Ecumenism still flows from papacy of Pope St. John XXIII

Re: “Text affirms Catholic-Lutheran common ground” (News Analysis, Dec. 27).

It was with great joy that I read the article. I remember when Angelo Roncalli (now Pope St. John XXIII) was elected pope. Dad was milking cows as the news came over the radio. “He’s 76 years old! What will he ever accomplish?”

The document is an accomplishment of Vatican II, the ecumenical council called by John XXIII, and the ecumenical dialogue that has followed over the past 50 years. This document emphasizes 32 points of agreement while also mentioning continued disagreements. It also requests opportunities for Lutherans and Catholics to receive Communion together, marking an end to the division that has existed for 500 years.

Reunion between Christians as symbolized by interfaith Communion may be the witness before the world and as the answer to Christ’s prayer that all may be one.

Perhaps St. John XXIII, as the result of his experiences with Muslims in Turkey and rescuing Jews during World War II, had no fear when it came to working for Christian unity.

Ron Schaub, Marathon, Wisconsin

Mother Teresa

Re: “Spreading God’s mercy to the poorest of the poor” (Faith, Jan. 3).

I enjoyed reading the article about Mother Teresa of Kolkata and her upcoming canonization. I was a little surprised, however, to not see anything about her great devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As Mother Teresa once stated: “I make a Holy Hour each day in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; all my sisters of the Missionaries of Charity make a holy hour as well, because we find that through our daily hour, our love for Jesus becomes more intimate.”

I have been an active member of the St. Joseph Perpetual Adoration group in Bay City, Michigan, for nearly 30 years, and Mother Teresa has been one of our great persons we all pray to for help and inspiration.

John Sheridan, Bay City, Michigan

Catholic voters

Re: “Election 2016: The Catholic factor” (In Focus, Jan. 3).

I agree there is a “Catholic factor.” Catholics are “the ultimate swing vote” on everything in the world. Unfortunately, today the entire world — Catholics included — looks to what the Catholic Church does, not what it teaches.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion in 1973 and gay “marriage” in 2015, what did Catholics do before these two anticipated spiritually cataclysmic rulings? Was a national prayer vigil and fast proclaimed in hopes to avoid the devastating effects of both? No. The world took notice. Since almost nothing was done, the world heard the Catholic Church say, “We don’t like it, but such is life.” If the watch dog (the Catholic Church) just barks once in a while but never bites, the thief will come and go at will. The Catholic Church is the most spiritually powerful organization on the planet. What good is power if not used?

Let each of us ask God to give us the wisdom and courage to use the power of his Church and its sacramental grace to change the world to know, love and serve him, and not let the world change us instead.

Joe Marincel, Flower Mound, Texas

While reading Mark Gray’s article, I could not understand how the Democratic Party could be given such consideration. The devil has truly lulled even the Church into a remarkable complacency. The Democratic party has written into its party platform abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. What more should need to be said? How is it that this does not completely disqualify it from consideration?

Whatever the other party has done, it has not explicitly condoned and encouraged mortal sin on a national scale. It has not, for instance, written a return to slavery into its platform — this would be an equal horror, but it has not done that.

When will the frog in boiling water wake up?

James Kurt, Sarasota, Florida
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