Protecting Our Kids
Dear Editor: As the Marxist left is attempting to brainwash our children in public schools into questioning their gender from very young ages, we must stand up to this assault on our values.
Our Catholic faith stands as a bastion against this attack on the nuclear family and we must be vigilant against this assault each and every day. This push toward transgenderism by the radical left is an attempt to break down the social fabric of our society.
The family is the foundation of our society and must be protected from those who seek to destroy it. What choices people make in relation to their sexuality are their decisions and they are entitled to the same protections as any other person.
However, when Marxists try to use schools to groom our children into adopting anti-family anti-Christian values and lifestyles, we must stand against this evil.
The future of our society depends on it.
Pope Francis is Right About ‘Just War’
Dear Editor: Regarding George Weigel’s recent article, “Is There Ever a ‘Just War’?” I think a more positive assessment of Pope Francis is in order. Mr. Weigel complains that the Pope has muddled the doctrinal waters and made a just peace more difficult. Perhaps the Pope has a more profound grasp of both doctrine and the pursuit of peace than Mr. Weigel believes.
Church documents, as Mr. Weigel points out, support self-defense and even war in certain situations. But doctrine is evolving in this area, and becoming more faithful to the Lord’s teaching. Pope Francis, far from muddying the waters, more clearly articulates the difficulties of being a Christian in a culture of death.
Nothing in the New Testament supports killing as a way to achieve any end. The Sermon on the Mount not only forbids the use of violence, it even counsels that the one who has received a blow on the cheek should prepare to receive another blow. No exceptions appear to excuse one from this expectation. Jesus even instructs his followers not to resist one who does evil.
Christianity comes from a different world. To those ensconced in the culture of death, killing makes immediate sense. The Lord brought a culture of life to this world in hopes that a different sense might take hold. Death is never a Christian solution in any circumstance. Pope Francis is faithful to that very important teaching.
The Vatican Diplomatic Corps constitutes one of the greatest gifts of the Church to the world, although its members continually work quietly behind the scenes. I suspect that its leaders counseled the Pope on how to use language very carefully, indeed, diplomatically, both with respect to Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although the Patriarch’s position on the war fails to adhere to Christian doctrine, he does not have the luxury of viewing the war from the comfort of a journalist’s desk located halfway around the world. The Pope’s gentle approach seems much more promising than Mr. Weigel’s disparagement of the Patriarch.
Finally, it needs to be acknowledged that Christians may indeed fight against a vicious war of aggression, such as the one waged by Russia against Ukraine. In certain circumstances, the Church can tolerate what it cannot permit. Warfare puts Christian soldiers in a most difficult position because they act against the words of Christ. Christians may fight, but only with regret. When Christians fight a war, it does not become simply a moral thing to do. It remains deeply problematic. This clarifies the Christian position; it does not muddle it.
Rev. Gerald J. Bednar, Ph.D. (Retired)
Parish Sets Shining Example
Dear Editor: I was very moved and glad to read how St. Francis de Sales Parish has embraced the Rodoman/Desyuk family from Lviv, Ukraine.
Countless of their fellow citizens, mostly women with children, have had to flee their homes with no assurance of safety for the future. We can’t begin to imagine their suffering.
This parish truly seems to understand the Gospel message. I am convinced that, with guidance and organization, many other communities of faith would welcome the opportunity to do the same. May our religious leaders be inspired by Jesus’ urging to feed the hungry and welcome the stranger. Imagine the joy of following the example of this Belle Harbor parish!
Dear Editor: I happened to see that The Tablet will be celebrating a number of 50 year jubilarian priests.
While I am certainly familiar with Msgr. David Cassato, who is our pastor at St. Athanasius, I was delighted to see Father James Devlin.
There is no way he would recall who I am, but before he was ordained, he must have been assigned to my first parish, St. Catherine of Alexandria. When I was about 13, the parish used to sponsor a summer wiffle ball league that we played in the schoolyard.
The older guys who were 17 and 18 years old were serious about the league and, as I recall, the biggest rivalry was the Astros and the Bandits.
Lucky for me I played one year for a team from 40th Street and was lucky as I was all field, no hit.
That is why I remember Father Devlin. He would often umpire those games. How many times he called me out on strikes is probably less than I think, but I can still hear his third strike call.
That he went on to be ordained and has served for 50 years makes me smile as do the memories of playing ball.