LETTERS: On ‘Merry Christmas” and a call for contrition

‘Merry Christmas’

When December dawns, thoughts turn to the greatest of all seasons, Christmas. But lot of customs have become associated with Christmas since the reason for this great season was born more than 2,000 years ago. The birth of Christ changed the world and offered hope and eternal life to all who believe in him.

Today there are some who do not want to identify the greatest of all holidays by its true name.

Retailers want Christmas gift-giving to keep growing, but some have reverted to calling Christmas “the holidays.”

Of course, the true meaning of Christmas is not gift-giving, decorations or parties. Nevertheless, activities observed in honor of the Christmas season should always be identified as Christmas observances.

I plan to stop shopping in stores that do not clearly identify the Christmas season.

In a country where 75 percent of the people identify themselves as Christians, this great season needs to be given the respect it is due. So, in the future there will be no “Happy Holidays” from me. My greetings and observances shall always be identified with a big “Merry Christmas.”

John G. Kines Jr., Disputanta, Virginia

A call for contrition

My thanks to The Monitor for its recent editorial “Integrity of RGV diocese in question now.” Transparency is clearly an issue for the Brownsville Diocese. As a member of Call To Action Rio Grande Valley (CTA/RGV,) I personally met with Bishop Daniel E. Flores on two occasions asking him to publish the names of credibly accused priests. Many U.S. dioceses have done this, but Bishop Flores has been reluctant. I agree with the editorial’s call for Bishop Flores to “lead us out of this despair and to console us with the knowledge that the church works for its congregants and does its best to follow the Word of God.”

Recently the Diocese of Brownsville also was listed among the worst dioceses for financial transparency. The diocesan spokeswoman told us that this is being worked on. I anxiously await for more information on finances to appear on the diocesan web site and in the diocesan Catholic newspaper.

As someone who has lived and ministered in the Valley since 1990, I am fully conscious of the fact that Bishop Flores has inherited some of the lack of transparency on sexual abuse by priests of the diocese and lack of financial transparency that characterized the reign of Bishop Peña, the previous bishop.

Again I commend The Monitor for its nuanced editorial.

David Jackson, Edinburg