Make reconciliation a ‘monument’ to the Year of Mercy

Re: “What will be our concrete reminder of the Year of Mercy?” (Openers, April 17).

Pope Francis has asked dioceses around the world to set up a permanent memorial of the Year of Mercy by establishing hospitals, homes for the aged, abandoned children or addicts, and schools. For someone who does not embrace capitalism as expressed in Laudato Si’ , these proposed memorials would require the outlay of great capital. I think the pontiff has the cart before the horse.

I would rather he emphasize, as he did in Misericordiae Vultus (No. 17) a spiritual “monument” consisting of bishops encouraging their priests to offer our most neglected sacrament, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, more frequently to the laity, particularly 20 minutes before daily Mass. Without this sacrament, God’s mercy cannot become manifest to the sinners we all are, and plenary indulgences are not possible as this neglected sacrament is one of the usual dispositions required.

Joseph Liss, Columbus, Georgia

Mother Angelica

Re: “EWTN foundress Mother Angelica dies at 92” (News Analysis, April 10).

As a convert who owes a debt of gratitude to EWTN for catechesis and inspiration, I’m saddened by the emphasis on “controversial” describing Mother Angelica in obituaries (including yours) with its negative connotations.

Mother was controversial because she had the verve to protect and proclaim the truth, without apology, against the liberal voices in the Church aiming to rework and retool truth that remains the same — yesterday, today and forever.

Furthermore, in evaluating anyone’s life, its presumably best to adhere to Our Lord’s standard: “You will know them by their fruit.”

Oh, what a lush and life-giving orchard she tended and left behind.

I, like Elisha with Elijah, am praying for a double portion of her spirit, controversial and all.

— Robin Bunnell, Esperance, New York

The lack of coverage given to Mother Angelica of EWTN at her death was shameful. Small-time political leaders, rock stars, or sports heroes are given better coverage when they die. Mother Angelica with her faith helped shape the world for the better for millions of people.

By their lack of coverage, the secular press proved how prejudice they are against Catholic religious women.

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Perils of pornography

Re: “Porn’s dangerous reach” (Eye on Culture, Jan. 31).

Our Sunday Visitor reaches me a little late in Tokyo, but the paper is passed onto others who read English. Teresa Tomeo’s commentary addresses one of the growing evils of the 21st century, clearly pointing out the effects of pornography and other evils that result to the individual and society. Unfortunately, she did not mention the most frequent evil of pornography, which often leads first to masturbation, an intrinsically and gravely disordered action, contrary to the purpose of marriage (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2352). Though not as well researched like pornography, masturbation has effects on one’s maturity and sexual relationships.

— Father Nicholas Swiatek, Tokyo, Japan

Holy Doors

Re: “A story of pilgrimage and mercy in the South” (Special section, April 3).

We enjoyed the April 3 edition of OSV. We were especially interested in the coverage of the Holy Doors. The door at our parish is quite unique in that it was designed and painted by one of our parish members/teachers at St. Raphael’s Church in Santa Barbara, California.

Al and Pat Bushman, Goleta, California

Effects of aging

Re: “Bring on the tears” (Catholic Journal, April 3).

Regarding things that come on as we age, Robert P. Lockwood left out a couple of important items. As we age, the ground gets progressively lower and gravity gets stronger. Being 77 years old, I can prove it.

Gerald (Jerry) Olesen, Fortuna, California
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