Protect Human Life
Re “Appalling Partisanship on Abortion” (Our Take, 2/19): I am a former longtime Democrat of more than 30 years and very reluctantly registered as a Republican several years ago primarily because of the party’s support for laws to protect the innocent unborn from the violence of legal abortion. However, I essentially favor a consistent ethic of life. That means that our government, individuals and houses of worship should vigorously work to protect human life by law both before and after birth. I am very disappointed that the Democratic Party takes such an extreme position in its platform, denying legal protection for the unborn for any reason up until the time the unborn infant—or fetus, which is Latin for “young one”—is viable.
Re “An Impossible Choice on Immigration” (Our Take, 2/19): While a strong moral case for accepting the “Dreamers” requires both justice for them, given their unchosen situation, and mercy for the future (permission to remain and a path to eventual citizenship), this is a separate matter from the question of the qualifications of future immigrants and protecting the borders. Catholic moral tradition and Pope Francis agree that a nation has a right to an orderly immigration or refugee process. There should be mercy, but it requires balancing true need with the justice due to those already in a country legally. To reduce this complex moral and political situation in the age of terrorism, as well as drug and human trafficking, to “nativist” sentiments is an injustice both to millions so labeled and to the Catholic moral tradition.
Re “Barbarians at the Gate,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 2/19): Thank you, Father Malone, for trying to bring back the good “old school” spirit of critical and objective inquiry into our public discourse here in the United States and in the world at large. I take my faith in Christ and my Catholicism seriously, and your essay has made me proud. May the living Christ who is our Lord and savior continue to teach us the right way.
No Less Sinful
Re “How Do You Rate Pope Francis’ Handling of Sex Abuse in the Church?” (Your Take, 2/19): This reader does not feel qualified to judge the Holy Father. However, until the issue of the abuse in Chile and historical cover-up is addressed openly, decisively and in a true spirit of contrition, the Catholic Church and its clergy have no right to the moral high ground on any other issue.
Unfortunately, while sexual abuse may not be more common in the church than in the general public, the clandestine way it has been addressed is no less sinful than the abuse itself. The real test for Francis will be how he moves forward to reconcile his responsibility not to the church but rather to his flock.
Fear for Millennials
Re “Blaming Millennials,” by Zac Davis (2/19): I have nothing but fear for the millennials. We baby boomers had it easy. Millennials have more than enough to deal with without the scorn of old baby boomers being heaped on. They will have to live in this mess that we voted for a lot longer than we will.
Paying for Jesus
Re “A Jaw-Dropping Price for the ‘Savior of the World,’” by Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. (2/19): According to Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver (estimated value $200 to $600). Perhaps we should rejoice to see the commercial market today placing a much higher value on what is only an image of our Lord. And we are reminded that Muslims have always had a great respect for Jesus. I see progress here.
Checks and Balances
Re “Even Some Trump Supporters Worry That His Character is Undermining His Presidency,” by Daniel Allott (2/19): What you have not factored into the equation is at what point the majority in Congress will draw the line and stop this tyrant. If Congress does not stop Donald J. Trump’s unethical, illegal behavior, he will continue unabated. Public opinion means nothing if the checks and balances of our Constitution are not employed.