Letters to the Editor

Room for disagreement

The judgmental view expressed in the letter, “The choice for pro-abortion Catholic politicians” in the July 16 issue that “nobody...
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Congratulations, American bishops

After reading Russell Shaw’s article, “Striving for coherence,” I felt compelled to congratulate those U.S. bishops who are not afraid...
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Where do the bishops’ concerns lie?

I am distressed by the use of deliberately inflammatory language in the article Teachers or policymakers?” in the July 16 issue. There are no pro-abortion politicians or any others. If the bishops are so concerned with pro-life concerns, where was their outrage with the federal death penalty and the 13 individuals who were executed at the end of the Trump administration? 

It would seem to me that the bishops are more concerned with politics than teaching.

— Sheila Anderson, Redondo Beach

Room for disagreement

The judgmental view expressed in the letter, “The choice for pro-abortion Catholic politicians” in the July 16 issue that “nobody who embraces the Democratic Party can be a Catholic” seems oblivious to the fact that neither of our major political parties fully aligns with Catholic social teaching.

Even the bishops’ conference, while highlighting the “pre-eminence” of abortion, has reminded us that “Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote” and for grave reasons may at times “reasonably decide” to support a candidate in spite of a morally unacceptable position. 

In making such decisions, one “should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue” (cf. Nos. 34, 35, 37, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, NCCB, 2020).

In the end, we should be able to agree on basic moral truths, but there is room for conscientious disagreement about how best to promote them in civil society.

— Father Robert Caro, SJ, Loyola Marymount University

Thanks for a lesser-known theologian

Thanks to Heather King for making better known the important work of theologian John F. Haught in Evolution and faith, working hand in hand.” When evolutionary evidence contradicts doctrines based on a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, it is imperative that we come to a more refined explanation of Church teaching. If we fail to do so, we will certainly see more people with a basic understanding of science who find the Church irrelevant because we are either unable or unwilling to reconcile the Good News and the eternal truth we possess with the discoveries of science.

— Chris Streip, Playa Del Rey

Preborn children deserve protection too 

A letter writer in the June 18, 2021 issue, objecting to the bishops’ striving for eucharistic coherence, says that Catholic elected officials, in taking their constitutional oath of office, are “promising to serve all people regardless of faith, in our diverse pluralistic country.” 

I can basically accept that premise, but as a Catholic I cannot accept the argument’s implication that preborn children in America fall outside the ambit of that promise to serve all people.

It is true, as the U.S. bishops said in their first response to Roe v. Wade, that the Supreme Court “stated that the unborn child is not a person” within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.  But the bishops quoted Pope John XXIII’s encyclical stating that “every human being is a person,” and “has the right to life,” and that governmental measures denying that right “completely lack juridical force.”

The bishops said the Court “apparently failed to understand the scientific evidence clearly showing that the fetus is an individual human being.”  They declared the Court’s majority opinion “is wrong and is entirely contrary to the fundamental principles of morality.” 

The U.S. Constitution says officials are bound by oath to support “this Constitution.”  It does not bar them from lawfully resisting a court’s dishonest and distorted version of the Constitution. 

A truly faithful Catholic politician understands that the obligation to serve and protect all people embraces — in the bishops’ words — “the basic truth that the unborn child is a ‘person’ in every sense of the term from the time of conception.”

Steve Serra, St. Nicholas Church, Laguna Woods

President Biden’s common ground with the bishops

President Biden and his administration are sending COVID-19 vaccines to many of the poorest countries in the world. Without a doubt, many lives will be saved as a result. President Biden is to be commended for this pro-life action.

In addition, his initiatives on comprehensive immigration reform are in line with the U.S. bishops’ recommendations — path to citizenship, reunification of families, just treatment of the undocumented, border security, and aid to struggling countries. These are also pro-life issues.

— Charlie Ara, Palm Desert 

Congratulations, American bishops

After reading Russell Shaw’s article, “Striving for coherence,” I felt compelled to congratulate those U.S. bishops who are not afraid to speak the truth, and have issued statements strongly arguing that politicians who support abortion should not receive communion. 

For those bishops who believe that anything the bishops say may be viewed as political, I say this is why U.S. bishops have lost their moral authority. We Catholics look to our bishops to speak and take a stand for the truth, defending our faith, regardless of which political party they may offend, reminding us as Catholics to live and act in a manner that is consistent with the precepts of our faith, guiding us from not only advocating grave moral sins like abortion, but respecting life from conception through natural death. 

— Gayle Danko, St. Mary Magdalen Church, Camarillo


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