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Letters: Bishop right to speak about the election

Bishop William Murphy conducts Christmas Mass at St.

Bishop William Murphy conducts Christmas Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. (Dec. 25, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Two letter writers took issue with Bishop William Murphy’s letter to parishioners at Masses on Oct. 30 [“Bishop went too far on elections,” Nov. 4].

One calls the letter meddling in secular affairs, and the other accuses the bishop of misrepresenting the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ election guidelines. Both are off the mark.

The bishop’s letter is not meddling in secular affairs. As Pope Francis has said, “If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’”

Second, while it is true that the Conference of Catholic Bishops doesn’t advocate single-issue voting, the organization has placed greater importance on some issues than others — specificallly, issues involving the fundamental right to life.

Murphy’s letter is in line with this position.

John F. Ryan Jr., North Bellmore


Catholics in my church applauded following the reading of Bishop William Murphy’s letter, reflecting the appreciation for the teaching from our bishop as to the intrinsic evils which our church teaches can never be supported. First among these is the destruction of human life.

This is a moral issue which has been so extremely politicized that even clergy are attacked for instructing about faith and morals.

Freedom of religion in America protects our right, as well as Murphy’s, to speak about our religious beliefs. No one is forced to follow the convictions of another, but that does not deny the right of free speech and religious expression.

Some teachings of the Catholic Church may not be popular, even with many Catholics, but they remain the doctrine of the church and should be taught clearly, often and especially within our churches.

Barbara Samuells, Dix Hills

Editor’s note: The writer is the president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion, a membership and advocacy organization.


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