The Corruption of Language
Dear Editor: To collate the thoughts of a reader (“Occasions of Sin,” June 11) and George Weigel (“Disinformation,” May 20): both writers express alarm at the core problem of this decade: The evasion of any responsibility for even trying to speak truthfully.
The first writes, how is “our moral compass” being formed today? Weigel speaks of the employment by public figures of euphemisms which are the functional equivalent of lies. He quotes from Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” about the “corruption” of language in politics and public life.
As John Courtney Murray, S.J. wrote in his “We Hold These Truths,” truth and the common good are fleshed out in “the public square” through dialogue by men and women genuinely interested in achieving a consensus as the foundation of community.
Where language is so blatantly misused as to call abortion (murder) “reproductive health care,” or a flat-out war of aggression and genocide (Putin) “a special military operation,” we have arrived, as Murray said, at a state where the barbarians are at the gates.
Finally, in her “Rationality as Virtue,” Lydia Schumaker stresses through Aquinas that the origin of human truth (expression and development) stems from “natural law” that must be reflected upon in good conscience. To run from or deny the seeds of virtue and truth that God implants in the depths of our being invites only one thing: Violence. If we do not return to sincerity in speech and dialogue, our future looks bleak.
Raymond F. Roberts, Jr.
In Response to Archbishop Cordileone’s Decision Letter
Dear Editor: In response to Garrett Dempsey’s letter (June 11) regarding Archbishop Cordileone’s prohibition of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reception of Holy Communion while in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, I would like to draw attention to the following: The 62,000,000 unborn babies (since Roe v Wade became the de facto law of the land in 1973) who have been murdered in the womb through mutilation, chemical burning, and literally being vacuumed into non-existence, all without anything to ease the unspeakable pain, is a horrific atrocity of epic proportions.
While the murder of any innocent human being is a wrong that needs to be righted, the intentional targeting of these tiniest of human beings, using technology like ultrasound, which is meant to save rather than to pinpoint for destruction, is especially heart-wrenching.
Paraphrasing Mother Teresa, when lethal violence against the youngest and most vulnerable among us is considered legal, is it any wonder that violence in every facet of our society is now out of control?
It’s not guns that kill people; it’s those pulling the trigger who do.
Robert Louis Giglio
Hampton Bays, NY
Eulogies Have No Place in a Funeral Mass
Dear Editor: I don’t know why churches are still allowing eulogies to take place at Mass. It doesn’t belong there, but rather at the funeral parlor or at the grave site. I attended a funeral Mass for my sister last year in New Jersey and there was a sign posted: “No funerals allowed at Mass.” I was so impressed by that. Every parish should follow suit.
Eulogies, by nature, tend to be lengthy discourses about the deceased, and they tend to exaggerate the goodness of a loved one to such an extent as to have them already canonized before they are even buried. Unfortunately, this gives a false impression to the faithful that this person is not in need of any prayers. We are all in need of prayers, especially after death, when the deceased can no longer pray for themselves but rather depend on family members and friends.
The following was taken from an article that appeared in a Sunday bulletin regarding eulogies at funerals: “Prolonged and emotional words spoken at the end of the Mass tend to undo all the healing that has occurred during the Mass. This is because the focus of the Catholic funeral Mass is not on the life of the deceased, but on the saving mercy of God that brings the deceased into eternal life.”
Also, because of tight schedules and the flow of daily activities that take place at the church, things need to be kept moving. I have witnessed at times, not one but two, three, or more people giving a eulogy.
God forbid I should hear one more time how good Aunt Betsy’s meatballs were, ad nauseam!
God Bless Msgr. Cassato
Dear Editor: What a wonderful tribute to Msgr. Cassato, and God bless Principal Diane Competello for having all the students experience this event wearing T-shirts with his picture and the words, “We love you.”
These students will always remember this tribute, as Msgr. Cassato said, “They are the future of the Church.” Msgr. could also have the title “King of Williamsburg” because he is still remembered as pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
My brother-in-law Sam Menna and his childhood friends attended and supported the feast in July for so many years, and they were always moved by Msgr.’s uplifting, enthusiastic homilies.
As a former teacher at Bishop Kearney High School, I can say that all the faculty members were so impressed by Msgr.’s personality and spirituality as he served as Chaplain. He will be an inspiration for our future priests.
Madeleine Stantangelo Palumbo
Sea Cliff, NY