Further explanation on clericalism?

Re: “The dangers of clericalism in the Church continue to exist” (Essay, Jan. 19).

I am not familiar with the term “clericalism.” Russell Shaw’s article pointed out the negative side, but I am struggling to figure out what positive actions or attitudes need to be promoted and reinforced. If I understand his point (and I admit I may not), the Church, parishioners/members included, rely too much on the clergy where we, the faithful, should be taking action and picking up the load rather than sitting back expecting the clergy to do everything. I would use the term couch-potato Catholic for this attitude. I look forward to the next column where you can explain further.

Don E., Via online comments

Catholic education

Re: “Responsible spending” (In Focus, Feb. 2).

In most places, Catholic education for one child costs $4,000 to $5,000. So these budgets assume: (a) people who make less than $30,000 should neither send their children to Catholic school nor home-school their kids; (b) people who make $30,000 to $60,000 a year should only send one child to Catholic school, but maybe they can home-school more than that if they are careful with how they buy materials; (c) people who make $60,000 a year can maybe get away with sending two children to Catholic school; (d) if you’re a large Catholic family with kids in multiple grades, you’re stuck with public education and good luck to you; and (e) if you have at least one kid in Catholic school, you are exempt from tithing to your parish.

I’m fortunate that where I live the bishops (in succession) have made Catholic education extremely affordable, but we’re expected to tithe over and above our tuition costs.

S.L. Hansen, Via online comments

Scouting alternatives

Re: “Policy shift opens door for alternative groups” (News Analysis, Feb. 2).

We made the switch this year from Boy Scouts of America to St. George Troops, and we have been pleasantly pleased. St. George is putting faith first, scout activities second. I am amazed at the amount of solid Catholic catechesis our leaders are instilling in our young men. It’s completely different than in Boy Scouts, where faith has almost become a mere whisper.

Not only are the boys getting a healthy dose of orthodoxy at every meeting, but so are the dads.

Since the Boy Scouts made such a bad decision, Catholics and Christians have stepped up and provided amazing alternatives. We didn’t know what we were missing.

Christy Kellner, Via online comments

Scouts teaches virtues

Re: “Policy shift opens door for alternative groups” (News Analysis, Feb. 2).

There are very few organizations left in the world that continue to teach virtue. The Boy Scouts is one, teaching the virtues of honor, integrity, faith, compassion and goodwill. So, if someone is a homosexual, can they still teach these virtues? Should they be condemned and judged?

Matthew 22 says, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By condemning an act by the Boy Scouts to love, you are essentially failing to live by the “love your neighbor” credo. Everyone of us is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Our mission and our goal is to go out and preach his word and live in a Christlike manner.

John K., Via online comments

Zero tolerance?

Re: “A call for vigilance” (Editorial, Feb. 2).

While any abuse of a child is abhorrent and to be avoided, zero tolerance is merely an excuse not to think! While beloved by insurers and PR people, it ignores due process for the accused and has turned the Church into a gigantic money machine for those bent on fraud and/or revenge. Zero tolerance is also incompatible with canon law — look it up! There are surely better ways to protect our children and provide due process for our priests.

Colleen Sheehy, Via online comments