Catholic Church a work in progress, comprised of fallible humans
Much is being said and written, especially in the mainstream media, about where the Catholic Church will go under the guidance of Pope Francis I, and the Church’s present and past failings.
First, it’s erroneous to assume that “the Church” is a synonym for “the hierarchy,” “the bishops,” and “the Vatican.” The Church is not an institution. It is composed of entirely sinful people. But Catholics are also human beings, and are not more prone to evil than the general population.
There is no option of escaping grave sin in this world; you meet it everywhere, including the mirror. That’s why we have the penitential rite in every mass and the sacrament of confession. You can’t avoid human fallibility, and the church was never promised that human sin would not afflict her or her members. That’s because no mere mortal (no, not even the pope) constitutes the soul of the church. The soul of the church is the Holy Spirit.
The Catholic faith does not stand or fall with the moral quality of our bishops. It stands on Jesus Christ, and this is where we place our faith, as he is gracious to knuckleheads and sinners.
Judging the Church on the actions of a dwindling small population of abusive priests and stupid bishops is like evaluating all the apostles just by the behavior of Judas. The Catholic Church was founded, after all, on Peter, who Catholic theologian G. K. Chesterton described as “a shuffler, a coward, and a snob — in a word, a man.”
We have to remember that this is the man for whom the cardinals voted a successor. We are a communion of sinners before we become a communion of saints, and the Church is like “This Old House,” perpetually under renovation and a mess.
But, thankfully, God is merciful.
Deborah A. Humphreys
Lease is best option for Albany Co. nursing home
Albany County is faced with a decision that will have huge impacts on our elderly and taxpayers.
Do we keep our nursing home operating as-is, under the county’s supervision? If so, the comptroller has already reported deficits of more than $140 million over the last decade, and these deficits will continue to rise.
Do we close the home, leaving our elderly at risk? Do we fall into receivership, placing the facility under state control? Or enter a lease agreement with United Services Group (USG), a private company approved by the state which operates 11 other such facilities in New York?
For those who care about our elderly, and also the tax burden placed on our residents, the only viable choice is leasing the home.
The Legislature has already taxed Albany County residents $9.7 million for nursing home operations for the second half of 2013. If the lease agreement can be quickly approved, and the turnover of the facility made by June 30, that $9.7 million could be used to reduce the 2014 tax burden.
Delays that move the transition date past June 30 will waste county taxpayer money to the tune of about $1.6 million every month, $375,000 every week and $55,000 every day.
It is time to protect our elderly population in need of nursing home care — and protect our taxpayers. It is time to support and approve the lease agreement between Albany County and USG.
The writer is an Albany County legislator.
Idling buses aren’t the only ones fouling the air
Kudos for your March 8 editorial stand against allowing buses to idle when not on the road. Please take it one step further, and advocate against any motorist who allows motors to idle needlessly. I would hope that we’d all be more aggressive about limiting air pollution, which not only poisons us but seems to cause climate change.
A little research into basic chemistry shows that for every gallon of gas consumed, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide and seven pounds of water (vapor) is produced. Along with the cost of gasoline, this should be enough to get us to act.
Convenience store patrons are especially guilty, along with those who insist on using remote starters. A friend’s neighbor starts his car three times each and every morning before leaving for work. I would ask apartment complexes and stores such as Stewart’s and Cumberland Farms to post signs requesting cooperation, and police to ticket empty idling vehicles.
We can all help out by restricting idling to no more than one minute. Added together, huge savings will happen.
Thanks for caring.