On being Catholic and American

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Editor:
Father Gregorio opines what it should mean to be Catholic in America in his Feb. 28 column. For Lent, on behalf of justice for the readers of the Star Herald, I suggest that Father give up both listening to Rush Limbaugh and viewing 70 online political cartoons every day. If Father needs a policy wonk fix during Lent, I suggest Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times. Because these things are so, keep the First Amendment.

James Schwarzwalder
Lindenwold

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Editor:
In Father Gregorio’s commentary, “Should we be more Catholic than American” (Feb. 28), there are two points that disturbed me.
1. Father makes the assumption that all employers and business owners are evil people who rob from their employees to make themselves rich. If this were the case the productive employees (who are not in chains) would leave after a brief time and seek work elsewhere. The business would not be able to continue and the owner would lose his shirt and become poor. The business owners I know tend to work more hours than do the paid employees. His point may sound good but with a little thought, it falls apart.
2. Father makes the assumption that the only acceptable way to help the poor is to pay more in taxes so that representatives of a large central government could redistribute to the needy. We see in practice that the government tends to redistribute to its campaign contributors and other to whom favors are owed. They also have been known to redistribute to organizations with which I and the church have moral problems. I would like Father to acknowledge that choosing the charity to which I directly contribute is acceptable.
Father did mention the growing gap between the rich and the poor. Here I must agree with him. However if the answer to this gap were in redistribution by the government, shouldn’t the present administration’s actions have narrowed the gap instead of widening it?
Because these things are so, the free market economy must be maintained.

Joe Junikka
Collingswood

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Editor,
It amazes me how little ultra-conservative, free marketers like Rush Limbaugh know about Catholic economic teaching and how socialists like Father Gregorio will hang on every word spoken by Pope Francis on this topic to advance their Marxist agenda.
Both ignored the Holy Father’s words to the global leaders assembled at the Davos World Economic Forum.
“The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all a transcendent vision of the person,” Pope Francis said in the message.
“It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality,” he added.

Steven Bozza
Collingswood