Letters: Mormons 'baptize' Anne Frank, insult Jews

Posted: February 27, 2012

I want commend the Daily News for highlighting a position that I've supported since first arriving in City Council in 1991 - namely, to hold Council sessions every Thursday, even on weeks where a federal holiday falls on the previous Monday - as well as most Thursdays throughout the summer months.

While Council sessions are an extremely important part of our job as elected officials, readers should not forget all the other hard work that takes place on non-session days, and the countless hours consumed by Council people and their staffs attending meetings on critical issue like economic development and job creation, the school district and city financial crisis - as well as issues dealing with education, crime and our overall quality of life. And before a proposed piece of legislation is introduced during a session, many hours of preparation and advance work is required.

And finally, new Council President Darrell Clarke must be commended for his leadership on this issue. Where previous Council presidents failed to change this tradition, Clarke is moving quickly to change the old order and begin holding Council sessions every Thursday.

Councilman Jim Kenney

Philadelphia

Once again, Mormons have "baptized" Anne Frank. This baptism took place in the Dominican Republic, although the rite has been performed in one form or another many times since the late 1980s.

Mormons also recently baptized the late Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal's deceased parents, and they seem geared to do the same for still-living Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel himself recently called on Republican presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney to denounce these proxy baptisms, but Romney has refused comment, so infer what you will about his beliefs and/or his spine. (In turn, Romney can infer that he won't be getting my vote should he win the nomination.)

Proxy baptism isn't merely a disgusting affront to Jews - it's a mandate of our "unworthiness" and the "need" to save Jewish souls. This is really dangerous stuff - tantamount to cultural-identity theft and a concrete example of how heretical at least some Mormons regard Judaism. Randy S. Robbins

Philadelphia

I am a 48-year-old Catholic, not a holy-roller type or fanatical by any measure. I am a practicing Catholic who attends church on Sundays and holy days, and I try to live my life by the tenets of the Ten Commandments and Jesus' gospels. I could have not been more offended by Joel Pett's "adorable boy" cartoon that appeared in your pages.

I get that the cartoonist and the majority of the country view the church's stance on contraception and abortion as antiquated and out of step with today's society. My problem with the cartoon is the gratuitous shot at the priesthood.

The vast majority of our priests are dedicated men who not only turn their lives over to a higher calling, but also attend to a needy flock. The typical priest's lifestyle is one of great self-sacrifice, not just in terms of sexuality, but in terms of material wealth, the inability to choose where they live, attending to the sick and dying, etc. Yes the institution of the Catholic Church erred greatly during the dark years of the pedophilia scandal, but those in the church who made those errors were a percentage that numbered less than 1 percent. Our current priests deserve reverence, not just from practicing Catholics, but from all people. They certainly do not deserve to have a national cartoonist use the image of a bishop uttering a double entendre in regard to a young boy. I'm well aware that the cartoonist is not on staff, but because your editor did not have the decency to pass on this particular syndicated cartoon, you can now count me as a past reader of your paper.

Jim Dougherty

Yardley

Save 2-Street schools

As a resident of the 2nd Street community in South Philly and father of two daughters who attend Catholic elementary school, one in Mount Carmel and the other in Sacred Heart, I am in disbelief that the Archdiocese is planning to shut down both of these schools. They are the only two Catholic elementary schools that remain in the 2nd Street community, which basically runs from South Street to Oregon Avenue and from 5th Street to the Delaware River.

Taking away both schools and leaving the community without a Catholic school, weakens the neighborhoods and the community. The people of this community want to merge both schools, so that we as a community will stay strong. Both schools combined have more than 300 students.

I know that the archbishop hasn't been in Philly that long, but someone at the Archdiocese should educate him on the importance of having a Catholic elementary school in every neighborhood in Philly. The archbishop needs to look at the overall picture and not just the financial numbers. So, I ask that the Archdiocese take a second look at this situation in our community and do the right thing.

Pat O'Donnell

Philadelphia

Break-ing point

I noticed in one of the newspaper reports on the Mayfair tire slashings that the police reported that, despite stepped-up patrols, the latest attack must have happened during a break.

Duh? Of course the bad guys aren't going to be around for routine patrols. Doesn't this incident scream for some out-of-the-box police work?

How about a cop or two staking out the scene in someone's house or on someone's porch? Or an unmarked van?

A simple "stepped-up" patrol approach doesn't seem to pass my common sense meter.

Mike Gibson

Philadelphia

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