July 19, 2013

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here are the letters from three weeks ago:

As Independence Day approaches, stand up for faith, religious freedoms

The Fortnight for Freedom comes at a very important time for the Catholic Church here in America. Increasingly, our Church and other Christian churches are under attack by the federal government as outlined by Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin and the editorial in The Criterion published in the June 21 issue.

The IRS has been targeting religious groups and the federal government, through Obamacare, is trying to force religious institutions to pay for medical care that they find morally objectionable. The culture of death surrounding abortion on demand hangs as a pall over our nation.

In addition to these newsworthy issues, there is an increasing assault on religion across the country.

Stories are replete in the news of high school valedictorians being told they cannot mention God in their graduation speeches, prayers being forbidden at public events and media outlets such as MSNBC taking the phrase “under God” out of a rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.

President Barack Obama himself in a speech last week in Ireland accused Protestant and Catholic schools of being “divisive.”

For too long, we as Catholics have sat by and remained relatively passive when it comes to our freedom of religion because it has always seemed to be protected.

Those protections are eroding as the government is pushing a “freedom from religion” in its attempt to secularize America.

As Independence Day approaches during this Fortnight of Freedom, we need to stand up for our faith and for religious freedoms of all individuals just as the Founding Fathers did 237 years ago.

- Dr. Stephen O’Neil | Indianapolis

 

Is closing, combining parishes the way to move forward? Reader offers another alternative

I am writing about the Catholic churches being closed in central and southern Indiana.

When Jesus was on Earth, did he tell them to come to him in Jerusalem—a big city—or did he travel to the people? It seems to me, when reading the Bible, that he went all over the area to the people.

When all these beautiful churches were built, did the people erect the churches or did the archdiocese pay to have them built? From what I have read, they first had prayer services in their own homes until a priest was assigned to have Mass for them and they could build a church. That was great faith.

Are the people here to serve the priests, or are the priests here to serve the people? Wouldn’t it be simpler for the priests to travel to these different parishes for Mass rather than all the people traveling to one, big church?

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for each parish to have a parish coordinator? The parish coordinator would have a parish council to help them run the parish, including a secretary and a financial adviser/accountant.

The parish coordinator would answer to the priest. This way, the priest would not have to bear the full responsibilities of running the parish. They could devote almost full time to their vocation, being a sacramental minister, ministering to the parishes, attending archdiocese meetings, visiting the sick, etc.

- Joan Amrhein | Brookville

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