Offering flock the possibility of forgiveness 

Re: “Two priests put pro-life issues on forefront” (Profile, Jan. 20). 

The statement that “the reason more Protestant ministers don’t preach on pro-life is that many in their congregations have had abortions” and they “don’t want to offend anyone” can just as easily be applied to Catholic priests. It reveals two critical problems: First, they are denying their flocks the mercy of Christ; second, they are assuming one must “hit people over the head” with their sins, and so fail to realize that when Jesus said, “Repent and believe in the kingdom of God,” he did it with great love and mercy. 

No priest, or other pastor of souls, is worth his salt who does not offer the possibility of forgiveness to those in his care, and that forgiveness will never be found if one’s sin is not brought into the light. Please, do it with love, but do it — for the sake of the salvation of souls. 

James Kurt, via email

Gripping interview

Re:“Radical response to the horror of abortion” (Faith, Jan. 20). 

Mark Sullivan’s interview with Monica Migliorino Miller was an in-depth look into the truth about the abortion wars over the past 40 years. Miller’s experience and her heroic response to expose the truth to a blinded country was and is extraordinary.  

The week before your article, I had just finished reading “Abandoned,” and the interview further explained to me the disconnect which abortion has left us from one another. Miller’s quote that “a culture based on a radical disconnectedness from one human being to another is not a culture that is going to stand” is a gripping, thought-provoking understanding of how America is 40 years after Roe v. Wade, and your interview puts much into perspective. Last year our tax dollars spent $500 million to support Planned Parenthood. In 40 years, we abandoned/aborted 55 million unborn children. All this really needs to change. 

Mary T. Murphy, Rochester Hills, Mich.

Keeping Catholic

Re: “CRS president reflects on first year on the job” (News Analysis, Jan. 13). 

Since few Catholics have specific and detailed knowledge about our Church’s international relief service, your article is timely and presents key issues concerning the mission and activities of Catholic Relief Services. 

No doubt the mission should include food, shelter and medicine for those in need, without regard to race or creed. But CRS’s new CEO advocates a more multi-faith, sectarian mission when she asserts, “We also make sure that people have access to the spiritual assets they need, whether it is a prayer shawl or prayer book.” A prayer shawl is an article of clothing typically worn by Muslims or Jews during prayer service. This seems inconsistent with Pope Benedict’s recent call to strengthen the religious identity of Catholic charitable organizations. 

I’m certain CRS provides significant aid, but since it partners with more than 1,250 other organizations, someone must be vigilant to ensure we remain a Catholic relief service. 

David J. Young, Supply, N.C.

It’s not marriage

Re: “10 rebuttals to same-sex marriage” (In Focus, Jan. 13). 

I am growing weary of Catholic publications calling same-sex unions by the incorrect title of “marriage.” Marriage indicates a total uniting of persons, an integration and complement of natures. The title of “marriage” for homosexual unions desensitizes the faithful to what true marriage is. It is confusing and misleading, and it gives more fuel to the gay agenda because they can say, “See, even the Catholic Church says we’re married.”  

Please just stick to authentic Catholicism; the world has enough politically correct jargon. The Church doesn’t need to take part in that nonsense and neither should publications that call themselves Catholic. 

Mrs. Mary Jo Thayer, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Tackling dissent

You folks do a great job of tackling God’s enemies outside the Church — President Barack Obama, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. However, you do a poor job of tackling the enemies of God within the Church! The unfaithful priests and nuns and all the dissident lay groups often appear “off your radar”! You bemoan the poor formation of laity, yet seldom address the poor formation and unfaithfulness of the priests and nuns leading us, or priests who never preach on any issue that clashes with the secular view.  

Many of your articles refer to “the pro-life vs. social justice mindset.” That is nonsense used by dissidents who seek to legitimize their unfaithful stand.  

As Russell Shaw said recently, “Let’s try the get-tough approach to religion, for a change” (Essay, Jan. 6). Indeed, and let’s start at home. Every problem in the Church is an issue of fidelity. 

— Vincent W. Malzahn, Granger, Wash.

Heartbreaking column

Re: “A time to mourn” (Catholic Journal, Jan. 13). 

I enjoy Bob Lockwood’s column, but this one made my heart weep. It was so beautiful, so moving, so full of compassion that I can’t reread it without tears in my eyes. It is one I have cut out and folded up in my Bible. At the story of Lazarus. And Jesus wept. 

Peggy Wright, Omaha, Neb.