God’s justice is a hopeful reminder in times of tragedy

Re: “Are the End Times really near?” (Guest Column, Nov. 25-Dec. 1).

Living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, all I was seeing and reading about was the massacre at the Jewish Synagogue.

The media and people in general reminded one another that Pittsburgh is stronger than hate and will survive.

It was refreshing to read Russell Shaw’s reminder that the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by His creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death” (No. 1040).

It was a shame that God had to play second fiddle to Pittsburgh being strong!

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Abuse

Re: “Abuse” (Letters to the Editor, Nov. 25-Dec. 1).

In his letter, Gary Yarbrough wrote: “The Church’s problem is overwhelmingly one of male-on-male homosexual predation and abuse.”

Yet, in their study of the Church’s sexual abuse, authorized by the USCCB, John Jay researchers state that “celibacy and homosexuality” were not the cause of this crisis. Their study showed that it was the emotional immaturity and sexual confusion of about 5 percent of Catholic priests, who acted out their immaturity and confusion, by abusing young boys and some girls.

In 1962, I was ordained a priest at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, Indiana. When I was ordained, I was taught that I received the Holy Spirit’s special seal on my soul that made me an alter Christus and ontologically superior to laypeople. I believe that this teaching has been a cause, over the ages, of the spirit of clericalism, clerical power and privilege. I believe abusers used their power and privilege to coerce, control and justify their abuse of vulnerable young boys. I have always lived my priesthood on the same level as laypeople.

Father Edward J. Ruetz, Mishawaka, Indiana

Re: “Crisis in the Church” (Letters to the Editor, Nov. 18-24).

I am angry and frustrated with our Church leadership and agree with Dr. Popcak (his article in the same issue, “Sacrifice of Praise”) that our “generals” (clergy) are engaging in “friendly fire” and are not living or leading us to “a positive alternative to the secular culture’s sexual agenda.”

Given that, I think Richard Tedesco’s letter misses the point. The answer to our current crisis lies not in changing the “rules” but in changing how we (clergy and laity) live our faith, the truth given to us by Jesus through his Church. Mr. Tedesco is correct that Jesus was always challenging the establishment. But he was calling the establishment to teach and live the truth in love; he was not compromising the truth. Our current “establishment” (as well as laity) also needs to be called to live the truth in love, not just change rules.

Brian Krutka, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Church and politics

Re: “Brazil’s new president cut from Trumpian cloth” (News Analysis, Dec. 2-8).

As a former longtime Democrat of 30 years (I’m 56), who for several years has been a pro-life moderate Republican, I reluctantly voted for Donald Trump. Although I still support the Democratic platform on many issues, I primarily voted for President Trump because of his opposition to the violence of legal abortion. As a matter of principle, I never vote for so-called “abortion rights” candidates. However, to gain my vote, a pro-life candidate must be reasonable both in terms of his or her other political positions and statements. Therefore, Jair Bolsonaro, although pro-life on abortion, has much too conservative positions on other major issues from what I’ve read. Also, he has made offensive comments about women, gay people (and although I’m gay, I oppose gay marriage) and ethnic minorities. If I was a citizen of Brazil, I’d abstain from voting for president, since from my reading no candidate espouses a reasonable platform.

Tim Donovan, via online comment
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