Lay preaching, priest's arrest, archbishop
There's an enormous trust gap in the Catholic church ("A move to limit lay preaching," Star Tribune, Feb. 24).
A less kind interpretation might be this: Control the message and control the masses. The archdiocese acted in a heavy-handed way.
JOHN SCHMIT, ST. PAUL
• • •
Last week, two upsetting articles reported on a priest's alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult victim ("Priest charged with sexually abusing woman," Feb. 18) and ("Priest argues sex with woman was consensual," Feb. 19).
What was he thinking?
This priest was ordained in 2003, at a time when clergy sexual abuse scandals were making headlines around the country. Certainly he and his fellow seminarians should have been fully informed about proper boundaries and behavior.
I'm so ashamed that this abuse took place, and my heart goes out to the victim.
Our archdiocesan authorities sent this priest off for a short while, then placed him back into parish ministry in Delano, 50 miles from any supervision. If there was not a severe shortage of priests, you can believe he wouldn't have been allowed back into any public ministry.
THE REV. MICHAEL TEGEDER, ST. EDWARD'S CHURCH, BLOOMINGTON
• • •
What does the archbishop not understand about the culpability of the priest, the Rev. Christopher Wenthe, who allegedly sexually defiled and emotionally tormented a vulnerable adult woman in his parish?
Under a 1993 state law, it's a felony for any clergy member to have sex with another adult who is seeking or receiving "religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private."
As for the archbishop? We've had it, Your Excellency.
It was your job to turn this perpetrator over to be prosecuted within the full measure of the law. No more promises or excuses.
We're embarrassed, we're angry and we're horrified for the victims.
KATHLEEN WEDL, EDINA
Government shouldn't recognize gay marriage
Who gave President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder the power to stop upholding the Defense of Marriage Act?
This action is a matter of pandering to a very vocal minority segment of U.S. voters. Is the president merely trying to stem his sinking approval ratings?
BOB MAGINNIS, EDINA
Killing Title X funds hurts the poor
The assault on funding for Planned Parenthood is mind-boggling. Access to the birth control and family planning resources provided by this organization serves society. Lack of access can be life-altering for the people who need them.
In addition, disease and unwanted pregnancies impose an enormous cost on our communities. We should be seeking ways to make it easy to stay healthy and enter parenthood with intention. Eliminating this funding is poor policy.
ANDREA BROCKMEIER, BLOOMINGTON
Reader agrees with conservative view
I normally dislike reading Jason Lewis and try to avoid his ideologically driven conservative views. However, I agreed with his Feb. 20 commentary, "A sad silence on all sides about war."
When Michael Steele, then the Republican National Committee chairman, said last year that Afghanistan was Obama's war of choice, he was politically astute.
A short time later, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said his worst nightmare would be the far right and far left joining forces to oppose that war.
Maybe Graham's worst nightmare is coming true.
BRUCE FISHER, ST. LOUIS PARK
Gov. Dayton's health appointee on the mark
Thanks to Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson for boldly questioning the value of HMO-based managed care for our public programs ("A checkup for managed care," Feb. 21).
We are excited that she's interested in reviewing new ways to pay for care. Those new ways shouldn't include paying an HMO intermediary to manage our public programs.
HMOs have been profiting off of our state programs for too long.
In 2009, HMOs made more than $100 million in profits from our public health care programs. In 2009, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Partners and Medica paid their CEOs a combined salary of more than $4 million.
We need a new model in which money goes for care, not administrative waste and excess spending.
NEIL E. STECKER, TAMARACK, MINN.
He's willing to pay his fair share if others will
Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake, noted data showing that half of Hiawatha light-rail riders have household incomes exceeding $50,000 ("Transit funding facing double hit," Feb. 24).
He wonders whether they could be asked to pay a higher fee. I definitely could pay more.
And while we're at it, let's ask those with household incomes triple that amount to pay their fair share of taxes.
Studies consistently show that taxes paid by these very wealthy households are at a lower percentage than those households at the $50,000 level.
PHILIPP MUESSIG, MINNEAPOLIS
About 'sparing' the rich their tax burden
D. J. Tice is onto something ("Have job, will travel," Feb. 23).
We can leave the tax structure in place that causes the bottom earners to pay higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than the top earners. If we effectively drive the poor out of the state, this will reduce expenditures for programs directed at them.
A win-win situation, eh? We don't impose upon the rich, and we reduce expenses.
JIM STRAND, PLYMOUTH