Awareness of trouble in Mosul

Re: “For Christians fleeing Iraq, a personal prayer” (Openers, Aug. 3).

Your article about Mosul, Iraq, was very heartwarming. I was born there — we ran away when I was just a baby and unfortunately not much has changed back home. In fact, it’s worsened since the U.S. occupation. I would like to thank you for taking the time to raise some awareness.

Sadly, the current state that Mosul is in has gone under the radar because of all the other terrible things going on in the world. My heart breaks for my Christian brothers and sisters suffering at the hands of these savages. It’s very consoling to know people care; it reaffirms my belief that there is more good than bad in this world; the good ones just need to write more posts and spread awareness.

Shamiran Yako, via email

Basilica visits

Re: “The beauty of basilicas” (In Focus, July 20).

I would like to recommend that readers call ahead before visiting to make sure that a given basilica is open and avoid disappointment.

I took some friends from Colorado to the cathedral basilica in Newark (mentioned in the article) last year and we were unable to gain entry to the basilica, even though it was a Saturday afternoon at 5, a time when one might expect the majority of churches to be open, especially one with a 6 p.m. Mass.

Plan ahead.

Andrew M. Saucci Jr., Baldwin, New York

Teaching on immigrants

Re: Letters to the Editor (July 20).

As a Salvadoran Catholic immigrant, apologist and prisoner who has constantly defended the Catholic Church, I don’t quite understand why these secular letters [regarding immigration] were even published in a Catholic newspaper. They would have been better off in the columns of the USA Today or The New York Times.

The content of these secular letters are not in accordance with the social teachings of the Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church, much less with the early Church Fathers’ writings. They are, on the contrary, in agreement with the anti-immigration sympathizers.

The duty of welcoming refugees and immigrants is inscribed in the following articles and Scriptures of the Bible and catechism: 1. CCC No. 1911; 2. CCC Nos. 1931-32; 3. CCC No. 2241; 4. CCC No. 2439; 5. Mt 25:31-46; 6. 1 Jn 3:17-18.

Even though this is a short list, these articles and Scriptures are simply instructing us to reserve an inn for the least Central American brothers and sisters of Jesus.

Julio Nelson Ventura, Amarillo, Texas

‘Responsible parenthood’

Re: “Vatican releases working document for synod” (News Analysis, July 13).

With the Vatican’s release of the working document for the synod, there is need to clarify the teaching of the Church.

Humanae Vitae is not “encouraging married couples to have children.” It is encouraging “responsible parenthood” (No. 10).

This is through what Pope Paul VI defines as being two meanings in marriage: procreative and unitive; and he tells us it is in these two meanings that we fulfill “the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical” (No. 18). In “The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan,” Pope St. John Paul II extends this to two sacraments in marriage, the sacrament of creation and the sacrament of redemption. The sacrament of creation is for conception of human life. The sacrament of redemption is for the regulation of birth and the transmission of spiritual life or grace.

It is through this wellspring of grace, which can be obtained through the sacrament of redemption in marriage, that we will overcome the many problems in marriage and family life; and restore truth and eternal love in our troubled world.

Ruth Kavanaugh, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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