Money in Politics
Re “America’s (Un)Civil War,” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 11/26): Civility and compromise, perhaps, are joined at the hip. Politicians and candidates inclined to compromise could face election opponents backed by mega-money. Why would any politician or candidate intentionally incur the wrath of mega-money?
Re “#ChurchToo,” by Lea Karen Kivi (11/26): How many young women were “chosen” by a priest for special attention, only to be abused? And years later, when they realized the violation, were too conflicted to take any kind of action against the men involved? Until the church begins to address false privileges of clericalism, these victims will never come forth.
Not in Favor
Re “A Statue of the Virgin Mary Will Be a Sign of Welcome on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” by J.D. Long-García (11/26): I travel the neighborhoods of South San Diego (near the site) and those of downtown San Diego, and I see the extreme poverty. There is so much good that could be done with the $2 million cost of the statue. Sadly, this is more a political statement than a work of charity.
Legacy of Abuse
Re “A New Play Asks: What Is Owed to Abusers?” by Michael J. O’Loughlin (11/26): We know that many abusers were abused themselves as minors, so how many of the abusive clergy were themselves victims of clergy abuse? How do we reconcile the idea of mercy to the abuser who was himself a victim?
Re “The Catholic Mystique,” by Kaya Oakes (11/26): Both women and men have crucial roles in the church. Our society wrongly equates the ordained priesthood and hierarchy with power. Ordination bestows the duty of service, not dominance over the church and over others. All the baptized are tasked with the duty of evangelization.
Re “The Moral Duty to Fight Anti-Semitism” (Our Take, 11/26): Yes we do have an obligation to fight anti-Semitism. As a father of four, I very much want my kids to grow up in a caring and tolerant society. That is reason enough to fight anti-Semitism. Did I mention that I love my country and want it very much to live up to its ideals? There’s yet another reason.
Re “Heroic and Unheroic Poland,” by Monika Rice (11/12): It is extremely disconcerting to me, as a graduate of a Jesuit university, that this erudite order would be associated with this article. Ms. Rice focuses on worn-out anti-Polish canards that have been repeated ad nauseam. She might instead have exposed the fact that almost one-half of all hate crimes in New York City are perpetrated against Jews. The author would have you believe the Holocaust occurred in a vacuum in German-occupied Poland. Hitler ordered his troops to “kill, without pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish nationality and language.” This article dishonors the memory of millions of Polish Christian victims.
Monika Rice Responds: I thank Ms. Kowalczewski for her comment. My article does not discuss Polish suffering under Nazi terror and, therefore, cannot logically dishonor the memory of its victims. Neither does it discuss the conditions of Nazi-occupied Poland; instead, it refers to the pogrom perpetrated by Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne against their Jewish neighbors in July 1941. Reinhard Heydrich’s order to the Einsatzgruppen to “trigger local pogroms” provides as much context for this crime in German-occupied Poland as is needed to understand that there were Polish “locals” who were able to be “triggered” to murder their Jewish neighbors. The fact that many vocal Poles prefer to resort to a red herring technique of a charge of “dishonoring the memory of millions of Polish Christian victims” is an ironic confirmation of the main argument of my article, quod erat demonstrandum.