I think the reason for our ideological divide is that too many Catholics put their politics ahead of their religion. As a result, many liberal Catholics place all of their hope and zeal into the Democratic party because they care exclusively about service to the poor and let that slant color their attitude toward Church teaching. Just as harmful are the conservative Catholics who concentrate exclusively on the issues of abortion and gay marriage and assume that’s all the Republican party need care about. The American Church needs a better balance than this.
Instead we must realize that it is Christ’s job to save the world through his mystical body, the Church. Politics is not our savior. Instead of identifying ourselves primarily by our political views and treating them as dogma, all Catholics should concentrate on doing good to both the unborn and the poor in their local community and worry about voting another day. A little less talk and a lot more action.
Re: “Melkite villagers long to return to their ancestral land in Israel” (News Analysis, Aug. 4).
Thank you for printing the excellent article by Judith Sudilovsky on the Melkite villages in Israel. It takes journalistic courage to buck the prevailing trend of one-sided reporting on the Holy Land. We need to support fellow Christians in whatever oppressive situation they find themselves in — even among our allies.
I give Our Sunday Visitor a lot of credit and hope you will continue to print Mrs. Sudilovsky’s excellent reportage.
— Father Alex Kratz, O.F.M.Southfield, Mich.
Sanctity of the body
Re: “Can we sell body parts?” (Pastoral Answers, Aug. 18).
I think Msgr. Pope did an excellent job explaining why it’s immoral to sell our body parts. I might add that if selling organs is made legal in our nation, people who are poor might be tempted in their desperation to sell certain organs in order to provide for the needs of themselves and their families. It’s also disheartening to learn that only 20 percent of people in New England States believe killing the innocent unborn should be illegal in all or most cases. Since the New England states have a solidly Catholic population, our bishops, priests and laity need to do a much better job in presenting authentic Church teaching in a positive way.
I found Father Hater’s comments (“Evangelization: A New Attitude,” In Focus, Aug. 18) to be generally excellent. But I did have a few points of disagreement. While we can learn much from evangelical churches, I do feel that most Catholic parishes do an excellent job reaching out to those in need. Of course, with the decline in priests and sisters, we should not only pray for vocations, but we laity must do better in evangelization.
— Tim Donovan, Folsom, Pa.
Re: “Brazil visit underscores key themes of Francis’ papacy” (News Analysis, Aug. 11).
I greatly admire Pope Francis, but I was disappointed to read that our new pontiff did not speak out on abortion or same-sex marriage in Brazil because he thinks that the Church’s teaching is already well-known regarding these issues.
Instead, the pope focused on “the positive things that open the way to young people.” I believe he missed an important opportunity to remind 3 million Catholic teens and young adults why they need to help protect the unborn and traditional heterosexual marriage.
The youth are the future leaders of the Church. Someday they will be the ones who have to defend the Catholic faith in a secular culture. It is naïve to assume that the folks in the pews are familiar with every single doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Everybody, including myself, needs a refresher course once in awhile.
— JoAnn L. Fuir, Alderson, W. Va.
Why social justice?
Re: “CRS refutes claim that it distributed birth control in Africa” (News Analysis, Aug. 25).
Regarding Brian Fraga’s comment on social justice, why social? The three other cardinal virtues need no adjectives.
Imagine social prudence, fortitude, or temperance. “Social” justice sounds like Saul Alinsky and/or George Soros.
— Gretchen Yanz, Faribault, Minn.
Dignity of immigrants
Re: “We don’t get our dignity from having the proper documents or the right paperwork. Our dignity comes from God” (IN QUOTES, Aug. 11).
When I read Archbishop José Gomez’s quote I was baffled! What was the purpose and logic of what the archbishop said? Why would he put two thoughts together that are not relevant to the core immigration question?
I’ve ordered his book. If this quote is an example of his position, he’ll run into a lot of opposition.
Common sense tells there are very good reasons for everyone to have the proper documents or the right paperwork. That has nothing to do with the fact that our human dignity comes from God!
— Charles N. Marrelli, Irvine, Calif.