Letters • August 10, 2020


Appreciated what was published

Thank you for the inclusion of the two letters (Catholic Virginian, July 13). I am encouraged by the two women who wrote. Kathleen M. Sullivan expressed what I also believe: our Church should welcome members of the LGBT community because we are all God’s children.

Let us follow the wisdom of Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Every person is made in the image and likeness of God.”

I went on to read the letter from Maureen Marroni of Norfolk, and my heart leapt to hear a voice standing with the Black Lives Matter movement and others calling for an end to racism in our country. We share in the shame of how our Black sisters and brothers have been and are treated. I hope our voice as Catholic Christians can help end this sinful past and present.

I also appreciated the articles about those who served and are serving in our Church in southwest Virginia: Father Paul Maier and Melanie Coddington.

I appreciate your service to the diocesan Church. – Kathy Hutson, Abingdon

Catholics remember victims, too

As Catholics, we hold out hope for each soul, taught not to support state execution, aka the death penalty. This is often nearly impossible when young innocents are raped, terrorized, trafficked or murdered. Yet we loyally follow Christ’s example, and that of Pope Francis.

A friend asked, “What about the victims? Doesn’t anyone care about them?” I found that question deeply relevant.

Sadly, amid the outcry against state execution, victims often go unnamed, many having been murdered decades ago, while newly penitent prisoners on death row have had those decades to reform, becoming models of peace. I believe this is possible — that God continually calls all to grace.

Recently, before his execution, a reformed prisoner had time to recite a famous poem after much activism failed to save him. Yet the heart also breaks for victims, brutally murdered, buried long ago, with no friends or media to mourn their slaying, no time for poetry as they left the earth, some with less than 12 years around the sun to ready themselves for Paradise.

I’m a poet, deeply saddened that the murderer’s victims, executed without warning, never had any such moment of grace to contemplate the divine poetry of their lives. All families in mourning should know that Catholics whisper a prayer for them, too.

The graves of the innocent cry out. To all the slain, “May flights of angels send thee to thy rest.” – Kathryn Forrester Thro, Norfolk

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