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Published: Monday, 5/11/2009

Catholics aren't alone in world

I disagree with Kathleen Parker's May 3 column, "Obama should bow out from 'Our Lady.'•" Quite the contrary, he should stay in as representing the diversity of our country where people of differing beliefs live peacefully together. We Roman Catholics are not alone in this world.

The Laetare Medal is an annual award given by the University of Notre Dame to an American Catholic in recognition of outstanding service to the Roman Catholic church and society.

Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University has rejected the honor in part because President Obama was invited to be the commencement speaker. Ms. Glendon makes her point in refusing the gift outright - the first to do since 1883 - because Mr. Obama's philosophy differs from hers.

More than 150 years ago, Cardinal John Newman raised the issue (among others) about the place of religion and moral values in the university setting. This discussion is still worth having as long as the beliefs of all are respected.

President Obama is a man of faith and integrity who was elected by a clear majority to the highest office in our land. Possibly he comes to Notre Dame to listen, and to be heard. Notre Dame chose to honor him and he in turn honors this great university by his presence.

Ann Molony Desmond

Aldringham Road

With regard to the investigation of the nuns by the Vatican, Bishop Leonard Blair as the pick to run the same, and banning of a workshop by New Ways Ministry in a facility run by the Tiffin Franciscan sisters:

First: The investigation is long overdue. For decades, U.S. nuns have feted abortion; tried to propose a syncretic mix of New Age religiosity with Christianity, confusing an already confused lay spirituality; continued to keep alive a dead debate on the ordination of women, and added to the confusion with their vague position on homosexuality. The nuns need to be set straight - period.

Second: Given his record on treatment of sexual abuse survivors/victims, Bishop Blair was a very poor choice to conduct such an investigation. He should admit that, advise the Vatican he is not the man for the job, and ask that an abler bishop with a much better record take his place.

Third: In regard to the matter in Tiffin, as Bishop D'Arcy of the South Bend Diocese recently said, no matter how unworthy he may be, a Catholic bishop is still the primary lawgiver and teacher in his diocese. Bishop Blair has shown his true unworthiness, but in his capacity as teacher and lawgiver, his action on this matter was right and just.

Finally, if Bishop Blair wishes to remove the cause of his unworthiness, he really must start being the shepherd of the diocese and stop protecting and shielding the predators he knows are still hiding within the fold under his care. As long as he continues to behave as he does, he hurts the church and many will not follow him or will leave for good - even when he does the right thing.

Mike Drabik

Bronson Avenue

In regard to Bishop Leonard Blair's cancellation of the workshop on gay ministry by the Tiffin Franciscans: Well, it's pretty clear the good sisters aren't marching to the same tune as the bishop. I hardly had time to get rested over the Inquisition and now this unnecessary strong-arm tactic.

How very sad that Bishop Blair is about exclusion instead of inclusion. I would have felt much better had he spoken up about the priest who murdered the nun and headed a campaign to defrock him. Now that's something with which I could agree. Yes, let's exclude priests who murder nuns from the church and, while we're at it, all pedophiles. Oh, and how about the priest who said there was no Holocaust?

No, I'm not Jewish and I don't belong to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. But I am sympathetic to the people whose lives were decimated by those who did those acts, and I am disgusted with church leaders who balked at recognizing the issue until it became so evident they could no longer hide their red hats in the sand.

The issues they now espouse pale in comparison to murder and abuse. Discrimination is just an encore.

Karen S. Wikoff

Cheltenham Road

I attended the May 4 informational meeting at the former Congregation B'nai Israel site at Kenwood and Douglas regarding Glass City Academy's plan to purchase the former synagogue site. The property is currently owned by the University of Toledo Foundation.

Although only a small percentage of students will come from the surrounding neighborhood, Glass City Academy is attempting to relocate in Old Orchard by taking advantage of a special-use permit attached to the land when St. Francis proposed a junior high prep school for the site.

The Glass City Academy student body consists of 11th and 12th graders ages 16 to 21 (most are 18 and older) who were unable to earn high school diplomas through "traditional" schooling. The academy boasts a 17 percent graduation rate and is funded through state tax dollars.

UT professes to be a good neighbor to Old Orchard. As a UT alumnus, I implore foundation board members to reconsider the sale of the former synagogue to Glass City Academy. I encourage Old Orchard residents, their families, and their friends to rethink or suspend any contributions to the foundation, and to let the university and board members know the reason for your change of heart.

If the sale of the synagogue property is completed, the university will never receive a single dollar in contributions from me. In this case, the board can consider the reduction in my property value my contribution to the university.

It's just a shame it's not tax deductible.

Sheila Gramenz

Meadowwood Drive

I'm disappointed in The Blade's reporting of the May 5 referendum vote in Bedford Township. To imply that the measure was resoundingly defeated was completely misrepresentative of the truth. The measure was defeated by a mere 289 votes, with a very small portion of registered voters participating.

I was aghast at the headline implying that this vote somehow turned down the development of a Wal-Mart store. This vote was never about Wal-Mart. This vote was about appropriate land use and nothing more. The scare tactics and fear mongering of some made this vote about the possibility of a Wal-Mart. Let us not forget the fact that as the property is currently zoned, a Wal-Mart could be developed without a rezoning request.

I'm disappointed in the outcome of the referendum, not because I desire a Wal-Mart in Bedford Township but because the fears of a few petrified a township from possibly seeing a long-vacant piece of land developed into something useful.

Keith R. Godfrey

Lambertville

I have recently been questioned about my whining skills due to my grandmother, Carletta Huff, winning $50,000 in the Buckeye CableSystem contest and temporarily losing her Medicaid benefits. Let me set the record straight.

The facts are that I believe that my grandmother should have been taken off of Medicaid immediately or should have been forced to send the check to the state. I am a little disappointed that the laws do not require that.

I spend all my days finding ways to make life easier for people. However, I find that abuse of the system is out of control. I am frankly a bit disappointed in the state for being so quick to give back her benefits. Do not misunderstand: I am happy for my grandma, but this is a fiscally irresponsible move on the part of the powers that be.

There are many people who need these benefits.

Jason Craig

Perrysburg



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