Supporting the Unborn and Their Mothers
Re: “Standing With the Unborn” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 1/8): Pro-choicers are puzzled by pro-lifers’ favoring cuts in government services to pregnant women in financial need. Such cuts not only increase the chance that these women will choose to abort; they also deprive the unborn of sufficient intrauterine nourishment to develop, in some cases causing miscarriages or so-called spontaneous abortions.
The unborn need significant support if they are to develop. This means the women carrying them need support. Pope Francis clearly favors government programs that do this. Private programs are also helpful, of course, but private food charities would have to increase their support 20-fold if we cut federal food programs that now provide 95 percent of food for those in need.
Refusing to Pay Up
Re “What’s the Catholic Response to the Opioid Epidemic? Hope in Action,” by Lucas Briola (Short Take, 1/8): When you have an administration that calls addiction an emergency situation but provides no adequate resources to address the problem, examples like those given in this article make one feel good; but they don't resolve the problem. There needs to be political will and advocacy to get the government to provide the resources. The truth is that those unaffected by the issue refuse to pay up for it, as is the case with so many other issues.
Start With Illiteracy
Re “A U.N. Mission Offers a Sobering Assessment of Poverty in America,” by Kevin Clarke (1/8): The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and our own federal Department of Education have for years shown high correlations between low literacy skills and poverty, chronic dependence on state support and other problems. The failure to detect and criticize this problem and call for alternative systems to be made available to those in low-income areas, is remarkable and unfortunate. Literacy is a fundamental need.
Joseph J. Dunn
Re “What the Hurricanes Revealed About Puerto Rico” by J. D. Long-García (1/8): As Puerto Rican, Jesuit-educated, living in situ through the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria, I find the political overtones of this article highly inappropriate. If the author wishes to add his two grains of salt in favor of independence for Puerto Rico, please be more forthright about it, and avoid the code language.
Andrés L. Córdova
Examine Our Complicity
Re “Sister Antona Ebo’s Lifelong Struggle Against White Supremacy, Inside and Outside the Catholic Church,” by Shannen Dee Williams (1/8): I am so very glad to know the story of Sister Antona Ebo's life and work. She experienced racism up close in her own order, and yet she remained and worked through it. It is important for white Catholics to know these people and their stories so that we might recognize our complicity in the scourge of white supremacy that continues to rage through our church, our country and our souls.
Re “Set Apart With a Purpose,” by Brendan Busse, S.J. (12/25): I enjoyed this article. It sounded sincere, down to earth, and from the heart.
Father Busse asks some important questions regarding religious worship, being religious, sacraments and structures of organized religion. He says the priesthood is not about power and prestige but about mediation and solidarity. I think this is also true of my own role as a parent and as a parishioner.
In terms of the ramifications and significance for the liturgy, the sacraments and events sponsored by the parish, I like his statement indicating that God seems concerned that you find yourself and feel yourself forgiven in the real presence of a beloved community.