Re “The Women Who Marched,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 5/15): This is an excellent commentary. It is proof that paradigmatic shifts in one’s beliefs can happen. The accompanying video, “Pro-Life Millennials Speak Out,” is also excellent.
Re “What Can Beyoncé and Pope Francis Teach Us About Love?” by Olga Segura (5/15): I was so happy to see this article because I love both Beyoncé and Pope Francis. I agree when Ms. Segura mentions this is a bit of a stretch, but I believe a large reason why Beyoncé is such a popular artist is her honesty, which is obviously very Christlike.
I would just like to comment on Ms. Segura’s last line, which I read as an idea that we shouldn’t strive for perfection, and rather accept “real” or natural, post-original sin imperfection. While we shouldn’t despair, Christ does tell us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). Thank you for finding and sharing goodness from a variety of surprising sources!
As an older, white, Catholic woman, I will begin by thanking Olga Segura for writing this and America for publishing it. What an important piece. If there is any hallmark of the Catholic imagination, in particular the Ignatian Catholic imagination, it would be the ability to see God in the most unexpected places. And in Beyoncé and “Lemonade,” there is so much to be seen.
Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
Basic Human Rights
I agree with many points made by Heather Kirn Lanier in “My Daughter Has a Disability. I Don’t Want Jesus to Fix Her” (5/15). The writer’s unconditional love for her daughter just as she is is a great inspiration; and her delight in her daughter’s love for her is precious. I feel strongly that we must join in solidarity with folks with disabilities in their bold struggles for the full recognition (in law and in practice) of their basic human rights. And we must cherish them and be friends and loving relatives to them as we would to all people and receive love from them—as in all good human relationships.
Joseph E. Mulligan, S.J.
Thank you to Kerry Weber for her article on postpartum depression (“Healing a Mother’s Pain,” 5/15). As a doctor, I treat many women for this condition and suffered it myself after the birth of my second child. Caring for infants and toddlers can be brutal and emotionally depleting. Our individualistic society offers little support for new mothers compared with countries where the entire community cares for new parents.
Their Own Purposes
Re “A Sorta-Catholic’s Very Catholic Wedding,” by Tracey Wigfield (5/1): I was delighted at the happy conclusion of Ms. Wigfield's witty and honest report of her journey. Sadly, not all encounters between Sorta-Catholics and the parish end so graciously. Cultural Catholics often have the mistaken notion that the sacrament of matrimony is theirs rather than the church’s. It takes a willingness to listen, learn and grow for all the parties involved.
After 40-plus years of priestly ministry, it has become clear to me that not all who approach the church for sacramental celebrations are really seeking what the church has to offer. I’m glad many do use this as a teachable moment, but, unfortunately, many simply use the church and its ministers for their own purposes.
(Rev.) David Norris
A Compelling Testimony
Re “Confessing my Porn Addiction,” by the Rev. John Smith (4/3): I would like to thank the author for his very compelling, sobering testimony regarding a problem many would like to sweep under the carpet. Although he suffered from an addiction to porn (which has many aspects that make it evil), it could have been an addiction to almost anything: tobacco, alcohol, food.
Terre Gaines McLendon