Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, Week of October 3, 2020

Integrity, Humility and Love of God and Country

Dear Editor: It is sad to hear Democratic senators like Chuck Schumer vowing to not meet with Judge Amy Coney-Barrett during her confirmation process. Judge Barrett has distinguished herself as an honorable judge, passionate parent and a lover of the US and its Constitution. She is being targeted for her Christian faith just like Judge Brian Buescher. Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono targeted Judge Buescher for his membership in the Knights of Columbus. 

The U.S. needs a judge whose DNA espouses integrity, prayerfulness, humility and love of God and country. Judge Coney-Barrett needs to be confirmed immediately. She is a stunning candidate with impeccable credentials. 

The view to hold Catholics in intense suspicion and to hold them unfit for public service, especially on U.S. courts is wrong. Kamala Harris should realize that judges are neutral arbiters of the law and the Constitution.

Joseph M. Campbell
Port Washington

An Invaluable Asset to the Supreme Court

Dear Editor: President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court on Saturday, September 26th at the White House Rose Garden. 

He praised the judge for all her accomplishments. Barrett is a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She is a judge of high integrity, intelligence, a profound understanding of the law and respect for the U.S. Constitution and the American people. 

Amy Coney Barrett is married and has seven children and supports what the family unit is all about. 

Judge Barrett is a devout Catholic and believes all life is important and needs to be protected, I therefore wholeheartedly support her nomination. 

As such I believe Judge Barrett will be an invaluable asset to the Supreme Court and to all the American people.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

The Defense of Life and its Preeminent Place

Dear Editor: I am writing in strong opposition to voicer Vincent Gragnani’s letter, “Catholics Are Not ‘Obliged’ to Vote for Anyone” (Readers’ Forum, Sep. 19), in which he quotes Pope Benedict XVI in writing that voting for a pro-legalized abortion candidate “is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.” 

I am not contradicting the Pope Emeritus by stating that there simply are no proportionate concerns that would validate a voter’s choice of a pro-abortion candidate. As it is clearly a matter of the deliberate taking of human life, the issues he raises — just wages, welcoming immigrants, access to health care, and care for our common home — do not rise to the level of legalized abortion. 

A properly-formed conscience would immediately be able to make this determination. Therefore, it is imperative that Catholic hierarchy and media do form consciences that place the defense of life and the eradication of legalized murder in its appropriately preeminent place.

Father Michael W. Panicali
Sheepshead Bay 

Editor’s note: Father Panicali is the parochial vicar of St. Mark-St. Margaret Mary parish and a columnist for The Tablet.

Voting Is not a Single-Issue Matter

Dear Editor: The quote from the US Bishops’ “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” in the “Editor’s note,” responding to the letter of Vincent Gragnani (“Catholics Are Not ‘Obliged’ to Vote for Anyone” (Readers’ Forum, Sep. 19), may be read out of context. 

The bishop’s document states: “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.”

Let’s be clear: voting is not a single-issue matter. As stated by Pope Francis in “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), Catholics must uphold the dignity of the unborn and all the living: 

“Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

To be true to our faith, when we vote, our conscience must guide us as to which candidate is most attuned to the whole of Catholic teaching.

Alex S. Avitabile

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