Marx, scandal, Libya

Supporting the Middle

Regarding Terry Eagleton’s “Was Marx Right?” (April 8): I had thought that what had been making Marx wrong for many decades, at least in the United States, was the emergence of a huge middle class supported by a heavily graduated tax structure. What could make Marx right, at least in the context of the United States, is the continuation of tax cuts for the rich, ever smaller government, and the downsizing of the middle class. There will basically be two classes left, the haves and the have-nots. And what will that situation set the stage for?

I am in favor of heavily graduated taxes, a significant role for government, and policies that support the continued growth, sustenance, and accessibility of a strong middle class. I don’t want Marx to turn out to be correct.

Dennis M. Doyle
Dayton, Ohio


Culture Clash

Regarding Nicholas P. Cafardi’s “Another Long Lent” (April 8): The abuse crisis will continue until we manage to move beyond the clerical culture that sets priests above and apart from the rest of the church, and until we no longer teach seminarians a theology of priesthood and church that promotes this culture.

Mark Horak, SJ
Washington, D.C.


Lessons Learned

In “Another Long Lent,” Nicholas P. Cafardi states that “Cardinal Francis George…refused the advice of his own review board and allowed an abusive priest to remain in ministry.” Cardinal George has repeatedly and publicly apologized for his decision not to immediately remove the now-laicized priest, Daniel McCormack, upon receiving the review board’s advice. At the time, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s preliminary investigation of allegations against McCormack had just begun in accord with Norm 6 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and it was unknown whether or not McCormack was in fact an abusive priest, so he remained in ministry with restrictions and at least some degree of supervision. Cardinal George has made clear that, in retrospect, he wishes he had removed McCormack while the investigation was pending, and he has since adopted policy changes in Chicago to ensure that such precautions are taken.

Jimmy M. Lago
Chicago, Ill.
The writer is chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago.


Clouded Vision

I always appreciate Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, but I radically disagree with her analysis of the Libyan intervention (“On the Tightrope,” April 22). I believe it was a mistake from the beginning. The lens of Kosovo and Rwanda clouded the moral vision of policymakers, when other interventions that could have been much more helpful were possible.

At this point, NATO’s action has only made this sad caricature of a rebel army more vulnerable, for they now await even greater Western intervention. They are vulnerable to worse reprisals than might have happened otherwise, due to the implicit and explicit statements of Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama and others. Their blood will truly be on our hands if partial “muscular intervention” once again fails. Uninformed compassion does not make for effective foreign policy, even with laudable humanitarian motivation.

David E. Pasinski
Fayetteville, N.Y.

Published in the 2011-05-06 issue: 
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