Letters to the Editor

A fitting tribute to ‘Chinatown’ — and LA

Thank you for the fabulous and thoughtful piece from Joseph Joyce in the Feb. 9 issue (“The Perfect LA film?”) about the legacy — and continued relevance — of “Chinatown,” one of the greatest movies of all time. We associate Jack Nicholson so closely with sitting courtside at the Forum (and, er, Crypto or whatever) that we sometimes forget what a brilliant young actor he was. I’m not sure I agree with all of Joyce’s observations about Southern California and its denizens, but all in all, not bad for someone who relocated from the Great Northwest only three years ago.   We take a little while here to understand, especially the push and pull of our relationships with our vehicles and the roads upon which they travel. — Mitchell Norton, Riverside

Thankful for this characteristic of Catholic schools

Thank you for the uplifting, faith-filled article on Atticus Maldonado (“The Miracle of Gardendale Street” in the Jan. 26 issue of Angelus), a Downey student who got cancer, and who was healed by the grace of God through prayers of his fellow students and their families. This story made me feel so happy to be Catholic. It also made me sad to think of secular public schools, where prayer is not permitted, and where students undergoing serious illness might not find this kind of prayer support, or have confidence in God’s love for them. — Marilyn Boussaid, St. James Church, Redondo Beach

What about the synod?

I found it concerning that the end-of-2023 summary on AngelusNews.com (by OSV News) did not highlight the global Church synodal process, one of the most significant Church happenings since the Second Vatican Council.  — Barbara Born

After Fiducia Supplicans, nothing may be the same

In his article “Explaining to do” in the Jan. 12 issue, John L. Allen Jr. takes a cautious approach in explaining why Fiducia Supplicans may be less consequential than media reaction to it might seem. I disagree with this assessment. As Allen himself notes, the fact that the prefect of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith had to “clarify” that this document was not “heretical” or “blasphemous” is unprecedented, and is a clear sign that we have entered a new era in the Church. The Vatican can now issue purposely ambiguous declarations on doctrinal matters, issue multiple “clarifications” in the media, and get away with it. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. I still don't know if Fiducia Supplicans is meant to lay the groundwork for changes to doctrine in the future, or if it’s Pope Francis’ way of trying to keep the Church together in a difficult time. But let’s not pretend the debate over same-sex blessings will go away quietly in the future. — James Stance, East Los Angeles

Fiducia Supplicans and the media sensationa

I’m tired of people misinterpreting the Vatican’s Fiducia Supplicans. This includes statements in a Crux article on Jan. 12, reprinted in Angelus, referring to a Dec. 18 Vatican declaration “authorizing the non-liturgical blessing of same-sex unions.” 

This leaves out the key word: “allegedly.” The Vatican declaration did not authorize same-sex unions, or the blessing thereof. 

The African bishops are not in disagreement with the substance of Fiducia Supplicans, although the article makes it sound as though they were. 

If people would actually read the document, especially paragraph 5, before making these statements, they may realize that the Church has not authorized the blessing of the unions, but of the individual persons. The Church cannot bless what is sinful.

There is an unfortunate tendency in the media to overemphasize or imply discord where it doesn’t exist. We should have more confidence in the Magisterium, and not pay so much attention to the media, or the opinions of people who misunderstand. 

— Marilyn Boussaid, Redondo Beach

Is LA’s new STEM university necessary? 

It seems that creating the Catholic Polytechnic University (CPU) in Los Angeles is duplicative of the fine STEM programs that already exist at local institutions where a Catholic can, to quote CPU’s mission, “promote the intersection of faith and science as seen through the lens of Catholic teachings.”

Loyola Marymount University is a fine Catholic institution of higher learning offering numerous degrees (some at the graduate level) in engineering, science, math, and technology.

And let us not forget the Catholic Newman Centers at the numerous local state and private universities and colleges that allow a Catholic to obtain polytechnic degrees while promoting a similar faith mission as presented by CPU’s founders. (The Cal Poly Pomona Newman Center was invaluable to me as a Catholic when I pursued my engineering degree in the 1970s.)

I wonder if the creation of this Catholic polytechnic school is not so much based upon a need for such an institution (for there really isn’t), but more on an ultra conservative agenda that the founders can’t find at local institutions, along with a resistance to interacting with others in the real world, both secular and multi-religious.

— Donald Bentley, La Puente

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