Forgotten teaching needed now more than ever

Re: “Baseball betrayal” (Catholic Journal, Aug. 11)

Robert P. Lockwood’s column brings up a phrase we seldom hear anymore, the near occasion of sin. That caveat was drummed into those of us who attended Catholic schools back in the 1940s and ’50s — as Lockwood mentioned — but it is a phrase we seldom hear today. Today’s youths are exposed to so many “near occasions of sin” — more than we ever could have imagined years ago — but have probably never had an “occasion of sin” explained to them.

Joan M. Floegel, Maitland, Fla.

Column feedback

Re: “Influential pontiff” (God Lives, Aug. 11).

It was interesting to read Msgr. Owen F. Campion’s input on Pope Pius XII.

Let me add the encyclical letter by Pope Pius titled Miranda Prorsus (“On Motion Pictures, Radio, and Television”), which addresses the duties of Catholics toward these three communicative powers and the immoral dangers contained within them, is a letter for the present. It is most pertinent for our times.

Msgr. Campion’s statement that communism is “a thing of the past” except for pockets here and there is far from fact. China is not a “pocket.” Nor is North Korea or Vietnam. Communism is alive and waiting in Russia. The communist saying, “Take two steps forward and one backward if necessary,” is now in mode in Russia. They are waiting for the right time.

Communism is not backing down. It is simply “retreating” to gain more power. The devil wants people to think he doesn’t exist. Perhaps the communists want the same until they become empowered again. In the meanwhile, America, especially under the present administration, is becoming weaker and weaker.

Edward Kalinowski, Portland, Conn.

Heroics acknowledged

I read the column on Pope Pius II. I don’t know if you remember the movie, “The Scarlet and the Black.” At the end, there were acknowledgements from many rabbis thanking the pope for all he did to help shelter the Jews and prisoner-of-war victims. Maybe something could be done to bring the film back. It is a great film. May God continue to bless you in your work.

Sister  Madeline Dolores IHM, Immaculata, Pa.

Wild accusations

Re: “True Good Samaritan” (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 11).

I was appalled at the letter dealing with the Trayvon Martin case characterizing George Zimmerman as the victim and Martin the aggressor, characterizing him as a “bandit” similar to the robbers in the Good Samaritan parable.

It is a total outrage to refer to this young man who died due to a tragic error as a bandit.

Martin was no bandit or trying to rob anyone, contrary to the letter writer’s wholly unfounded assertion, but was simply trying to return home from an outing shopping. The letter writer asks if your editorial board understood what really happened and says that if Zimmerman had not been armed he would be dead.

In fact, if Zimmerman had not been armed he probably would not have continued to follow Martin and the entire altercation would probably not have occurred.

I would further like to remind the letter writer that the jury did not find that Zimmerman was mugged by Martin, as the letter writer apparently believes they did. Rather, Zimmerman was rightly not convicted of a crime due to lack of sufficient evidence. It would appear as far as anybody can tell that each man thought he was protecting himself and neither had criminal intent.

People need to think and study the facts before throwing around wild unfounded accusations as your letter writer did. This is hardly a Christian response to an unspeakable tragedy.

Philip Kerler, Eagan, Minn.

Recommended reading

Re: “One man’s mission to renew America’s soul” (News Analysis, July 14).

Great book by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, “Immigration and the Next America”! Hopefully, he can write the history of Mexico and the Catholic Church and the Next Mexico. A Catholic history of Mexico and the Church would be very enlightening for America and Mexico.

Many citizens of both countries are ignorant of the history of all people of Mexico and our Church.

John Kelly, Grand Forks, N.D.

WYD participation

Re: “Make WYD accessible” (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 4).

In answer to the letter of Gabrielle DeMoras, it is not only the lack of money that prevents someone to go to Rio for World Youth Day. The older people, the incapacitated ones and the sick could also not be present in Rio, but they could participate and watch the events. Thanks to EWTN, Rio De Janeiro, like all the previous WYDs, was quite accessible.

As far as having something similar in one’s parish or diocese, I am sure it could be done, but it is our Blessed John Paul II who started this worldwide youth gathering. I am deaf but by watching the 2013 WYD, I could still be present, pray with all those people and be part of this world youth rally.

Marie J. Jordan, Evergreen, Colo.