Letters to the Editor: April 10, 2013

To Whom it May Concern,

It was deeply saddening to read the response to the Pope’s resignation article. It shows the anger, ignorance, and intolerance that run rampant about the Catholic Church.

Mr. Brown turned the article away from being a moment of reflection of the accomplishments of Benedict XVI to a criticism of the Church. Therefore, it is necessary to defend the charges laid at the doorstep of the Catholic Campus ministry concerning our beliefs. To begin, to say that abortion, homosexual marriage, and contraception are non-issues is completely false. In every culture and religion throughout the world the family unit is considered the backbone of society. When the family becomes broken so do our communities.

It may be true that 22,000 children will die today because of poverty, however over 150,000 babies will be innocently murdered each day because of abortion. Poverty is reversible, but abortion is permanent. When a society is taught it’s okay to kill your unborn child, to use contraceptives because pregnancy is an inconvenience, and that marriage is not a sacred union created by God between one man and one woman, there is a total loss of morality. This loss of morality is what results in more crime and disregard for life, liberty, and property. Therefore everything is obviously intertwined and the Catholic Church recognizes this connection. It is important to note that the Catholic Church has little to do with the global economy making this point irrelevant.

Instead, Mr. Brown please look to the president and demand a return to a free market economy, less taxes, and less government spending. Just a little factoid is that Benedict XVI has been nicknamed the “Green Pope” due to his efforts to curb harmful emissions and make the Vatican more environmentally friendly. As Catholics we believe that God gave us this earth to protect and care for, not destroy. To make the statement that it’s 2013 is unnecessary. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in 33 AD. So, in this respect the Church understands that times change, however the teachings of Christ and the scriptures are outside of time and do not alter.

The Catholic Church prides itself in tradition, and yet is continually attacked for maintaining these traditions such as the pope’s clothing and the beauty of the Vatican. The Catholic Church also has charities and missionaries helping the poorest regions and is the largest charitable outreach in the world. How is this not compassionate? This aid reaches across borders of all countries and peoples of all backgrounds. So when Mr. Brown stated, “my sincere hope for the Catholic Church is that the administration realizes the power of compassion and understanding, and works toward a better world where God’s love permeates religious, national and economic divides…” well that hope has already been fulfilled.

To conclude, after reading the quite insulting response we were comforted by Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11,12

God bless and Viva il papa Francisco,

Valerie Bergeron and Anthony Masiello

To whom it may concern:

To start, I am in no way affiliated with CCM and know of nobody who is. In response to “Catholics should move past the social issues” I noticed a few glaring issues of ignorance. The writer insinuates that the Catholic Church is doing nothing about important issues, most of which I have listed here. Due to space requirements not all could be discussed though feel free to contact me for enlightenment.

Poverty: Catholic Charities USA (out of Alexandria) is one of the 164 members of Caritas Internationalis and serves 22% of the 46 million people in poverty in America through food distribution, housing, health care, and job training. Their very motto is “Working to Reduce Poverty In America.” They drafted the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act in 2011 encouraging communities to “adopt innovative strategies and design principles to programs related to poverty prevention, recovery and response.” The Lab for Economic Opportunities is a partnership between Catholic Charities USA and University of Notre Dame also aimed at reducing poverty in America.

International aid: Catholic Relief Services (out of Baltimore) spends nearly $1 billion in aid on every habitable continent for Public Policy, Agriculture, Education, Emergency Response, Food and Hunger, Health, HIV/AIDS education and care, Human Trafficking prevention, Peacebuilding, and Water and Sanitation. To put that in perspective, CRS spends twice as much as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Gun violence:  As early as 1975, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been proposing the elimination of handguns (except for authorized security personnel and gun clubs) because half of firearm murders were—and still are, plus some—with handguns, but handguns made up only 20% of all firearms (now about a third). They endorsed the 1968 Gun Control Act which includes licensing, registration, and delayed acquisition after purchasing firearms. Literally just weeks ago, on February 12, the USCCB spoke to the Senate on “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment”, using similar speech to what they had said decades earlier.

War on Drugs: In 2000 they published a rather lengthy statement about entitled “Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice”. In it they plainly say that public funds should be used for substance abuse treatment, crime prevention, pre- and post-incarceration programs, etc. instead of for prisons. They have publicly supported several bills within the last decade to fight the “war on drugs.”

Environment: The Environmental Justice Program of USCCB was founded in 1993 following their statement “Renewing the Earth” a couple years earlier. You know, before being sustainable was cool. It was created to educate, motivate, and encourage Catholics to address environmental problems. More recently they have strongly supported EPA’s MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) to reduce power plant emissions. Just a few weeks ago at the end of February they were asked to share their suggestions for effective measures addressing environmental challenges of climate change to the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. They are also implementing programs with partners to make sustainability education a requirement in higher education.

Sounds like Catholics are doing everything you want them to do. They even created distributism, favoring small government, small banks, and a society of artists. And as a side note, I’ve been to the Vatican. The Pope’s chair isn’t made from gold. It’s wood.

Joshua Colbert

One comment

  • Men and women are physically designed for complementary sexual relations, leading to procreation. This is the natural law of the world, and because it is natural it is considered to be according to the purpose of God. When two lovers join in such a natural union they become one and are married, and once they are so joined they are thought never to be separated because they are irretrievably giving oneself to the other. Early lovers needed but to say “I marry you” to form an eternal bond, no paperwork required. Marriage is a personal contract between a man and a woman, a union of body, mind, and spirit with the help of—and because of—God. Essentially, marriage and sex were synonymous. This has evolved into matrimony (which is getting the approval of a Church priest to ensure the union was out of love and not lust) which then became a sacrament (a visible sign of God’s grace for this natural union and covenant of Christ and Church). The two principles of matrimony are love-giving (betterment of the other) and life-giving (procreation). Out of this, sex before matrimony, same-gender sex, contraceptives, and divorce are banned because they cannot fulfill these two principles. These principles form the foundation for a nuclear family as we still know it today (man, woman, offspring) and ultimately a healthy self-sustaining society. It is this recognition that the State wishes to support in legally recognizing this union, which they unfortunately also call a marriage. Were the State to call the recognition of a union with added legal benefits slimpytack (or some other name), be it for those in matrimony or otherwise, this so-called non-issue really would be just that. Marriage under God and marriage under State are two different things, and neither has to do with matrimony though both should coincide. Just so you know, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
    The use of contraceptives inhibits the full unity of man and woman, because remember that producing children is natural and therefore a principle of matrimony and will of God. Regardless, throwing condoms at people is negligible help. Only 16% of contraceptive users use condoms. The majority of unwanted pregnancies are from low income, low education persons regardless of the availability or use of condoms. Indeed, higher availability in some areas actually shows increased levels of unwanted pregnancies. You know what can prevent unwanted pregnancies? Abstinence. You know what can prevent the spread of AIDS? Abstinence. You know what doesn’t do those things? Sex.


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