Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of June 22, 2024

Response to Potential SUNY Downstate Closure

Dear Editor: I am writing regarding Bishop Robert Brennan’s article (“Bishop Brennan’s Concern Over SUNY Downstate Possible Closure,” April 13) concerning SUNY Downstate Medical Center possibly being closed. Bishop Brennan referred to Catholic social teaching and the selfless staff, aspects that were present every day in our Catholic hospitals.

Catholics have been forerunners in the health care business; for example, the Civil War Museum in Maryland showcases how many orders of nuns cared for the sick and dying. Bishop Brennan also noted that the closure of SUNY Downstate could cause significant unemployment and devastate the local economy.

Additionally, at the time of the closures of Catholic hospitals, not only one institution was affected but multiple. It is a shame that Catholic patients in all of NYC do not have the privilege of seeing the crucifix while giving birth, dying, or somewhere in between. We as Catholics should not only be embarrassed but outraged.

Eleanor M. Kehoe


Diverse Catholic Voices

Dear Editor: Thanks to the editor for printing different views in the Readers’ Forum because it shows how Catholics view certain events. Rosemary Mangino (6/8/24) expressed her sadness at seeing the pro-abortion mayor of New York on the May 18 front page of The Tablet (“Hizzoner Meets His Holiness,” May 18).

In contrast, you printed Frederick Robert Bedell Jr.’s letter praising Mayor Eric Adams’s meeting with Pope Francis. He ended his letter with the words, “Remember to love one another.” We must love one another with true, honest, and open statements about life and our Catholic beliefs.

People talk about issues such as world conflicts, climate change, immigrants, and antisemitism without realizing that we are living in a “culture of death,” which we should never accept as a normal condition. Catholics know that abortion is not the only issue today, but as Catholics, we must make a strong case that abortion is the most important issue facing America and the world today because it involves the loss of our most fundamental right — the right to life.

We as Catholics must not support leaders and politicians who promote abortion as health care.

Madeleine Santangelo Palumbo

Sea Cliff

Excellent Scripture Column

Dear Editor: Father Jean-Pierre Ruiz’s excellent piece (“What Does it Mean to Blaspheme the Holy Spirit?” June 8) concludes, citing our catechism, that blasphemy puts “limits to the mercy of God.” As always, those limits arise from the decrees of fallible sinners, aka human beings. In denouncing the sin of blasphemy in others, they commit the same sin themselves. The problem is that what is or isn’t “unforgivable,” or who is or isn’t an antichrist or a chosen one, keeps changing as people and their so-called existential causes come and go. There are too many examples to cite, from Arianism to the Crusades to fascism, right down to various life-or-death disputes, many of which have already waxed and waned in my own lifetime. Perhaps the only remedy is to concentrate on eliminating blasphemy in each of us, rather than to claim moral high ground by condemning it in others. In one of the best sermons I can recall, Father John Cush quoted his seminary adviser’s unvarying formula: “There is a God; I am not God; and thank God for that.”

Edward R. Dorney

Park Slope

Not Celebrating This Month

Dear Editor: My daughter was born Cheyenne. She is now Ryan. Her hair used to be auburn; it is now purple. She used to wear earrings in her ears; she now has them in her nose. She used to pledge allegiance to the United States; she now has a rainbow flag on her deck. She used to be a member of the Catholic Church but left, mistakenly believing that the Church does not accept LGBTQ individuals. My daughter has borderline personality disorder. We love her, but she suffers. My wife and I are not celebrating; we take no pride in her identity crisis any month of the year. As an author of black history, it’s a denigration of emancipation to merge it with LGBTQ pride month. It’s easy to wave a rainbow for the media when you have no skin in the game. But when you do, I assure you there will be plenty of sympathy and little pride. Only God is going to be able to sort this all out.

David D. Perata

Ruthven, IA