Letters • June 1, 2020


Thank you to real heroes

As a physician I’m acutely aware of what I step into voluntarily every day.

I’m no hero. I do my job.

I would, however, like to publicly thank the people who pick the veggies, prepare and process the meat, transport the results and day in and day out stick it on a shelf where I can get it.

Without them, I can’t do my job.

Real heroes?

Definitely. No explanation necessary.

Low pay, tough working conditions with limited protection.

Sounds like a hero to me.

– Dr. S. Restaino, Chesapeake

Preach homilies, not sermons

Re: your story, “Few mentions of abortion in sermons” (Catholic Virginian, May 4). In a sermon any issue can be preached. However, since Vatican II we are supposed to be preaching homilies.

A homily is preaching on the Scriptures just proclaimed. It is a breaking open the Word of God just proclaimed to the particular congregation assembled at this time. The homily should be explaining the Scriptures just proclaimed to the congregation so they can go out and live the Word of God in their daily lives.

The homily is not a time to preach on various subjects of the Christian life unless a subject fits into the word proclaimed. Some preachers can twist thing around to fit what they want to say, and that is being dishonest to what a homily should be.

In the Catholic Church today we should be preaching homilies, not sermons.

– Rev. Louis R. Benoit, Roanoke

What Catholic politicians must do

Kudos go to Robert R. Kaplan and his letter, “Bishops’ response laudable but weak” (Catholic Virginian, May 18). He makes several excellent points regarding clergy response to Governors Ralph Northam and Andrew Cuomo.

I would like to add that abortion supporters such as Cuomo, Biden, Pelosi and other supposedly Catholic politicians in high places always fall back on the lame excuse that Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Given that logic, we would still have slavery in the United States today because the 1857 Dred Scott decision ruled that slavery was legal. Can you envision our country today with Dred Scott still in force? Even though it was the “law of the land,” it was eventually overturned because politicians and citizens worked to right a grave injustice.

Prayerfully, those Catholic politicians holding high office today will rethink their position and work to overturn Roe v. Wade and protect the sanctity of life.

– Ted Cors, Williamsburg

Beg Holy Spirit for grace to do right

Father Anthony E. Marques’ articles on the Civil War and the Cathedral of St. Peter (Catholic Virginian, May 18) remind us that Catholics have a complicated history with slavery — from the notorious Dred Scott decision, authored by Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Catholic, to the support of many Virginia Catholics for the Confederacy, with varying degrees of ardor and for various reasons.

We may be appalled by their compromises with evil. Or we may want to defend their choices as misunderstood or the best that could be made of a difficult situation.

Rather than merely prompting condemnation or justification, resulting in partisan debate, this history should deepen our empathy for those making difficult choices and prompt us to beg the Holy Spirit for the grace to do what is right in our own day.

– Aaron Linderman, Ruckersville

A document Catholic musicians should read

A letter from William Yearout from Willis (Catholic Virginian, May 18) caught my attention. The letter thanked the organist and music director of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for using the proper antiphons while the Mass was being livestreamed from the cathedral.

At Sacred Heart, Norfolk, we have sung the proper Communion antiphons from the “Graduale Romanum” for at least 25 years. For example. the Communions for the Sundays of Lent 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Cycle A summarize the Gospel for the Sunday.

An example is the Communion for Lent 4 Lutum fecit (The Lord made mud from spit, and put it on my eyes: and I went, I washed, and I saw, and I believed in God.) [Note the absence of and in I believed in God.] All four of these antiphons are short, easy to sing and could be said to summarize the Gospel.

Yearout mentions the document “Sing to the Lord” written by a committee of the USCCB. This document has never been sent to Rome for their approval so whatever is in “Sing to the Lord” are only suggestions.

The document that is not suggestions and which needs to be carefully read over and over again is “Musicam Sacram.” This is a document of the Second Vatican Council with a publication date of March 5,1967. Everything pertaining to music in the Catholic Mass is covered in this document. It should be read by all Catholic musicians.

– James A. Gallatin

Organist and Music Director

Sacred Heart, Norfolk

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