Catholic point of view on birth control
Re: Letter, “Church vs. state on birth control debate,” T&V, Feb. 23
I certainly do not wish that Mr. Steven Sanders “burn in eternal hell,” but that if he believes in Jesus Christ he will know the joy of eternal life.
The Roman Catholic Church believes that abortion, sterilization and contraception are seriously sinful acts. I know that many, including Mr. and Mrs. Sanders, do not share this belief. The Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States, their elected chairperson being Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, have spoken out in the past and will continue to defend this belief and this teaching.
Most recently the bishops have expressed grave concern over the mandate by the current administration that Catholic institutions be required to provide their employees (other than parish employees) contraceptives, abortafacient drugs, and sterilization free of charge as part of their health care coverage. Responding to the outcry not only of the Catholic hierarchy and people but representatives of other faith groups, the administration was willing to compromise and require insurance companies, not the religious institution, to provide this coverage.
The Catholic bishops have rejected this compromise. A serious issue, perhaps not at first recognized by the administration, is that the vast majority of Catholic institutions are self-insured, including the Archdiocese of New York. All health care costs are born by the Catholic employer, paid for by the Church for its employees by the dollars of the faithful that are put in the collection basket or paid by parents for school tuition. There is no third party that will pay for the cost of medication and procedures that contradict Catholic moral teaching.
Another relevant fact is that even if insurance companies were involved, the Church would still be paying through increased premiums, as no doubt premiums would be higher to enable the insurance company to provide this free coverage. To force the Church to pay for portions of health coverage that violate its moral teaching is not a health issue; it is a serious violation of religious freedom and the sanctity of conscience.
I disagree that the moral teaching of the Catholic Church is “Dark Age’s thinking” – on the contrary, it is based on the belief shared by the vast majority of people that life is God’s greatest and most precious gift and that the protection of human life in all its stages is our greatest responsibility. The Church cannot force its teaching on non-Catholics, or even Catholics for that matter.
People will choose to disagree. I hope and pray though that all citizens who treasure the rights that our nation is obligated to protect will not support any attempt by our government to force anyone or any religious institution to violate their moral principles and their conscience.
Rev. Msgr. Leslie J. Ivers,
Pastor, The Church of the Epiphany
A deeper look into Black History Month
Re: Letter, “Black History Month is recognized in ST,” T&V, Feb. 16, which was written in response to the letter, “Essential Black History,” T&V, Feb. 9
I must respond to the comments of Mr. Mathew Cicci, executive director of American Leisure at PCV/ST. Mr. Cicci accused me of being misinformed about the activities planned this February at Oval Essentials in honor of Black History Month. He indicated that the Capoeira martial arts classes and an arts and crafts event at Oval Kids centered on Romare Bearden are in honor of Black History Month.
African-American History Month (also known as Black History Month) was established to commemorate the exceptional contributions made by African-Americans to every aspect of American history in their struggles for freedom and equality. It serves to deepen our understanding of our Nation’s history and each year there is a theme. This year’s theme happens to be “Black Women in American Culture and History”. I fail to understand how Capoeira, a form of martial arts created by African slaves sent to Brazil has anything to do with the reason African-American History Month was created or this year’s theme.
Also, I did “thoroughly explore all [of the] offerings” from Oval Essential’s calendar of events for February that was slipped under my door and nowhere does it mention Romare Bearden. You need to proofread your calendar of events more thoroughly; how was anyone supposed to know this? This event was probably only done as last minute afterthought tacked on to what is described on the pamphlet as “Valentine’s Art & Crafts w/Adele” in response to my February 6th email to you so you would have something to say. If Mr. Cicci had more thoroughly read my comments he would have realized that
I acknowledge that there is a wide diversity in the offerings at Oval Essentials, just not with regards to Black History Month. Indeed, he does not dispute that there were no events last February either to celebrate Black History. He simply used his response to me to further plug Oval Essentials. I have noticed that attendance has been very low recently and many of my friends and I would love to pay the $15 rate he mentions instead of the $20 per month since we are receiving less essentials and amenities with the closing of Oval Film.
Maybe next year there will be more sincere consideration given when deciding what event(s) to schedule in honor of Black History Month.
Marsha Cole, ST
Heading straight for the Corner
Praise: The column “Cutting Corners” is the first thing I turn to every week, and so do many senior friends of mine here in Stuyvesant Town. Andrea Bucher McAdams is a genius in finding interesting free events around the city, which are open to the public.
I read many publications such as The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out, The Village Voice, and The New York Times that have “events” columns, and yet somehow, Ms. McAdams seems to consistently find unique events that they do not. As a native New Yorker, and a 38-year resident of Stuy Town, I really appreciate the information she provides in your newspaper.
Disappointment: The T&V in my mailbox last night does not have a “Cutting Corners” column by Ms. McAdams. I’m hoping this is a one off situation and that we will hear from her next week.
Your Loyal Reader,
Edward J. Nelowet, ST
Editor’s note: We apologize for the lack of Cutting Corners last week, which didn’t run due to a technical problem. Please find this week’s column on Page 7.
Thanks, T&V and readers, for toy drive
What can we say? Thank you so, so much for again providing so many much-needed gifts for the children and their families of Beth Israel Medical Center’s Methadone Maintenance and chemical Dependency Treatment Programs. Through their generous donations, your readers and community supporters helped make the holidays a truly happy time for so many of our kids. Your continued support means more to us than we can say. Please thank them all for us.
Bonnie Robbins, PhD,
Coordinator, Children and Family Services
More on composers Burleigh and Dvorak
The article on Harry T. Burleigh by Lonnie Stoltzfoos, in your February 16 issue was a deserved tribute to an influential African-American in Black History Month. One excerpt however, leaves the reader with the impression that actual Negro spirituals were incorporated into Antonin Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony.
Not so. The themes themselves were entirely Dvorak’s. The spirituals were simply inspirations for him. It was Burleigh to introduced the composer to them. It would have been nice too if Stoltzfoos had mentioned that Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony is the famous “New World” Symphony, written entirely in the house at 327 East 17th Street that Beth Israel demolished in 1991.
Member, Board of Directors
Dvorak American Heritage Association
Jumping for T&V’s ‘Jack’
Whoever the creator/artist of “Liar Jack” is, I want to say thank you for your delightful cartoons. At a time of such uncertainty about the future of ST/PCV and with all the political and economic turmoil in our country and the wider world, you bring a much welcome smile to my face.
Arlynne Miller, ST