The Bishop Has Every Reason to Be Indignant
Dear Editor: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has every reason to be indignant (“Court Denies Brooklyn Diocese’s Request for Temporary Restraining Order Over Cuomo’s New COVID-19 Mandate, Bishop Says Fight Isn’t Over,” online article, Oct. 10).
As the bishop says, hundreds of people are allowed to go to the grocery store, but only 10 parishioners can worship in a church that seats 1,200 people! Outrageous! Bishop DiMarzio’s valiant defense of the First Amendment springs from his concern not only for Catholics but also for the Orthodox Jewish community and indeed, for people of all faiths.
During this pandemic, mature and reasonable people are taking health and safety precautions, but to radically restrict our religious freedom is going too far and is a violation of justice.
Sr. Margaret A. McCann
Morris Township, N.J.
Editor’s note: Sr. Margaret is a sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station.
Until we Have a Proven Vaccine and Treatment
Dear Editor: As a family physician and practicing Catholic, I was very proud of the exemplary way the diocese shepherded its flock in Brooklyn and Queens in following COVID-19 safety protocols put forth by health, state, and local officials.
The Catholic Church’s rapid adoption of live streaming of Masses and inventive methods of offering other sacraments (for example drive-in confessions ) has not only saved the lives of countless parishioners but also the many clergy who are among the highest at risk because of advanced age and co-morbidities.
The Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens was one of the hardest-hit dioceses by COVID-19 during the initial first wave. This is in part because of the higher representation of poor and immigrant people in the diocese who we know are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and complications because of health disparities.
These two city boroughs have smaller hospital bed capacities with an over-representation of public-funded healthcare facilities compared to wealthier parts of the city. As we brace for a statewide second wave, unsurprisingly this same diocese is facing a rising tide of clustered cases.
Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have rightly called for the closure of these areas. Instead of these piecemeal closures of neighborhoods, I think the most prudent approach would be closures of entire regions, not just neighborhoods again.
We cannot continue to wait for the now predictable reality that numerous lives will be lost unless we respond swiftly with strict uniform adherence to public health measures again.
I am disappointed by our Diocese’s recent attempt to legally challenge these new COVID-19 restrictions. While I understand continued closures could endanger the financial stability of many parishes and are spiritually challenging for all, I pray for other creative responses that do not endanger the lives of the Catholic faithful and clergy. Until we have a proven vaccine and treatment, we will continue to face the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in every aspect of our lives.
The challenge of living our Catholic faith during COVID gives all of us the unprecedented opportunity to become closer to Christ and our Catholic brothers and sisters in unique ways. We must use all the talents God has blessed us with individually to prayerfully meet this test facing our communities.
We must offer up these daily sacrifices of the loss of the celebration of our holy sacraments, the loss of the beauty of shared physical communal worship, the pain of losing loved ones, and the suffering of COVID-19 illness to our Heavenly Father and Mother. Only God can transform this global heartache into something of divine beauty.
But only if we allow him to and do our part to prevent further devastation.
Rosa A. Tavares
Editor’s note: The Diocese lawsuit is based on the fact that there are no known cases of COVID-19 associated with the churches in Brooklyn and Queens since they reopened. There is a difference between supporting necessary restrictions, as the diocese consistently has done, and accepting restrictions that seem both unfair and unnecessary at the moment.
The Future of our Republic Is in the Hands of Voters
Dear Editor: Fifty years ago, I migrated to the United States of America in search of the American Dream. I prayed hard, studied hard, worked hard, became an American citizen and I am living the American Dream now.
In the weeks ahead, “We the people” should take a deep breath and do our homework so we can determine which candidate will work for all Americans. The future of our republic is in the hands of the voters. My future, your future, our children’s futures hang in the balance. As Catholics, we need to look in the mirror, pray fervently for direction, and place the outcome in our Lord’s hands. We have to make Him an integral part of our daily lives. He is the only one we can trust.
As Americans, regardless of color, race, economic status, or political persuasion, we fundamentally want what is good for us and our families. Our core values and principles are basically the same. We are all in this together, regardless of which pigeon-holed identity box we are put in.
What kind of America do we want to have after the 2020 election? We the people have to make a choice and should not take our vote lightly. A nation divided cannot stand.
Do we want an America where our Constitution is ignored, where our history is destroyed, where God is taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, where there are not education choices for our children, where our religious freedom is at risk, where the unborn is voiceless and where our Second Amendment rights are attacked?
I don’t think so. My brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to vote our conscience, keeping in mind the voiceless unborn.
God bless you all, God bless our leaders and God bless America.
Are you Better off Than You Were Four Years ago?
Dear Editor: In a recent poll taken by Gallup, 56 percent of regular voters said that they were better off today than they were four years ago.
It reminds us of the election of 1980 when Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter. Reagan won 44 states and 489 electoral votes in part by voicing the famous line, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
Voters have to be reminded, once again, of the booming economy before the pandemic. We had the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years across the board as well as among women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. We have seen the return of manufacturing jobs, a campaign pledge that Trump kept, and that brought out in dives many Americans who hadn’t vote in years because of lack of hope in the system.
His accomplishments such as the Middle East peace agreement between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel, the overhauling of the Veterans Administration are just a couple of accomplishments to his credit.
He kept his word — that in itself is a miracle for a politician.
Thomas and Constance Dowd
Above Immigration, the Poor and Economic Justice
Dear Editor: My wife and I are long-time supporters and readers of The Tablet. We read every issue cover to cover.
Today we are compelled to comment on your column “Reality Won’t Confirm Our Political Preferences” (The Editor’s Space, Oct. 3).
I presume from its title the intent of the article is to assist the reader/voter in forming a correct conscience in voting for their political preference for president, either Biden or Trump.
What is noteworthy in this article is what can only be interpreted as negative comments about Trump (i.e. coronavirus, the number of deaths, peaceful transition, jobless claims, racial tensions.
Where is the fair balance? Why are not there negative comments about Biden? Biden is pro-abortion and pro-Planned Parenthood; he supports repealing the Hyde amendments, he is against school choice; he supports LGBTQ; he is against the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
Biden is not even mentioned in the column. His support of abortion is most telling. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said that “abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life.” That means it surpasses and is above all other priorities, i.e. immigration, the poor, economic justice, etc.
Phil and Barbara Meagher
Forked River, N.J.
Bernier’s Column Is a Breath of Fresh Air
Dear Editor: I enjoyed reading the recent column by Maurice Bernier (“A Reunion to Top All Reunions,” Up Front & Personal, Sep. 19). He is a breath of fresh air in this day of depravity and ruin.
We were teammates on the St.John’s soccer team back in the day and he has always embraced probity.
Henry T. Sarnataro