Leaving After Five Decades
Re “The Republican Divide,” by John P. Langan, S.J. (10/15): My husband and I were G.O.P. voters for five decades, but once the Republicans nominated and supported a candidate as amoral, vulgar, vindictive and bigoted as Donald J. Trump, we were out. We are not the only people in our circle who left the G.O.P. over their sudden veer to the extreme right. We are still registered as Republicans but will never vote for them in a general election. Instead, we will vote in the G.O.P. primaries for the least amoral, far-right G.O.P. candidate.
Re “The First Disciple,” by Leonard DeLorenzo (10/15): This article provides beautiful and rich insights on Mary’s relevance to youth. I would also mention the connection between Mary’s own youth at the time of the annunciation. She accepted her responsibility for bringing Christ to the world when she was at the age of the youth attending the synod. With her help, they can bring the Lord to others, too.
The Power to Change
Re “He Worked With Law, McCarrick and Viganò. Here’s What He Learned,” by John Carr (10/15): With Mr. Carr’s eighth point about silence, he hit the nail on the head. Everywhere the sexual abuse crisis was characterized by silence: the silence of those who abused, the silence of those who knew but said nothing, the silence of the laity who refused to believe their own sons and daughters because they could not handle the truth. Everyone has the power to listen, to learn, to change.
Involve Parents, Involve Women
Involve parents, yes. And not just fathers who have connections to those in power. Mothers need to be heard. Whatever the gender ratio is of those attending Mass, that should be represented on any committee deciding matters of abuse. We tried addressing this crisis with celibate men making decisions. Now it is time to let the women of the church decide who has access to their children and to their pulpits.
A Deserving Saint
Re “The Making of ‘Romero,’ by Jim McDermott. S.J. (10/15): I saw this movie in my social justice class at my Catholic high school. It left a profound impression on me, and I remember wondering at the end why Romero was not yet a saint. I was so happy to learn that he would finally be canonized. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If anyone deserves to be a saint, it is Óscar Romero. His legacy lives on in more ways than one.
Arrive as Tourists, Leave as Pilgrims
While catching up on my reading, I was happily surprised to see the article “San Xavier del Bac: A Shrine Without Borders,” by Gina Franco and Christopher Poore (10/1). The married conservators interviewed, Tim and Matilde, are friends and give great care to the mission and the people who visit.
The authors captured the spirit of a sacred place with 300 years of history. In this era of contemplating walls or bridges, the arms-wide-open hospitality at San Xavier every day of the year is refreshing. Folks from all over the United States and all over the world come to visit. Many people come as tourists but leave as pilgrims after encountering the beauty of the mission and its artwork.
David Buer, O.F.M.
Living the Gospel
Re “Why Stay?” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things 9/17): Thank you for your news coverage and editorial responses to this crisis of abuse in our church. The U.S. church and U.S. political parties have never looked or behaved more alike than they have at this moment. The church’s scandals are mirrored sharply in the scandal that is the American government. They share precisely the same values: power, fear and self-protection over service to the people.
What if we began a conversation with the question: How are men living out the Gospel message? What do those behaviors look like? If we can know a little more, we might discover what it means for us to serve men and contribute to the desperately needed change.
San Francisco, Calif.