The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre joined the church's...

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre joined the church's bishops' conference in discouraging the faithful from taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "on moral grounds." Pictured is the diocese's St. Agnes Roman Catholic Cathedral in Rockville Centre. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, in my view, has just broken at least one of the Ten Commandments by urging people not to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that could save many lives on Long Island and help achieve herd immunity faster ["Catholics urged not to get J&J shot," News, March 8]. This diocese has been plagued by child abuse issues, bankruptcy and loss of members. Is this an attempt to remind people they still exist by putting out, to me, such an irresponsible proclamation? The misguided premise that this vaccine uses human cells in the production, which makes it sinful, in my view, sends us back to the medieval times when people had to pay priests to get into heaven. Scientists used their God-given talents to produce this one-shot vaccine, which may be the only one available in many areas and will take us to herd immunity quickly before more variants develop. But this article will be another excuse for some not to get any vaccine even though the pope received a vaccine. In my opinion, the diocese may have blood on its hands from this proclamation.

Marie Polifrone,


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre states that the vaccine proclamation is based on "moral grounds." To me, the decision is morally bankrupt. It’s ludicrous to make a "moral" argument against a lifesaving vaccine by linking it to decades-old fetal tissue from abortions. I believe the result will be to hurt brown and Black homebound communities that can primarily be served by a one-shot easily transportable vaccine — the J&J vaccine. Some will call this decision insensitive, and others will cite it as an example of systemic racism. Either way, I believe it’s wrong and it’s sad.

Richard Iannuzzi,


I found the headline "Catholics urged not to get J&J shot" misleading, especially for a controversial story. To me, the headline itself gives a very different impression than reading the article. Most of those quoted, including representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, Fordham University, the governor, the Vatican and the pope, actually say it is morally acceptable to get any vaccine. Even Sean Dolan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre states that "being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good." Newsday wrote a headline that I believe polarizes people and puts Catholics in a bad light. Too many people already are choosing not to be vaccinated, and urging anyone to avoid a specific vaccine, in my view, is irresponsible and puts all of us at greater risk.

Eileen Hession,

Long Beach

Brentwood district’s inaction a shame

I was astounded by the headline "Driver gets 9 months in jail," referring to the criminally negligent homicide conviction of Anne Marie Drago for twice running over Evelyn Rodriguez [News, March 5]. Rodriguez was a role model to those who saw what was happening in the Brentwood schools and stood up and tried to change it. Before her daughter and best friend were murdered, Rodriguez complained repeatedly about her daughter being threatened in school for standing up to gang bullying. Would any of this have happened if the MS-13 dealings with the high school had been dealt with by a school district unwilling to buck an education system that encouraged placing thousands of unaccompanied migrant children, mostly teenage males, into the schools? Early on, in my view, police also were slow to act against the rising gang crime and migrant killings. That is, until two American high school girls were brutally murdered. Rodriguez had brought a lawsuit against the district for inaction despite her complaints about the threats to her daughter at the school. Look into the state Education Department’s "humane" but poor decision that so many had to be enrolled into just a few schools.

Andrea Vecchio,

East Islip

DeJoy slowing down Postal Service

The U.S Postal Service must remain a public institution to "weave our nation together" again ["Help deliver on USPS mission," Editorial, March 5]. Since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been in charge, packages and letters have almost always arrived later than in the past. For instance, on March 3, I received two personal cards postmarked in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9. That’s more than three weeks. Most business mail takes seven to 10 days from postmarked mailing date till arrival. Before DeJoy, first-class mail almost always arrived within three days.

Cathleen Peppito,

Rockville Centre

Another reason Zeldin might run for gov

If Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) ever became New York’s governor, he could pardon former President Donald Trump for state crimes he is found guilty of committing in New York ["Zeldin exploring run for governor," News, March 3]. Such a pardon by Trump’s Mini-Me might allow Trump to run in 2024. Could this be Zeldin’s end game?

Michael Devito,

Center Moriches

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