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Much of what today’s Catholic Church does is quite positive

Sunday, January 26, 2014
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Much of what today’s Catholic Church does is quite positive

I was saddened by the [Jan. 15] letter that depicted the Catholic Church, and especially the Vatican, as a secretive organization that protects pedophile priests and has a horrific history of torture a la The Inquisition. This is not my church.

My church is one where, as this morning [Jan. 22], we made 55 pounds of meat loaf; and tomorrow morning [Jan. 23] we will bring it to Albany, make mashed potatoes, gravy, greens and dessert. Then we will serve about 250-plus meals. We do this once a month, as do other groups, so that twice a week, there are free meals for whomever walks through those doors.

This is one ministry of our church out of many that serve people in our parish. Multiply this by the tens of thousands of parishes throughout our country, and you will understand the aid that is given to the poor, elderly, lonely and ill, and is enormous and alive in the fashion that Christ showed us [“What do I do, Lord? Feed my people”]. This is my church.

The Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students every day at a cost to the church of $10 billion, which saves the American taxpayer $18 billion. The graduation rate to graduate studies is 92 percent. The Catholic Church has a nonprofit system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of one out of every five people — not just Catholics — in the United States. This is my church.

The Inquisition was a dark period duly credited to the Catholic Church. It is a period where man, falsely claiming the authority of the Catholic Church, committed atrocious deeds. There is nothing in the Catholic Church’s doctrine that supports this action. It was fallen men claiming the authority of the church who committed these acts. Interestingly, that the church came out of this dark period intact supports the claim that Christ said he would never abandon us; the church, which is his body, will be always with us. I doubt any other belief could have survived this terrible history and gone on to flourish. This is my church.

The claim of not revealing documents and the protection of pedophiles is simply not true. A document obtained by The Associated Press on Jan. 17 shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for sexually molesting children. Anyone can go online and obtain any and all information on the Catholic Church and Vatican — complete transparency. This is my church.

Catholics believe that the church is the body of Christ living today and forever. We are called to be like him in our actions, thoughts, deeds and beliefs. This is my church.

Arthur C. Salvatore

Saratoga Springs

GOP must distance itself from Democrats

The political problem in America is not the liberal Democratic Party, which generally represents more taxation, borrowing and spending, resulting in a popular mentality living on an economic precipice that could plunge the United States into an abyss of extinction. The catalyst could be a major national man-made or natural disaster. Not enough resources to afford the unexpected.

Prior to the last presidential election, many people verbally expressed little preference between the lesser of two evils. The Republican Party offered candidates not far from the liberal-socialist agenda. They think the majority is happy, but too many are resigned to quiet desperation. These people are looking for good political-economic leadership that promotes reward for hard work and initiative — the fruits of their labors, if you will.

Liberal socialism regards our population as chickens in a chicken yard. The flock eat, get fat, lay eggs and eventually get slaughtered. Chickens can’t think of the means or the ends, but there is a price to be paid.

Republicanism needs to offer an alternative, but they won’t until they shed this chicken mentality.

Charles R. Kubly

Esperance

Fracking would help keep lid on gas prices

The media reports propane shortages and rising natural gas prices. Monitoring my gas usage via the National Grid website, I see a 150 percent increase in gas consumption in Rotterdam. I am in Florida, have my house “greened up,” and the thermostat set at 50. It is the cold drawing on the heating system.

It is Cuomo drawing down New York state with his warped allegiance to the lefty greens. Green goes only so far. Insulation, curtains, zone heating, etc., go only so far.

Let my gas go, Gov. Cuomo, let fracking commence. Soon we will reach a point of diminishing returns with reference to available energy. Then people go bankrupt, freeze and starve.

Edmond Day

Rotterdam

LaGuardia an amazing airport when it opened

As I read the Jan. 20 Associated Press article about LaGuardia Airport and the need to upgrade (which no one could argue about), I was struck with a case of nostalgia.

I was brought up in Whitestone, a small community at the head of Long Island Sound a few miles from the airport. As a 14-year-old boy, I watched the building of the airport from 1937 to its spectacular opening in 1939, which I attended.

Back then it was called [by Time magazine] “the most pretentious land and seaplane base in the world.” We all marveled at the size of the DC-3s on display, which we could walk right up to and admire — and dream about someday being able to fly in. The public buildings were all “art deco” style and certainly impressed everyone, especially a young boy.

After the opening, for a dime you could watch the planes from a glassed-in balcony, loading and taking off and landing. What an experience!

The airport was built alongside Flushing Bay, which provided the ability to locate a seaplane base, and in turn could handle the huge Yankee Clippers, which were making scheduled trips to Portugal. Again, as a youngster, I would watch these clippers taxi under the Whitestone Bridge and take off. My vantage point was either from the shore or in my kayak.

These were exciting days, with the New York World’s Fair open and the new bridge complete. The only negative was the start of the war in Europe, which soon created a catastrophic effect on the world.

It will be interesting to see what can be done to enhance what is now considered the “worst airport in America.”

John Ericson

Rexford

Sch’dy supervisors don’t merit such big raises

Re the Jan. 22 article, “Pay raises spark heated Schenectady council debate”: I feel that with the city’s current financial situation, supervisors shouldn’t get raises of 3 percent to 4 percent. I am also opposed to any supervisor or manager getting a 40 percent raise.

City employees, who are a part of Local 1037, had gone three years without a pay raise. Finally this year, the hard-working employees in the street department, water department, waste department, parks department and others (the employees that keep the city running every day) are receiving a 1 percent raise.

Everybody is making sacrifices. The city employees who live in the city and are taxpayers shouldn’t have to go without while a few managers and supervisors are getting more.

I agree with the finance commissioner that the City Council should turn down any proposal for these raises.

Adam Armour

Schenectady

The writer is union president of AFSCME Local 1037.

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