June 10, 2011

Letters to the Editor

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No letters to the editor were printed this week; here is last week's letter:

Why do so many people place abortion in obscure corner of Catholic social teaching?

In a letter to the editor in the May 27 issue, a letter writer criticized The Criterion for placing news about a letter written by some theologians, and received by House Speaker John Boehner, in an “obscure corner of the Criterion Online” edition.

I would like to raise the concern that far too many politicians, theologians and Catholics place the horrific violence of abortion in some obscure corner of Catholic social justice teaching.

Let us see what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said about abortion: “Among important issues involving the dignity of human life with which the Church is concerned, abortion necessarily plays a central role.

“Abortion, the direct killing of an innocent human being, is always gravely immoral; its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice.”

How the issues of poverty, hunger and ecological imbalance are fought and overcome depends largely on prudential decisions and the principle of subsidiarity.

Catholics, in good conscience, may disagree with one another on how these problems are to be solved as the Church makes it clear that she cannot prescribe set “programs” on how to deal with these issues. (See “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” by Blessed John Paul II.)

I doubt seriously that any politician—or even theologian—who says that they support abortion or a woman’s “right to choose” would ever be given the wisdom to judge prudentially on programs that help alleviate or eliminate poverty and hunger.

This is not being “political”—it’s just plain, good common sense.

- Monica Siefker, Bloomington

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