My inmost calm was shaken when I came to the end of your article on Mary and Islam in the July/August issue. I have been a faithful member of Maryknoll since 1957, seriously contemplating joining the order, at that time.
In today’s political climate I have become aware of the need to protect America, especially after 9-11-2001, when our country was attacked. Your article on Mary and Islam was interesting and truthful—until you printed: “Allah/God”! Allah and God are not the same.
Also, I was disappointed to read “to forget the past and to strive for mutual understanding.”
Carol Ann O’Reilly
Editor’s note: The article “Mary and Islam” was intended simply to show the high regard Muslims have for our Blessed Mother. One example is the respect both Christians and Muslims have for Mary as one who submitted to the will of God, whom Muslims call Allah. The quote excerpted above was taken from Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s document on Catholic relations with other religions. The full quote reads: “Although in the course of the centuries many quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, this most sacred Synod urges all to forget the past and to strive sincerely for mutual understanding.”
In this troubled nation and violent world, your magazine is a great uplifter of my heart and soul. Your July/August issue was a great gift. The article “On the way to the Fifth Encounter” by Maria-Pia Negro Chin is awesome. Before we moved to Lewis, we attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango, a predominantly Hispanic church. We so love these people and are filled with peaceful joy when we are with them. I remain connected with them through prayer and card ministry. We now go to Our Lady of Victory in Dolores, which has a great number of Hispanics too. Thank you for your love in Christ.
CASE FOR OIL
With regard to the article “The Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment” in the July/August issue, the author needs to get more facts, pro and con, before she or Pope Francis decides to try to destroy the oil industry. Until every home in the North, Northeast and Northwest has enough alternate fuel options to heat all our homes at 40 degrees below zero, we need oil. And considering the price of oil when the oil reserves were low after the Texas hurricanes, we have to have sufficient reserves. We in Maine are very happy for climate change, because 7,000 years ago this land was covered with ice. Climate change is a natural occurrence or we wouldn’t be referring to the ice age. It is possible to burn fossil fuel without polluting. That is what you should be pushing.
CAUSES OF VIOLENCE
I’d like to reply to the comment in the July/August Readers’ Responses under the title “Evil Breeds Violence,” from a writer who objected to your inclusion of the book excerpt by Father John Dear. The letter writer says “evil causes violence” not because evil is inherently violent, but because in order to confront evil, one must resort to violence. He also equates getting arrested for peaceful protest as a type of violence. While corporations may be people (as Citizens United made “clear”), it is unclear what the letter writer is trying to say. That corporate greed “exists just as priests, teachers, doctors …” exist? Being gainfully employed does not mean you are greedy. Rather, corporate greed disenfranchises employees and structures to better their own financial standing no matter how much power and money they already have.
Violence is destructive and therefore cannot solve problems. It may appear to, and apologists may find or invent excuses for its use, but in the end violence is incapable of adequately confronting evil. Jesus Christ himself did no violence and in fact was the victim of violence. However, he is the prime example of how to completely defeat evil. Would the writer suggest Jesus was living in an ivory tower?
Silver Spring, Maryland
NEVER THE SAME
When I was a teenager, I read Maryknoll magazine and my life was never the same: filled with love of God, spirit of mission and proclamation of social justice! I am now a Maryknoll affiliate from Los Angeles and will be moving to Hawaii. It is my intention to continue working with the Maryknoll Affiliates in Honolulu and to volunteer time in Church projects. I am in contact with two Maryknoll sisters in Honolulu and will be assisting them. Thank you for the Maryknoll magazine and for affecting my life.
TO SANTIAGO ATITLÁN
Regarding the beatification of Father Stanley Rother, the priest from Oklahoma who was martyred in Santiago Atitlán in Guatemala, I visited that community in the 1980s and 1990s. Several priests from Oklahoma, as well as elsewhere, went to Guatemala after Father Rother’s death to carry on his work. Among those from Oklahoma was Father Thomas McSherry. He is not mentioned in your article but is a wonderful man. Eventually, he was replaced by a Guatemalan priest, who was also well liked. Santiago Atitlán is a beautiful town and the people are very friendly. They do beautiful weavings and paintings.
Sierra City, California