THANK YOU for Howard Lurie's insightful opinion (

"Obama v. the Catholic Church, June 1

).

Lurie is a wise man and has unmasked the disingenuous appeal from President Obama to Catholics for debate on life issues. Actions do speak louder than words, and Lurie astutely describes the president's record on these issues, which speaks volumes.

Institutions like Notre Dame and Georgetown University that have allowed themselves to be pawns in this vicious game have betrayed their Catholic heritage and Jesus himself. These institutions should know that evil often comes deceptively clothed as a well-intentioned good. As Our Lord Jesus instructs, "By their fruits you shall know them." The rotted fruit from this tree is foul, and not only Catholics suffer from the stench.

Lois Marcolongo, Clementon, N.J.

After I read Mr. Lurie's op-ed, I, too, started to wonder if I might be a cynic regarding the Roman Catholic Church.

I remember when President George W. Bush was the commencement speaker at Notre Dame. If I remember correctly he favors abortion, too, in cases where the mother's life is threatened and in cases of rape or incest. You and I know that the Catholic Church opposes abortion for these reasons.

But despite that, Bush's presence at Notre Dame did not cause as much excitement as did Mr. Obama's. Hmm - is being pro-choice a little bit better than being pro-choice a whole lot?

After all, murder is murder is murder.

Neal Bracken, Lansdale

South Philly wilding

Those teens in South Philly need to be caught quickly and punished for their actions and the fear and destruction they brought with them!

I wonder what makes them think, at this young age, that they are entitled to commit such crimes against their local community?

But I realize this is what they've learned from their elders. Or, should I say, not learned.

The community that these children were raised in needs to realize that they must take responsibility for the actions of their youth! Sadly, these kids have not been provided with the selfless love and attention they deserve.

Ultimately, they are not taught the importance of self respect, hence they have no respect for others.

If this vicious circle is to stop, the community itself needs to make drastic changes in its ways of thinking - that is, stop continuing to feel persecuted, start aiming to rise above. That would be the ultimate gift you could give to your kids and their future.

Jennifer Smith, Philadelphia

JoePa's Irish obsession

It's not your decision, JoePa, if the Big 10 wants to add another school to its conference. Focus on Penn State, stop worrying about the University of Notre Dame - jealousy won't get you anywhere. Go, Irish!

Bob "Harvey" Sumner

Turnersville, N.J.