Following are NCR reader responses to recent news articles, opinion columns and theological essays with letters that have been edited for length and clarity. These "Letters to the Editor" appear in the Feb. 16–29, 2024 print issue.
Some voices in the church do not want to bless people in irregular situations (NCR, Jan. 19–Feb. 1, 2024). Is this in keeping with Christian history? Mary and Joseph are both blessed, yet Joseph took Mary into his home while she was carrying someone else's child. This was a bit irregular. Giving birth to a baby that was God's son was certainly irregular. From the start of Christianity to this day, irregular situations have been around. Priests bless marriages (even when one or both parties are unfaithful). They bless generous benefactors (even when the money is obtained unethically). They bless animals, jewelry and water without hesitation. Blessing two gay people who want to share their lives together is a moral dilemma? Surrogates carry a child for someone who cannot do so. Is this generosity wrong? Let's stop excluding and alienating people.
Canton, New York
Progress for some
The Dec. 22, 2023–Jan. 4, 2024 issue of NCR is replete with the progress made by Pope Francis in support of the needs of LGBTQ Catholics and the role of women in our church. I should be elated by such good news. So, why am I depressed? I was ordained a diocesan priest almost 60 years ago (1965). I am a dying breed. There were dozens of us who resigned from the active priesthood in the Archdiocese of Denver in the years following Vatican II, and roughly 100,000 worldwide. At 87, I look to meet the Lord, knowing we don't have a married clergy in our church. In many dioceses in the U.S., many priests come from other countries. I moved from Denver eight years ago to be near grandchildren. In the Diocese of Yakima in Washington, where I now live, there are about 12 native born priests and 48 from other countries. It pains me and my one remaining ordination classmate that this is the accepted norm.
I wanted to comment on the article in the January issue pertaining to same sex blessings (NCR, Jan. 19–Feb. 1, 2024). Thank you. The subject matter hit the fan around my family table. Some were open while some were confused and angry. I definitely heard the cry of the extreme right: "No way!" and clergy or lay people who refused to discuss the topic, backed away and began quoting the bible or church teachings. But they have no answers when you question them. "How do you come to know a gay Christian? What do you say or how do you respond to a gay person? What are their spiritual needs? Have you ever sat down to discuss, meet or have coffee with someone gay? You'll find out, they are just like everyone else except, they are gay." How sad when our religious right refuse to be open and Christian. How easy to just slam the door.