Antifa, Boogaloo and the Virus of Violence
Dear Editor: In “The Virus of Violence,” (Editor’s Space, June 13) your column on the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, you state that “rioters who identify with the Antifa movement were trying to take advantage of the ‘revolutionary situation’ in the Leninist sense.”
The problem is that there is no evidence for this statement and it suggests that you are taking cues from President Trump and his Attorney General, Bill Barr, in their attempt to gaslight the American people.
FBI and police reports and arrests related to the protests around the country do not name Antifa. They
have, though, found evidence of rightwing extremists entering the protests to create violence and disruption, apparently in an effort to discredit the demonstrations, and federal agents in Nevada have arrested three members of the right-wing Boogaloo movement on terrorism charges.
President Trump’s use of Antifa as the culprit in the protest, in the absence of evidence, is both despicable and dangerous. During the coming election season, it is important that The Tablet, as a Catholic publication, be rigorous about publishing material that cannot be verified by evidence.
Editor’s note: Violent acts by some Antifa sympathizers during the protests, along with Boogaloo Bois and Proud Boys. sympathizers, have been reported on. The column analyzed different strategies used by different individuals during the protests, pointing out that “we can’t judge the pacific protesters, the looters, and the Antifa-style protesters as just one entity.”
In Defense of Archbishop Wilton Gregory
Dear Editor: The Tablet reader who calls Archbishop Gregory’s criticism of President Trump’s visit to the John Paul II shrine “reprehensible” ignores the context of the archbishop’s response (“Trump — More Catholic Than Many Catholics,” Readers’ Forum, June 13).
The evening before the shrine visit, peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square were removed with the aid of gas canisters and rubber pellets so that the president and his aides could walk through the square for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Using the Bible as a prop, the president apparently meant to convey some kind of religious feeling but any sincere believer would have to admit that the president’s action was bizarre, perhaps even insulting.
Shocked by what the president did at St. John’s Church, the archbishop reacted forcefully the next day when the president attempted to connect himself, through another photo-op, with a man who tried to live a deeply Christian life. The archbishop’s rejection of that connection was legitimate, not reprehensible.
Edith P. Newman
Do Catholics Have Shorter Attention Spans?
Dear Editor: In the Tablet article “How Homilies Have Changed Under Pandemic” (June, 27), people expressed a preference for shorter homilies because of these reasons: Attention spans nowadays are shorter, hence the shorter the homily the better and jokes could be used to arouse listening with the hope that the real message would be remembered.
If homily is prayerfully prepared, the Spirit directs its length based on the situation. Other opinions in the article stated rightly that people should depart after a homily with a feeling that Christ has spoken and that a study revealed that the average Catholic homily lasts 14 minutes compared to 54 minutes for Protestants. Why is our attention span shorter? Are we Catholics so inundated with cares of life that we have lost patience for occasional long homilies?
Shall we indeed shorten the homily to assuage people’s passion to rush home? Rush-rush homilies produce mediocre Christians without a deep grasp of our spirituality. The advocates for shorter homilies should peruse this question: Why is the average Protestant able to listen to longer homily without burning out?
The liturgies of the Word and Eucharist are the cornerstones of our Spiritual Worship. Let’s not confine the Word by our human desire to influence how the Spirit should move.
Victor C. Enemuo
Msgr. John Tosi, a Compassionate Priest
Dear Editor: It was my privilege to minister with Msgr. John Tosi both in our Diocesan Liturgy Office and at St. Luke Parish (“Brooklyn Pastor Remembered For Bringing ‘People to Christ,’” Obituaries,
He did everything with grace, beauty, professionalism, creativity, dedication, and care. His heart and focus were always on the gift and beauty of the Eucharist — the “Source and Summit of the Church’s activity and the font from which all her power flows. (SC#10).
He was a compassionate priest and pastor who always brought God’s people together for prayer and communal celebrations. His life and service to the People of God will live on in the hearts of all who knew him and loved him. His gift of friendship was a blessing in my life. May he rest in peace!”
Sister Bernadette M. Izzo, O.P.