Letters • February 8, 2021


Why shouldn’t we speak out?

I am deeply disturbed by the letter “Don’t publish political attacks” (Catholic Virginian, Jan. 11).

I feel blessed to be a Catholic and love my Catholic faith. I am a sinner and do not condemn or judge others. It saddens me, and I feel compelled to speak out when abortion is treated so lightly.

Abortion is an intrinsic evil against God’s will. Abortion is a mortal sin as taught to us in the Catholic Church. My question is: Why should we not speak out to express our views in our Catholic paper of a politician running for office who believes in abortion? – Judy Jaworski, Virginia Beach

Letter contained ‘empty complaint’

A letter to the editor (Catholic Virginian, Jan. 25) complained that pro-lifers failed to condemn federal executions authorized by former Attorney General Bill Barr, a Catholic, and failed to recommend that he be refused Communion because of it. It’s an empty complaint.

In 2004, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI said, “If a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment… he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion… There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about… applying the death penalty” (“Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles,” July 2004).

The same letter of complaint to the CV also pointed out that Biden received no praise “…for saying that he would not approve executing people.” When a man such as Joe Biden prefers the lives of hardened, blood-thirsty murderers to the lives of innocent, helpless unborn, that’s just not praiseworthy. – Mary Jo Anger, Chester

Letter elicited laughter

I actually laughed out loud just now when I read the letter from Marc A. Turner re: “Don’t publish political attacks” (Catholic Virginian, Jan. 11).

After describing how “weary and profoundly disturbed” he is by the political attacks on Joe Biden’s abortion stance and how he “no longer wish(es) to read political attacks…” from CV readers, he proceeds to launch into an ugly attack on former President Trump and his supporters!

Some people still have no understanding that this kind of condescending intolerance is exactly why Trump was elected in the first place. – Cecilia Thomas, Mechanicsville

Speak fearlessly about human life

In 1973, when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, I was working in Washington for Msgr. James T. McHugh in the Family Life Bureau of the United States Catholic Conference.

He was the leading spokesman for the bishops on the Roe decision and critical of a concurrent government commission report which included the use of abortion as a means of population control. At the time, Msgr. McHugh said that we were now entering the “ideological valley of death.”

The last 48 years have borne out that prophetic prediction, sadly, with over 62 million abortions in our country since then. Msgr. McHugh was a strong and steady voice for the unborn. Now, in our day, may the Church, through its leaders and faithful people of conviction, continue to speak out fearlessly, tirelessly about human life. – Mary Kay Williams, Richmond

Don’t misrepresent Church teaching

After reading the letters to the editor (Catholic Virginian, Jan. 11) regarding the publication of political criticism, I felt I must respond.

The vast majority of self-proclaimed Catholic politicians at the national level promote positions contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

By and large, Church leadership, especially at the bishop level, seems to have publicly ignored this hypocritical and scandalous pattern with only a few exceptions now and then. This has gone on for decades.

When the secular media praises a self-proclaimed Catholic politician saying, “Biden could redefine what it means to be a Catholic in good standing” (Washington Post, Dec 9), it is incumbent upon Catholic leadership to push back.

If they do not, it is incumbent upon us to do so. We cannot be silent when someone who claims to be a Catholic has in fact worked against the Catholic Church, its teachings and priorities for almost 50 years.

We cannot allow these politicians to continue to publicly misrepresent the teachings of the Catholic Church. We need clarity on what the Church teaches about these different moral issues. These Catholic politicians must not be allowed to represent our voice. Every time they do this, and misrepresent the Church’s teachings, it is incumbent upon good Catholics to speak out in opposition.

I would like to thank The Catholic Virginian for publishing these disagreements and maintaining our voice. – Laura Belchak, Hampton

Wants ashes on her forehead

The article about sprinkling the ashes on people’s heads (Catholic Virginian, Jan. 25) literally turned my stomach. Ashes on the forehead are a clear outward sign of proclaiming our faith and trust in Jesus that we are his faithful believers and that we will return to him.

The Catholic Church is more afraid of the virus than God?!?! Where is the faith of our Church leaders? The Bible notes 365 times that we should not fear. It boggles my mind that the Catholic leaders want her parishioners to follow guidelines that are against God’s teachings!

Why are the leaders of the Catholic Church supporting actions that instill fear instead of having faith in Our Lord?

Stop the fear and start teaching and acting in faith of God! – Nancy Bobal, Virginia Beach

Set limits on abortion, nuclear weapons

Jan. 22 has been an important date on our “social” calendars for decades. It is, of course, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, and hence the Day of Prayer for Legal Protection for the Unborn.

This is now an additionally significant date on that same calendar. On Jan. 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force, outlawing nuclear weapons under International Law, weapons that target innocent children, women and men, weapons condemned by every pope since Pius XII and by the U.S. bishops.

None of the nine nuclear- armed states are interested in this treaty that has been ratified by 51 countries, with many more in the pipeline.

How great it would be if more Catholics joined forces on these two “human life and dignity” issues to exert pressure on the U.S. government and on state governments to set limits on abortion and on the abomination of nuclear weapons. – Chris Barrett, Henrico

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