right. 

This country is in vast moral decline, and does the good priest think that we do not deserve any punishment or an “awakening” of our separation from God? 

Maybe the good priest should have tweeted the last line as “Our ways are not God’s ways,” as we deserve any punishment God cares to carry out. 

William M. Grothus, Bettendorf, Iowa

Historically accurate

Re: “History of Catholic Vote” (In Focus, Nov. 4). 

As a member of a group of retired, “old” (80-plus years) American history “buffs,” we wish to congratulate OSV Newsweekly and Thomas J. Craughwell. 

The factual authenticity — that is, names, dates and presentation — was accurate, concise and had generally well-referenced documentation.  

Craughwell is a gifted writer and researcher, as this is not the first time we have had occasion to read his work. 

Jim Mulvaney, via email