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BCM welcomes letters from readers. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and must be signed to be published. Our fax number is (617) 552-2441; our e-mail address is bcm@bc.edu

gordon's choice

In "The Feminist Rosary" (Fall 2003), Mary Gordon writes that she prays for the work of "pro-choice Catholics." This is not a fish-on-Friday kind of issue. One cannot be pro-choice and a Catholic.

Kathleen Egan Hawes

Manhasset, New York

BCM ought to be ashamed of itself for printing an article that so blatantly supports the pro-choice cause. If Mary Gordon truly wishes to help children, she should pray for the many Catholic health centers that do not privilege the mother's "rights" over the rights of the child by offering abortion services. That is real love, real nurture. It seems that Mary Gordon's Rosary prayers have unfortunately left out a key clause: "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

Matthew Thompson

Cambridge, Massachusetts

How could a person pray the Rosary for that which is intrinsically evil? We can't be cafeteria Catholics.

kevin a. mckearin

Weymouth, Massachusetts

To Mary Gordon's finely tuned sensibilities, had the Virgin Mary exercised her prerogative to refuse consent after her child was conceived—and had she aborted Jesus—such would have been an entirely moral choice. So much for that inconvenient other detail in the Annunciation, Mary's "Let it be done according to thy will." One wonders, could any two Marys be more alien?

Chuck Sheehan '76

Dallas, Texas

BCM never fails to provide well-written, thought-provoking articles, even though I may not agree with the authors' views. The Fall 2003 issue deserves special appreciation because of Mary Gordon's excellent article "The Feminist Rosary."

Barbara S. Peirce MS '74

San Pedro, California

I want to thank Mary Gordon for reminding me and teaching me how to pray again.

Jim Cody '83

Dunellen, New Jersey

church 21

Re "From This Church Forward" (Fall 2003): The language at BC's Church in the 21st Century forum was eloquent and the emotions were clear, but in the final analysis, the only real message that I received was: "We don't know where we are, and we don't know where we want to be, but we'd better hurry and get on with whatever we're going to do."

I hope the hierarchy of the Church and the active laity are better prepared for the future than this forum would indicate.

Joan Nobis Toner '56

Colorado Springs, Colorado

With respect to Fr. Bryan Hehir's suggestion about this being the most educated Catholic laity, one has to wonder how educated the laity is in Church matters. I believe we have failed in teaching the young and reminding the old about Christian doctrine.

At the same time, I am not ready to subscribe to the thought that a pope who has to concern himself with the whole world and each of its parts is really knowledgeable about each of those parts. He must depend on the hierarchy to keep him posted.

It just might be that a better communications system is in order.

george e. port '51

Mamaroneck, New York

chastity redux

I am indebted to David Morrison's "Catholic and Gay" (Summer 2003) for leading me to reexamine my life and my beliefs. Upon reflection, both heterosexual and homosexual human beings should have the same options. The Church would not foist 24/7 chastity on all heterosexual couples, nor should it on all homosexual couples.

In the New Testament, Christ does not propose chastity as an element of perfection. Chastity is a Church-imposed stance. In the early Church, homosexual couples were recognized and their unions were blessed (see Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, by John Boswell, University of Chicago Press, 1980).

I will defend to the death David Morrison's choice to live his life in a chaste homosexual relationship, as well as his right to voice his opinion on homosexual chastity. However, I also will defend anyone's right to maintain and live a homosexual relationship while remaining a deeply committed Christian and refusing the guilt and self-loathing that Church-imposed homosexual chastity often entails.

J. Vincent H. Morrissette MA '60

Bridgeport, Connecticut

how to compete

Re "World-wise," by Professor Charles Derber (Linden Lane, Spring 2003): The real problem with free trade, globally and domestically, is that it has rarely been tried. Regulation is always sold as protection for the public, but the only motivation for the regulation of trade has been to protect the profits of the entrenched who got there first. Incorporation (a process by which a business or other entity is created by the state) is simply a ploy to draw a veil over the activities of real people who would otherwise either reap or suffer the consequences of their actions.

The answer to the problem so clearly seen by Professor Derber is to curtail severely the power of governments to legislate in the area of trade. What we need everywhere in the world, the United States included, is a separation of business and state. Under such a system everyone could be a competitor

Elizabeth Carr Goldin '64

Stone Mountain, Georgia

in sports

BC's actions regarding the ACC and Big East are beyond comprehension when viewed from a moral, Christian perspective. Fr. Leahy's explanation ("Conference Call," Linden Lane, Fall 2003) that this change was motivated by the desire to play with schools who have a high academic rating is laughable.

We all know that money was the driving force.

John Droz, Jr. '68

Greig, New York


For the record, in addition to citing the ACC's emphasis on high graduation rates for athletes and its programs for academic cooperation, Fr. Leahy credited the strong student demographics within the conference region, the ACC's stability, and a financial boost that will "help us support non-revenue sports at BC" as reasons for accepting the ACC's invitation.—Ed

shanahan recalled

On September 15, my wife and I flew to Ireland to attend the funeral Mass and burial of John P. Shanahan, professor of mathematics at Boston College from 1962 to 2003. John was, for all who knew him during his tenure at BC, a teacher of uncommon character and intelligence. His dedication to his students was renowned, and he regularly provided long office hours—for students needing tutorial assistance or, more usual, those simply seeking a few moments of his quiet conversation and playful Irish wit.

He was also a deeply committed Christian, who wore his Catholicism with grace and unfailing charity. After a funeral Mass in historic Holy Cross Abbey outside of Thurles, we laid him to rest in a quiet cemetery surrounded by the rich fields and soft green mountains of Tipperary

Maurice B. Conway '60

Duxbury, Massachusetts

were you there?

In October, the Italian studies program in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will sponsor a symposium to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Rome during World War II. We are seeking any BC alumni, retired faculty, or staff who played any role in the liberation or who lived in Italy at the time and would be willing to contribute their share of "oral history" at our symposium. I would ask interested parties to please phone me at (617) 552-6346 or e-mail me at mormando@bc.edu.

Franco Mormando

Associate Professor of Italian

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