February 12, 2013

Letters to the Editor: For profits, bishop will forgo integrity

Regarding the Jan. 25 column by Bill Nemitz,

"Uh-oh, bishop, what have you gotten yourself into?"
click image to enlarge

Though Bishop Richard Malone, as head of the Diocese of Maine, bought a strip mall anchored by a drugstore that sells the “morning-after pill,” he won’t sell property to anyone who will use the property for any purpose related to abortion, a reader says.

2010 Staff File Photo/John Patriquin


Bishop Richard Malone shouldn't be criticized for diversifying his investment portfolio, but by his recent decision to purchase a strip mall in Portland, Bishop Malone exhibits blatant hypocrisy, even attempting to use a moral theologian to justify his choosing profits over principles.

Plan B, along with birth control pills and condoms, is now sold from Bishop Malone's property. Plan B is commonly called the "morning-after pill," and some argue that this pill actually induces an abortion.

Pope Benedict himself encouraged pharmacists "to reflect upon the ever broader functions they are called to undertake, especially as intermediaries between doctor and patient," when referring to dispensing Plan B and similar medications and encouraging them not to dispense these drugs. Did Malone not get the memo?

A Brazilian bishop threatened those who use Plan B with excommunication. Another bishop even criticized the government plan to distribute condoms. Connecticut bishops noted that the pill "can only act as an abortifacient" if conception has taken place.

A search of the Registry of Deeds, which is open to the public, reveals that Bishop Malone's hypocrisy is highlighted by a deed restriction he requires for every property he sells in Maine. The restriction prevents the buyer or subsequent owners from using the property "in any way relating to ... abortions." Apparently, this restriction has no consideration for properties purchased by Malone.

This is another example of Malone's words not matching his actions.

Michael Sweatt



Scrutinize U.S. gun owners as closely as we do drivers


It is time to treat gun ownership as seriously as we take driving. This means testing, licensing, background checks and being subject to civil or criminal charges for breaking gun laws -- just as we are as vehicle owners.

The arguments in favor of unfettered access to firearms boil down to self-protection, sport and readiness to resist our government (a bizarre interpretation of the Second Amendment).

No one is arguing against the right to have a weapon for self-protection if you pass a background check and have a license. No one suggests that you not have hunting rifles -- but that you don't need an assault rifle to hunt. No one is arguing against target practice -- merely that you plink with a deer rifle or .22.

In the U.S., 11,000 people are murdered with guns in an average year. Two thousand members of our armed forces have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. Our cities and schools are four to five times deadlier than a war zone.

In 2008, just 11 people were murdered with guns in Japan -- you were 1,000 times more likely to be murdered with a gun here than there. They play the same video games and suffer the same mental illnesses. The difference? They have much greater restrictions on gun access.

I'm not suggesting that we not have guns -- just that we take them much more seriously, viewing ownership as a privilege to be earned and that can be taken away, as we do driving. Let us require background checks, close gun show loopholes, ban assault weapons and create and enforce a rational licensing system.

It is time to become a society that rejects the massacre of innocents as an acceptable trade for sport, paranoia or even self-protection.

Jack Flanagan

Cape Elizabeth


How many readers feel their right to drive is threatened by speed limits?

It's beyond my comprehension why the National Rifle Association and those who subscribe to its thinking are so paranoid about a couple of rules limiting the size of magazines and bullet clips for ordinary citizens.

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