Tepeyac Leadership Initiative in Phoenix diocese much needed

Re: “Forming Catholic leaders for the world” (Essay, Nov. 12-18).

Bishop Olmsted, I live in your diocese and want to offer you my heartfelt thanks for everything that you do, but most especially for this latest initiative! As you wrote, “But the true call of the laity, the authentic vocation of lay Catholic men and women, is to be ambassadors of Christ in the world, living among everyone else in secular society, while striving for holiness, sanctifying the world, and witnessing to the Gospel wherever they go. This is the aim of TLI.” Beautiful!

This is the type of initiative the authors of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium had envisioned. Our country needs leaders who are well formed in authentic Catholic moral and social doctrine and who understand their duty to live out their faith in every aspect of their lives. That is how we evangelize our world; that is how we transform our culture.

I’m very excited to see the fruits of this excellent program!

Tom Mooney, via online comments

Abuse cases

Re: “A pivot point in the Church’s abuse response” (News Analysis, Nov. 12-18).

I much appreciate Father Hans Zollner’s insights as “the pope’s point man on the issue” of clerical sexual abuse. However, there are other elements in this story that must be acknowledged and addressed, especially now that many high-profile cases of abuse are emerging against Hollywood celebrities.

Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal has been writing about some of these claims against priests. One factor driving so-called “historic claims of abuse” is the expectation of money. Church officials abet grave injustice when calling such claims “credible” without clear evidence.

In 2002 in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, for example, a contingency lawyer was quoted in a local newspaper after receiving a mediated settlement of $5.2 million: “Diocese officials didn’t even ask for details such as dates and specific information when agreeing to a settlement. ... I’ve never seen anything like it.” That lawyer went on to amass three more rounds of mediated settlements. How many of these cases were then represented in Rome as “credible”? There is little about this that I find credible.

Ryan A. MacDonald, Indianapolis

Teaching on marriage

Re: “Can Catholic couples choose childlessness?” (Faith, Oct. 22-28).

Wonderfully explained! It seems that the secular understanding of marriage is so pervasive and had such an influence in our culture that we must be intentional in lovingly teaching the Good News of Christ and his plan for marriage through articles like these and our personal encounters with those God has placed in our lives.

Mary Watson, via online comments

NFL protests

Re: “Why they kneel” (God Lives, Oct. 29-Nov. 4).

Msgr. Campion’s article only buttresses the time-honored admonition that one should be extremely wary of contentions based even in part on “facts” obtained from Hollywood movies. If the esteemed monsignor would care to examine the real facts, he would find the following to be quite accurate:

First, if we assume the average age of the “kneelers” is 30 years old, then these players had not even been conceived when the legislation that decimated the African-American family unit had been enacted. Second, none of these players nor their parents, grandparents (and possibly their great-grandparents) lived under slavery, segregation or Jim Crow laws. Third, all of these profoundly hypocritical African-American “kneelers” are millionaires. There is no other nation in the world where these men could enjoy the benefits they enjoy than the U.S.

Instead of being a willing dupe for these people, the monsignor might quit relying on factual material gained from Hollywood movies and do some real investigating of his own.

James Hill, Phoenix
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