EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 2, 2012

Persecution of Church sometimes from within

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

At the risk of alienating my Republican friends, whom I love dearly, I must respond to the letter about Obama trying to “persecute” and “dismantle the Catholic Church” and the rest of us being confused. (Joan Espinola letter: "Persecution of the Church will continue under Obama," Sept 25.)

I am pro-life, but there are many issues in this campaign. Each platform should be looked at as a whole and voted on with the conscience God gave to us all. Neither candidate has all the Christian values we, as Catholics, would like to see in a leader. But as Bishop Peter Libasci noted in a bulletin insert recently, if both platforms are lacking in some form of Christian values, we must look at the whole picture and choose the lesser of two evils.

Jesus loved everyone. He was all inclusive. He cared about and welcomed the poor and the rejected, the elderly and disabled, the immigrant -- in short, the infamous "other 47 percent."

Even our own bishops cited the Romney/ Ryan Budget Plan as not only un-Christian but immoral.

I value, and am open to, the opinions of others until it becomes more negative than factual, especially when it goes so far as to denigrate the opinions of others within the same Faith. And in the end, it is my conscience that I listen to and then I pray that God will bring forth, not my choice or yours, but the best candidate for all the people and not a select few. Perhaps as Christians, we need to be more prayerful instead of hurtful,

Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger put it eloquently in the following commentary:

“Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one in which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principal in opposition to increasing totalitarianism.” (Joseph Ratzinger, "Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II.")

Edie Shea

Salem, N.H.