Mahony's Criticism of Democratic Party

I must take exception to Cardinal Roger Mahony's criticism of the Democratic Party for not being sensitive to the plight of the unfortunate (March 2).

It has been President Clinton who vetoed legislation passed by the Republican majority weakening or destroying welfare and Medicaid. It is the Republican governor of California along with the likes of my GOP Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro (Paso Robles) who wants to make permanent the cuts in state welfare benefits.

As a Catholic of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I have been proud of the National Catholic Bishops stand on social issues but I think that for decades the Catholic hierarchy has been predisposed to the Republicans.

Sure, I am impatient with some members of the Democratic Party, at both the federal and state level, for their recent retreat from strong advocacy for the unfortunate. But that is nothing compared with the Republicans' willingness to let the poor be poorer.

I clearly remember how Mahony dealt with the cemetery employees when they attempted to unionize. He stopped them.

I would say to his eminence that he should be fair, be honest, read and inform himself.

ROBERT C. LANPHIER

Santa Maria

* Cardinal Mahony finally realized political parties are not the agents of salvation, despite the church hierarchy's reliance upon them.

Mahony's outrageous statement, "The most glaring problem I see with all political parties today . . . is a marked focus on individuals and privatization," shows his opposition to freedom and the means for poor people to make their lives better.

After billions of dollars spent in welfare programs, which cause illegitimate births, crime and illegal immigration to escalate, the cardinal and the bishops in their ivory towers still "don't get it."

The political parties are less out of touch than the church. Rather than listen to their people, bishops immerse themselves in creating social statements that spread leftist social and economic beliefs. When politicians finally acknowledge people's concerns, thanks to Catholic Pat Buchanan, the hierarchy gets nervous.

As the moral sinkhole in our country grows larger, the cardinals and bishops do not talk about personal responsibility, self-control and obligations by the individual rather than the state. Instead, they castigate taxpayers as selfish or racist for wanting change. Church leaders cannot expect working-class Catholics to respect them when they worship the poor and ignore everyone else.

CAROLINE MIRANDA

North Hollywood

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