John Paul ceremony expected to draw 2M | Jan. 16
Catholics don't 'worship' saints
I would like to clarify a point in this Associated Press article about the coming beatification of Pope John Paul II. The last sentence stated: "Veneration is the word commonly used to refer to that worship given to saints."
"Worship" is incorrect. Catholics worship God alone. Catholics do not worship the saints. Worship and veneration are not always substitutes for one another. What we give the saints is reverential respect. We do not pray to them; rather, we ask them to intercede with God for us.
The saints are our models, much as a benefactor or outstanding citizen or military hero is honored for his or her benefaction or outstanding act on behalf of a group of people or nation.
The same must be understood about Mary, the mother of Jesus. We do not worship Mary; we venerate her as a model of faith and virtue, and because of her unique role in giving birth to Jesus Christ.
Incorrect use of "worship" with respect to Catholic practice leads to misunderstanding and ridicule of the Catholic Church and her members.
The Most Rev. Joseph J. Potacnac, SCJ, Pinellas Park
Biden reassures troubled Pakistan | Jan. 13
Stop trying to buy friends
One paragraph in this article stood out: "Washington has committed to giving Pakistan $7.5 billion in aid in the coming years to improve the lives of ordinary Pakistanis, stabilize the country and show its military and civilian leaders that the United States is a long-term friend."
I think it is time the United States stopped trying to buy friends. This country can make better use of this money in our own country to reduce our national debt as well use that money to secure our southern border with Mexico. Maybe we also could use some of it to encourage manufacturers to produce goods in this country rather than abroad, thus creating jobs for the unemployed.
Doris Houdesheldt, St. Petersburg
Companies should pay tax
The Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United verdict last year that corporations were persons; therefore, why should Florida corporations be exempt from taxes when its people pay them?
We pay sales taxes and fees on everything from groceries to fishing. Our car tags, drivers' licenses and almost everything else we touch has gone up, and Gov. Rick Scott wants to eliminate corporate taxes? Along with this he wants us to pay power bills for companies moving to Florida.
Paying taxes is part of citizenship. We use; we pay. Corporations use roads, water, sewer and amenities just like the rest of us. It is time people began to remember what makes this country so great — shared sacrifice.
The governor must start realizing that he represents the people, and the people are tired of the "big boys" getting all the breaks.
Kay Kelly, Clearwater
Pensions are earned
What is all the commotion about double-dipping? First, the person who is getting a pension has worked to earn it. If someone comes and gives him a job, is he supposed to do it for free?
If a person works two jobs, is he not entitled to pay from each? The problem people need to address is not double-dipping but how it is that the federal government has jobs paying $172,000 and how to put a end to them.
Dale Bunce, Land O'Lakes
Book costs out of line
A recent experience has me wondering if kids are being herded into college for the good of the student or for the financial good of the school.
My son attended the fall semester at USF. The cost of his books for four classes was $500. One "book" cost $175. This was actually a stack of paper; it wasn't even bound. I went last week to sell these books back and was offered $34 for all of them. The $175 stack of paper I purchased in August was not being bought back because it was no longer being used by the university.
Does anyone believe that chemistry has changed so much in four months that a new book had to be written? Who benefits from the sale of these ridiculously expensive books? The authors and publishers — sure. The school — you bet. The student — absolutely not.
Kimberly Wells, Tampa
Neighbors still in need
Christmas is past and everyone is back to the daily grind, but the thousands of unemployed and homeless people in our community are still in need. Many food banks, churches and community service agencies continue to have shortfalls. If you have the means, please continue to give.
If every household in Florida that is able gave one grocery sack of food and toiletries a month, these agencies might be able to help all in need. Let's continue the spirit of Christmas giving all year and help our neighbors here at home first.
Darlene Gent, Spring Hill
Cuba travel rules eased | Jan. 15
Embargo hurts Cubans
In reaction to the Obama administration easing some travel restrictions to Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio is quoted as saying that it is "unthinkable that the administration would enable the enrichment of a Cuba regime that routinely violates the basic human rights and dignity of its people."
Perhaps Rubio should also consider our dealings with China and Saudi Arabia, which are also guilty of human rights abuses. The embargo against Cuba has not hurt the Castro government, which is still in power 50 years later. The only people hurt by continuing these policies are the Cuban people.
Bernie Gill, Tarpon Springs
U.S. has more gun deaths than other large countries | Jan. 15
More guns, more deaths
There is no mystery here, just logic. The more you fly, the greater chance you have of being in a plane crash. If you surf in Volusia County, you have an increased chance of a shark attack.
If you live in the United States, where there are 80 million gun owners combining for a total of 260 million guns, you have a greater chance of being shot than someone living in Europe.
Stop this insanity now.
Gail Rubinsky, St. Petersburg