Abortion, religious freedom must be priorities

Re: “We’re there to walk with them on this journey” (News Analysis, Dec. 25).

While it is excellent that the Church is willing to support the immigrant and to work with Donald Trump in areas in which he is not in concert with Church teaching, many Catholics ignore the fact that this election, as disturbing as it was, provided a miraculous pro-life and pro-religious-freedom victory over a woman who is a rabid supporter of Planned Parenthood and was highly unlikely to have put pro-life justices on the Supreme Court, much less lead the fight to defund the largest abortion provider in the country.

Approximately 4,000 children die of abortion each day in the U.S. ISIS does not kill 4,000 Americans every day; neither will Donald Trump’s immigration policies, climate change or the economy. Nothing is a higher priority for the American Church than the protection of the innocent and religious freedom — a fight which must be supported by priests, bishops and cardinals.

When Catholic immigrants put their fears before the destruction of the innocent, and encourage others to vote accordingly, it flies in the face of a Church that teaches us to put others before ourselves. When we fear deportation more than the fact that 4,000 children alive this morning will be tossed away as so much human refuse by this evening, we must ask ourselves if we can really call ourselves “Catholic.”

Stephanie Choury, San Leandro, California

Epiphany

Re: “How to better appreciate the feast of the Epiphany” (Openers, Jan. 8-14).

Gretchen Crowe is correct that in the Eastern churches (but not all of them) the holy day of Epiphany is called Theophany. It is always celebrated on Jan. 6, as that ends the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” I can never understand why the Roman Catholics move it to this Sunday or that.

For Eastern Christians, it celebrates Jesus’ baptism and the revelation from God the Father that Jesus is the Son. It has nothing to do with the visit of the Magi and their gifts, as in the Roman Church. Further, she mentioned that Christmas is celebrated on or near Theophany by Eastern churches. Not quite true. Those Eastern churches (i.e., Orthodox) that follow the Julian calendar are still celebrating Dec. 25, but it just happens to fall on or near the Gregorian calendar’s Jan. 6, and this confuses Western Christians.

Daniel Barton, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Moral pollution

Re: “Care for creation” (Letters to the Editor, Dec. 25).

Of course climate change has always been with us, alternately taking us from warm times to ice ages. It is impossible to even know what the “ideal climate” might be. But pollution is a fairly new phenomenon. While I agree with Paul Schryba’s letter about the need to keep our planet wholesome and clean, I think the moral pollution we are dealing with is a far more important and more challenging issue. Some of us can remember when pornography, sexually explicit movies and books, foul language and the like were found only in adult bookstores somewhere along the highway. Now they permeate every home on the computer, in regular TV programs, in the world of movies.

Ninety-nine percent of children used to know what gender they were; it was either boy or girl. Adults used to know if they were men or women. Now there are many gender choices, and people are mutilating themselves to try something new. Killing the unborn is called “women’s health.”

Earthly pollution can cause sickness, death of species and shorter life spans, etc. But trying to lead a morally sound life in the midst of so much moral pollution is practically impossible for one who sees nothing else from childhood on. An immoral lifestyle takes one to hell. This is the real problem: so many people losing their salvation.

Jeannette Rowden, via email
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