Response to a Letter About Jesuit Reparations
Dear Editor: When it comes to the highly debated subject of reparations for the descendants of American slaves, it is unfortunate that many Americans fail to see how this form of restorative justice is the right thing to do.
A letter to the editor in the Oct. 8 edition of The Tablet called attempts at reparations by religious orders (“Jesuits Assure Funding Pledge as Families of Slaves Eye ‘Hardliners’, ” Oct. 1) in the Church a “shakedown.” Moreover, the writer viewed this publication’s article on the topic as “troubling.”
As the Afro-Colombian adopted son of a distinguished member of the FDNY, with other members of my family who are part of the religious order in question, I find it offensive for any practicing Catholic to dismiss efforts to compensate communities who are experiencing the generational outcomes of systemic racism as a result of American slavery.
If part of Christ’s Gospel message was to cultivate freedom and justice for the oppressed, then any argument against this truth is a blatant willingness to remain complicit in the ongoing discrimination of racially marginalized Americans.
Joseph Peter Murray
Editor’s note: Joseph Peter Murray is the administrative assistant for the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Vicariate of Black Catholic Concerns
Back to Basics
Dear Editor: I read George Weigel’s columns in which he speaks about the Synod. I am not commenting on an article but more on the Synod itself.
The major problem with the Synod is that most Catholics do not know what it is and that it is about continuous change in the Catholic Church.
Christ gave us the Church. The early Christians defined the Church and mastered it. The Church spread throughout the world. In the late 20th century, Catholic laity started to redefine the Church, and attendance went down.
This process has continued with terrible results. Instead of being “progressive,“ the Church should go back to traditional rituals on the basis of Christ and early leaders, which made the Church a spiritual success.
William James Carroll
All Life Is Sacred
Dear Editor: I believe all life is sacred, being that I am pro-life. Therefore, I support all that The Bridge to Life in College Point does for women and their children who are in need of support when pregnant.
As it says in the Bible (Jeremiah 1:5), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” I believe every child has the potential to serve the greater good.
As a case in point, I knew a child that was sickly and suffered from various ailments, like asthma, was a slow learner, had speech problems, and was often sick.
That child was me. As I grew up, I served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, went to college, served as a manager in a plumbing supply company, and am now the Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston and a member of the American Legion.
As you see, all life has a purpose, no matter what problems a child might face. That is why I believe in all that The Bridge to Life does for mothers and unborn children.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
The Tablet Helps Me Learn
Dear Editor: I am a 7th-grade student. I just finished reading this week’s Tablet. I read the article “With Baptism We Are Cleansed of Original Sin” (Sunday Scriptures, Oct. 8).
It really helped me understand my religion lesson at St. Ephrem Catholic Academy, where I attend school.
I love the quote, “Every baptism is an approach in faith to this God, the first step in a lifelong journey of love.”
Maybe The Tablet can dedicate a page so kids can get religious help.
Editor’s note: Thank you for your suggestion. Also, be on the lookout for Tablet, Jr, our monthly insert, which returns in the Oct. 29 edition.