Re “Asking the Right Question,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 4/30): Father Malone writes: “The question is ‘Who is the cause of polarization?’ And the answer is: You are.... And I am. Together, we are the causes of polarization.” I agree. What I found to be a real eye-opener were some of the posts of both extremely liberal and extremely conservative Facebook friends. To see the hatred and vitriol and sarcasm and put-downs, coming from each side directed toward the other, made me examine if I had ever posted or liked a snappy meme or put-down. And mea culpa, I realized I had. So I am trying—and trying is the key word—to maintain the integrity of my beliefs without putting down those who think differently. If I slip and fail, I hope someone points it out to me.
Monica Quigley Doyle
A Sad Time
Re “Miscarriages Are Happening in I.C.E. Custody. Will the Pro-Life Movement Respond?” (Our Take, 4/30): Being pro-life means a lot more than being anti-abortion. This is my core issue with many who support anti-abortion policies but perpetuate and support policies that also disrespect the right to life in other capacities. I think it is a sad time for Catholics and Christians.
It would be reasonable to suppose that the stress of being detained contributes to miscarriage. In any case, detention cannot be good for either mother or child. I am ashamed of our country and the people who support this administration.
What is Needed?
Re “I Joined the Jesuit Volunteer Elder Corps at 68—and Never Looked Back,” by Helen Donnelly Goehring (4/30): Thanks for sharing this, Helen. I loved reading about your experience, and it has inspired me to look around and truly see where I might be needed in my own neighborhood.
Re “A Life in Full,” by Anna Keating (4/30): The main part of this article is Ms. Keating telling the story of how she had walked with a Cystic Fibrosis patient through her childhood and observed how her parents responded. Now, it probably challenges the conscience of Americans in a way they may find uncomfortable. Good. A look at the headlines tells us we need to be challenged. And, as Father Malone noted in Of Many Things, it is all of us who need to be challenged, not just those people “over there.” The point of this article was not to outline specific outreach ministries but to wake up our sleeping consciences.
I am the father of a teenage C.F. patient. I would appreciate and would have appreciated more practical help and personal support. But I also will appreciate a culture and, yes, laws, that affirm unequivocally that my daughter’s life is worth living. I am thankful for Ms. Keating’s witness here and to America for publishing it.
Defending His Own
Re “An Archbishop Fit for a Scorsese Film,” by Anthony D. Andreassi, C.O. (4/30): Dagger John took no prisoners when it came to defending his own, and this biography is a welcome addition to the lexicon about this important figure in U.S. Catholic history. If only there were more like him today, ready to defend our own and all others threatened by the swarming privileged who see the immigrant and the different as unworthy of belonging in our culture. John Hughes’s defense of the rights of Catholics in the United States of the mid-19th century stands as a shining example of faith in action.
Springsteen in My Heart
Re “The Enduring Catholic Imagination of Bruce Springsteen,” by Brian P. Conniff (4/30): This article recalls memories of when I, at age 19, spent a semester in Rome in 1979 with the University of Dallas at the beginning of the pontificate of St. John Paul II, traveling up and down Italy on the trains with Springsteen throbbing in my heart: “I ain’t a boy/ No, I’m a man/ And I believe in the Promised Land.”
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