Charities are better at taking care of poor than government

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

According to Greg Erlandson’s column, 61 percent of all Catholics “would prefer the Church to focus its public-policy statements ‘more on social justice and the obligation to help the poor, even if it means focusing less on issues like abortion.’ ” I have yet to read a discussion on whether paying income taxes relieves one of the obligation to fulfill a corporal work of mercy in helping the poor. Forty-seven percent of Americans do not pay income tax; what is their status if this is achieved by taking advantage of the tax code? 

Who is the more efficient distributor of alms to the poor — the federal government or Catholic Charities? Will the Lord judge me favorably if I answer that by paying taxes I gave to the poor? The social-services part of the budget becomes more and more exacerbated each year. One-third of all social services are paid for with borrowed money. Is this honorable?  

American Catholics are being hoodwinked and the federal government is complicit in this scheme in that social services are a highly inefficient method of charity, but, above all, are merely a vote-gathering plot. 

Ed Siering, Muscatine, Iowa

Major title

In the Nov. 11 issue, you mention the major-archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church twice as merely an archbishop. His dignity should be respected as a major-archbishop (which is one step below a patriarch). It is like calling an archbishop a mere bishop, or the pope as a mere patriarch. As a Byzantine Catholic, I wish to point this out to you.  

Daniel Barton, Fayetteville, N.C.

Catholic principle

Re: “Election Day” (Editorial, Nov. 4). 

I was very disappointed when I read your editorial. Why wasn’t it made clear that we as faithful Catholics must not vote for politicians who support abortion? Is the OSV editorial board afraid to speak the truth? Our pope said life is the first and only issue — without life there is nothing. Our bishops have said we as Catholics cannot vote for those that would murder the most innocent — the unborn. The Democratic Party has abortion rights as part of their platform. 

Nowhere in your editorial did you mention the HHS mandate and the fact that the Obama administration will force the Catholic Church, against its conscience, to provide contraceptives and abortive products for it’s employees.  

I believe our sacred responsibility is to follow Christ and remain faithful to his teachings. Life is the Catholic principle we should all hold most dear. 

Speak the truth as Christ would. 

Annette Urban, Brunswick, Ohio

Wrong emphasis

Re: “Searching for ways to keep Catholic schools open” (News Analysis, Nov. 4). 

Thanks for your article on Catholic education. However, I have a question about the Baltimore archdiocese launching seven STEM schools (emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math). My question is, what about the emphasis on the Catholic Church, Scripture, Church history, the Second Vatican Council? This is all needed. 

God bless you all with prayers. 

Sister M. Gemma Younger, V.H.M.Versailles, Ky.

Expand Church’s mission

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

Russell Shaw discusses the wide margins between “moral equivalency,” “prudential” judgment and “norms that allow no exception” in “the split” between pro-life and social justice Catholics. 

I suggest that beating the “make abortion illegal in the United States” drum as the sole item on the U.S. bishops’ mission is creating the split, that it is a useless effort and counterproductive in other ways. Abortion has been legal in the United States for 40 years. Republicans have been in office more than Democratic administrations during that time and abortion is still legal. The Supreme Court could be packed with all conservatives and Roe v. Wade will not be overturned. U.S. citizens do not want to criminalize abortion.  

Making abortion the center piece of the U.S. Church’s mission will continue “the split” and marginalize the Church in the greater society. What to do to bring pro-life and social justice folks together? Expand the mission statement to state that U.S. Catholics will continue to work to make abortions fewer and less disabling to the victims. 

These suggestions may make for a different kind of split in the American Church, they will definitely shake up the current split and enhance the Church’s integrity and moral authority with young Catholics and the larger society in the United States and worldwide.  

Nick Lucas, Richmond, Va.


Msgr. Kevin Sullivan was incorrectly identified in “Rebuilding lives after devastation of Sandy” (News Analysis, Nov. 18). Msgr. Sullivan is executive director of Catholic Charities of New York. 

A box in “Voices from the East” (In Focus, Nov. 11) giving statistics on the Church in Hungary should have noted there are four archdioceses, nine dioceses and 2,185 parishes in the country.