Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, Week of Feb. 6, 2021

The Election Results Have Been Litigated Ad Nauseum

Dear Editor: I would like to respectfully reply to the letter submitted by Father Michael W. Panicali (“Prayer, Patriotism and Goodwill,” Readers’ Forum, Jan. 23).

The former president started to plant seeds of doubt about the integrity of the elections way before November 3. After the election was not called in his favor, a campaign to further discredit the election results began full throttle. Let us not forget that more than 60 lawsuits were filed in numerous states by the Trump campaign and its allies and all but one were dismissed for lack of evidence. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Also, it is important that we remember that the director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), Christopher Krebs (a Republican), assured us that the election was one of the safest in modern times and debunked the conspiracy theories that were being promulgated.

This matter of the election results has been litigated ad nauseam at the state and federal level and was unsuccessful because the allegations were simply not true. Unfortunately, we live in an era where propaganda and disinformation have become rampant, making it hard for us all to decipher the truth.

It is understandable that many might be disappointed in the outcome of the Presidential election and they have every right to voice that disappointment in a respectful and orderly manner. Anyone who followed the events of January 6 could see that the vast majority of the participants did not engage in lawlessness.

But sadly many others did act in a lawless and shocking manner. Anyone who was present (or witnessed the events as they unfolded via television) also witnessed that day baseless claims pronounced by the former president and others that contributed to the acts of violence and destruction upon the Capitol of our country.

This was a traumatic event for the members of Congress and all who witnessed it. It resulted in the tragic deaths of a police officer and others as well as injury to many more. Perhaps we can at least agree that our nation is in need of prayers so that unity, harmony, and justice will reign regardless of political beliefs. Let us also pray that those directly affected by the events in the Capitol can recover from the trauma they were subjected to. May God bless America always.

Lydia Colon-Fores
Sunset Park

One Needs Courage Today To Speak Out

Dear Editor: Father Michael Panicali and the six parishioners from St. Mark’s and St. Margaret’s parish are to be commended for traveling to Washington to witness, pray and seek the truth about what happened in November’s election (“Prayer, Patriotism and Goodwill,” Readers’ Forum, Jan. 23).

There is no doubt that thousands and thousands of Catholics from all over the country attended the “Save America Rally.” They marched asking for truth and transparency. Make no mistake, the terrible and heartbreaking deaths and scenes at the Capitol were not planned or done by these peace-loving patriots.

One needs courage today to speak out about what is correct and right. Father Panicali surely inherited this from his parents, Eugene and Tina Panicali, who joined VIVA (Voice for Innocent Victims of Abortion), which was part of the beginning of the right-to-life movement in Brooklyn. VIVA was formed in Bensonhurst around 1970 by a group of people who had the courage to stand up and say that an unborn baby is a human being and that abortion would destroy the lives of women and families who would be touched by it.

The people and religious who stand up for what is right in this current climate of cancel culture are to be applauded and praised for their generosity of spirit and their bold courage. They are an example to all of us.

Tim Haggerty
Rockaway Park

Defending the Value of All Human Life

Dear Editor: Nine U.S. bishops joined together on Jan. 25 to sign a statement condemning violence, bullying, and harassment directed at LGBT people, particularly our youth.

Given the Church’s clear teaching on the value of all human life and its statements against all forms of violence or discrimination, this statement should not be news, nor should it be even necessary. But the tragic reality is that LGBT youth remain targets of violence and are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts — making this a pro-life issue that warrants attention and action from faithful Catholics.

Vincent Gragnani
Staten Island

Hank Aaron — A Hero on And off the Field

Dear Editor: We have just lost another legend in baseball in the person of Hank Aaron, a baseball icon (“Catholic Convert Hank Aaron Leaves Lasting Legacy,” Jan. 30). Hank Aaron died in his sleep at the age of 86 and will be dearly missed by family, friends, fellow players, fans, and a nation that loved him.

Here was a player that was a hero on and off the field. He also was a role model to future black players and to our youth. He faced racism when he beat Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record of 714 and hit number 715 on April 8th, 1974. But he did remain strong and kept his faith in himself and the game he loved. Hank would eventually have the all-time record of 755 at that time. In all matters, Hank Aaron exhibited grace and humility. America was truly honored to have had Hank Aaron playing in America’s past-time. Now, for that, we were truly blessed. Let me in closing say that Hank Aaron truly made a difference.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

There Is a Disturbing Anti-Christian Trend

Dear Editor: Although much has been made of the fact that we now have our second Catholic president, the assault on religious freedom in our country is growing.

The draconian lockdowns on our churches were a violation of our religious freedom, especially since other segments of society operated at a much greater capacity. There is a disturbing anti-Christian sentiment growing and our church’s leaders need to be at the forefront of our resistance to this threat.

Robert A. DiNardo

We Should Not Expect Perfection

Dear Editor: Many thanks for an editorial grounded in an understanding that neither presidents nor bishops are perfect (“A Case for Collaboration When Crafting Important Messages,” Jan. 30.)

We should not expect perfection from our fellow human beings, regardless of status. I’m hopeful that the Biden administration will mark a moral advance over his predecessor in all the policy areas you enumerate: assistance to the poor, a Christ-like welcome for immigrants, and an end to the cruelty of federal executions. We can also hope for a climate policy more in line with Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si,” a diplomacy more in keeping with Pope John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” and support of working Americans along with the order of the great social encyclicals “Rerum Novarum” (Pope Leo XIII) and “Quadragesimo Anno” (Pope Pius XI).

President Biden showed in his Inaugural that his Catholic practice is more than merely devotional but intellectual in his on-point allusion to St. Augustine’s “City of God.” Even if many Catholics may not agree with some of his policies, let us all recognize that we have an admirable man of faith in office.

Hugh Kelly

Good Luck to These Young People

Dear Editor: I was more than happy to see an article highlighting young people’s relationships with Christ (“Students Hit all the Right Notes,” Jan. 30). I am a proud alum of Holy Trinity Diocesan Highschool in Hicksville, and I keep in close contact with the people I met while I was a student in the late 70s (Class of 1980).

Theresa Marino, the campus minister is doing a fine job. She says, “making the life of Jesus relatable to young people is the job of a Catholic high school educator.” Oh, I certainly believe that this should be the case. Too many of our young people leave high school with no relationship with Christ and no desire to attend Mass. This is heartbreaking to many of us parents who sacrificed to keep their children in Catholic school.

Good luck to these young people. There is great hope.

Once a Titan, Always a Titan!

Catherine Donohoe

Congratulations, Mom, You Deserve It

Dear Editor: Carmen Cruz is an amazing lady (“View from the Pew — Our Lady of Lourdes Church,” on page 26). I’ve known her all my life and she is very dedicated and loves her church.

Even though I live miles away from her, on Sundays she will always ask, “did you go to church today?” We call her our “saint.” Her passion is helping others and spreading the word of God.

Love you, mom — congratulations on being recognized. You deserve it.

Jennifer Burnett
Westfield, NJ