Brian Fraga’s article ignores the fact that you and I, the public, employ and pay the “... public workers that include police, firefighters, teachers and administrative personnel.” Public employees typically earn substantially higher salaries than their employers, with substantially better benefits. Public employees, especially through unions, are more active politically than the public at large, which accrues to their benefit. They are substantially more secure in their jobs given the ups and downs of the economy than are their employers.
Detroit, as well as certain municipalities in California and around the country, reflect the “success” of municipal unions run amok. Others may not be far behind. Joseph J. Fahey and the others interviewed for this article seem to have ignored these facts.
No justice in unions
Re: “Catholics back unions after court decision” (News Analysis, Aug. 3).
I find the article’s strong support for unions to be problematic. Unions have become notorious for their corruption, their connections to organized crime and their violent tactics against anyone who opposes them. They know that they can’t maintain their numbers, or rather slow their decline, without being able to force workers to join them.
Especially disturbing is the article’s support for public-sector unions. No one is representing the group that actually has to pay the bill, i.e., the taxpayers. Union-negotiated extravagant pay and benefit packages have bankrupted Detroit and many smaller communities and pose a serious threat to the financial stability of California, Illinois and other jurisdictions.
The vast majority of workers in the U.S. want nothing to do with unions. How is it “social justice” to force them to join?
— Michael Sullivan, Lincoln, Nebraska
Quiet before Mass
Re: “A welcome reform” (Guest column, July 27).
I agree with J.D. Mullane that the “Parking Ministry” at his or any parish is fine, but I disagree with the practice of having greeters at the door welcoming people as they enter the church. Mullane even makes the suggestion that we start to introduce ourselves to those around us before Mass. God forbid that this should even happen. Why would we want to start talking before Mass? I come to church, usually 15 to 20 minutes early to pray to God and read the three readings so that I can begin to prepare myself for what is to take place in the next few minutes.
We do not need to introduce ourselves to each other before Mass. There is plenty of time after Mass to visit with those fellow parishioners either outside of the church or at the church hall, not in church.
— Richard Braun, Cincinnati, Ohio
Evangelize by actions
Re: “Quo vadis” (Spectator, Aug. 3).
According to the article, “We should get up from our seats and go out into the world!” And do what? Too many Catholics go to Mass, recite their responses, say their prayers, hear the Word, receive the sacraments and then go home, leaving all of that in the pew. Since Day 1 of his papacy, Pope Francis has emphasized taking our faith to people outside our Church walls. He imitates Christ in his methods as Jesus walked the streets imparting his Father’s words.
If we could display our overwhelming love for our Savior so greatly that others might want to share in the joys and glories of a Father who loves us and wants us to follow Jesus home, wouldn’t that be a way to gather in the lost sheep? We’ve tried with all of our knowledge and collective wisdom to once again fill our pews, yet the seats remain still and empty. Maybe it’s time to just expose our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls and give our burdens to Christ and trust him to lighten the load of indifference.
— Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio
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