From readers – October 8, 2020

| October 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

Personal integrity

The article “What’s a Catholic voter to do?” was very good and obviously timely. Discussing selected passages from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to apply to the candidates and political parties would certainly improve it. Start with loving the Lord and loving your neighbor as yourself. Add loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. Do the words and actions of the candidate and/or the political party indicate that they love something more than God, or that they do not love their neighbors or their enemies? Do their words and actions harm the poor and vulnerable? How extensively do they commit serious offenses against truth? His determination of the candidate and their party should occur before considering individual issues. The function of the political office is significantly greater than the individual issues.

Ernie Frankovich
St. John the Baptist, Savage

Check the Catechism

In the “Faith in the Public Arena” column, Jason Adkins’ response to the question “What does the Church say about Catholics’ involvement in political life and voting?

Shouldn’t the Church stay out of politics? Is there any scriptural basis for its involvement?” could have been easily answered by referring the questioner to the Catechism of the Catholic Church section on “The Duties of Citizens,” paragraph No. 2240 in particular.

Victoria Cihla
St. John Neumann, Eagan

God or government?

The coming presidential election may be the last opportunity to eliminate the heinous procedure to the violent extraction of 60 million of God’s preborn children. This continuous barbarity, the dissection of human unborn, promoted by many Catholics is an abomination unequaled in human history. Elections have consequences. Our choice: God or government.

Everett C. Dehmer
Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul

Disappointed

I was disappointed to see an article mildly supportive of BLM in the Sept. 8 Catholic Spirit (“What to make of Black Lives Matter”). It is fairly well established that the leaders of BLM are Marxists or of Marxist ideology. They do not care about Black lives except to use as a destructive tool as evidenced by their silence when seven Black police officers were killed in 2019, and their silence is deafening concerning the approximately 400 Blacks, killed by other Blacks, in Chicago year after year. It is only when the police are involved in the riots, burnings, pillaging and more killings in our cities. That’s not justice and it doesn’t support Blacks or our country.

Organizations that truly help Blacks must push for better education such as vouchers and charter schools as well as solutions for family structure. Approximately 70% of Black families are fatherless, which hurts families financially. Repeated social studies show that children thrive in two parent families. Unfortunately, BLM does not care about these solutions.

Richard F. McMahon
St. Pius X, White Bear Lake

‘Top shelf journalism’

The Jonathan Liedl special report in The Catholic Spirit (“What to make of Black Lives Matter,” Sept. 10) was top shelf journalism. I learned a lot and greatly appreciated that article.

Greg and Linda Schoener
St. Joseph, Red Wing

Forgive Bishop Loras

I find it interesting that the administration of the University of St. Thomas, a professed Catholic institution, has a problem in dealing with the recent revelations of Bishop Loras when this situation simply involves one of the most basic tenets of the Catholic faith. This should be, in today’s parlance, a no-brainer. First, let me affirm that, yes, slavery is wrong and evil. Let me also state that slavery was a major factor in most of the “great societies” in the history of mankind. Second, I am stating that it still exists in our society to this very day. The very reason it still exists is that too many people around us contribute to its existence.

Bishop Loras (born Pierre-Jean- Mathias Loras) was born in 1792 in France. During the French “Reign of Terror,” 17 members of his family, including his father, were guillotined — most likely for being Catholic or the descendants of aristocracy. He apparently worked hard throughout his life to be a good priest and a contributing, successful missionary and bishop.

Arriving in this country in 1830, his first official United States assignment was as vicar general of the Diocese of Mobile, Alabama. His last assignment was as Bishop of Dubuque, Iowa. Our entire Catholic missionary structure in our region that endured into the 20th Century has its roots in his work.

Regarding tenets of the Catholic faith: According to my understanding of Scripture, there is really only one prayer that Jesus taught to those around him (Mt: 6:9-13). He taught much about prayer and praying, but only this actual prayer. And in that prayer, (again Mt. 6:12) in the New American Bible, the official Bible of the Catholic Church, reads: “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Those aren’t empty words. They stand alone, as do the other statements, in the only prayer that Jesus directly taught us.

Owning a slave is wrong, but one sin doesn’t erase a life’s work. Father (earlier) Loras lived in the deep South and he succumbed to life around him. How often have we done that? And we, all of us, have hurt others. Should we go to hell for those sins? Or are we less forgiving than God? The St. Thomas administration has a perfect opportunity to bring Catholic teaching to the forefront and contribute some perspective to the conversation on race and equity. Instead, however, it appears close to adopting the argument and solution du jour with no consideration of a resolution grounded in fact and Christ’s teaching.

All of this discussion, if not grounded in Catholic (Christian) theology, risks throwing away a perfect, made-to-order opportunity for leadership. If that were to happen, I would be truly sorry — and embarrassed. You see, this is my Church too.

Art Thell
St. Joseph, West St. Paul

Close to home

I was surprised to read the article in this week’s Catholic Spirit highlighting the Oregon fires and featuring a photo of firefighters in Paisley, Oregon (“Oregon Catholic family, good Samaritans survive terrifying canyon fire,” Sept. 24). Surprised because I was born in Paisley, a ranching town of only about 200 souls located in SE Oregon. It was where my dad, Robert Mahoney, got his first job as a teacher out of college. We still maintain connections to Paisley. Please thank the Portland writer for providing a sense of the danger faced, which we in Minnesota have difficulty understanding.

Tom Mahoney
Our Lady of Grace, Edina

Share your perspective by emailing TheCatholicSpirit@archspm.org. Please limit your letter to the editor to 150 words and include your parish and phone number. The Commentary page does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Catholic Spirit. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

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Category: From Readers