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Following are NCR reader responses to recent news articles, opinion columns and theological essays with letters that have been edited for length and clarity.

Women's ordination missing from synod synthesis

The recent article by Michael Sean Winters does a good job of summarizing the important points of the synthesis of the most recent U.S. synodal deliberations (, June 3, 2024). But I wish he had focused on one of the issues the document did not include: the call for the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood. Why — despite its inclusion in the 2023 US Synthesis as a matter of justice, and its repeated call in the recent "Participation" listening session sponsored by the USCCB — was the call for the ordination of women not included in the most recent submission to Rome?

I wonder if the Bishops of the U.S. really "hear" and understand the frustration — and for many, the righteous anger — of Catholic women in the U.S.

Los Gatos, California


Letters to the Editor

Love Ethan Hawke, what about Gaza?

I adore Maya Hakwe and the work of Ethan Hawke has touched my heart many times (Great Expectations, Before Sunset, and First Reformed are a few of the titles from his filmography that are especially meaningful to me), so I'm very interested in their film Wildcat and thus thankful to Zachary Lee for this interview (, May 23, 2024). 

U.S. taxpayers are funding a genocide in Gaza, but there is only a single story about Gaza on NCR's May 23 homepage — it is a couple of days old and, predictably, does not include a single Palestinian voice.

Also on the homepage is Fr. Peter Daly's A taxi ride in Ukraine delivers a lesson on horror of war. Daly recounts a conversation he had with a Ukrainian veteran who is perhaps suffering from PTSD, and writes of the veteran:

The driver wanted us to know about the impact the war had on him in particular and his country in general. He wanted someone from abroad to be aware of the horrible reality of the war. In a way, he was proud of what he had done. He was, after all, defending his country from an unjust and cruel invasion.

All of this is true of Palestinians and the Palestinian resistance, yet I have never read a similar article to either "A taxi ride", or Daly's earlier In Ukraine, life during wartime takes a spiritual toll, on NCR about Palestinian's or their resistance.

A Rabbi went to Fordham to support pro-Palestinian students. Where were the Catholic clergy and religious? I have seen more Jewish rabbis on the front lines of the pro-Palestine movement than I have Catholic clergy or religious, not to mention more Jews demonstrating and organizing for Palestine as Jews than I have Catholics doing the same as Catholics.

The tepid response of the Catholic Church to the US-Zionist genocide — which is well reflected in NCR — indicates a church that is doubling down on its well earned and rapid descent into moral, social, and cultural irrelevance.

Hamburg, New York


Church thinks in centuries, but we die

In response to Fr. Thomas Reese's Pope Francis disappoints progressives. He will do it again (, May 30, 2024): some years ago, Avery Dulles — in response to a question I had asked him after a lecture — used the argument that for the Church 100 years is nothing.

I wished I had had the wit to say "But 100 years is four generations of Catholics. How many lives will be affected by the teaching."

Yes, change takes time, but how many will be hurt, left in the lurch, in the process?

Cambridge, Massachusetts


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