College acted to maintain teachings

Mr. Mazzaccaro’s appeal to the teachings of Thomas Jefferson –  a slave owner – that all men are created equal ignores a religious institution’s right to advance its teachings and to exclude dissenters from its theological faculties.

Under his “equality” analysis, an orthodox Jewish seminary would be required to hire female Torah scholars. An orthodox synagogue would be required to elect a female president and hire women as rabbis and cantors.

What’s next? Would the state require Greek Orthodox bishops to ordain women as priests? Perhaps the courts might order a Mormon institution to renew the contract of a professor who advocated a return to polygamy. A Protestant fundamentalist seminary would have to tolerate a trans-gender faculty member who advocated Darwinian evolution. A Muslim school could not silence a cross-dressing teacher who recommended that his students eat pork.

All such institutions would be subject to the watchful eye of the state-sanctioned thought police, who could screen all hiring and firing in the name of political correctness. The government would become the master of all religions, which would be required to modify their teachings to suit the state or at least soft-pedal any doctrines that the governing regime found uncomfortable.

Sounds like China, doesn’t it? State control over religion to further the cause of political correctness.

Ted Forrence

Chestnut Hill



Reader critical of Father Jim, charter school

As a Catholic, I feel I must respond to two stories you have featured over the last few weeks. A front-page bold headline regarding Chestnut Hill College not retaining a gay priest who is a part time instructor is overboard. Father St. George is an obvious self-promoter who in the last few weeks has never seen a microphone that he did not like.

He is the one who has brought this on himself with his thirst for publicity. What did he expect? That a Catholic institution was going to keep him on the payroll when he was involved  in religious rites not sanctioned by the Church? He passed himself off as a Catholic priest, which was not true.

He took advantage of the situatiaon plaguing the Archdiocese to promote his congregation. The Local as well as the other media have given him his time in the sun and now it is time for Chestnut Hill College and everyone else to move on.

But at the same time, I have to be opposed to the Green Woods Charter School and hope our Northwest neighbors are in agreement. We send the wrong message when we allow an entity such as Green Woods to suck funding out of the public schools. It is wrong, and I would say the same thing to my Catholic parochial schools that would benefit the same.

The charter school movement is bad public policy and will remove the cream of the crop from our schools and leave the rest with the crumbs.

Charter schools in the end are business many of whom are controlled by the very hedge funds that have taken this country down the wrong path. Green Woods may be the exception to this rule and Ms. Wallace might be a dedicated educator, but we must look at the bigger picture and say no.

Robert McIntire

Chestnut Hill


CHC didn’t do ‘due diligence’

Chestnut Hill College doesn’t need the bad publicity emanating from instantly relieving the Rev. James St. George of his teaching duties (lead story, Local, March 3). Why now? The man has taught there since 2009; according to an Inquirer story, his students use words such as “amazing,” “passionate” and “fabulous” in describing his teaching abilities.

Just because the college didn’t do its due diligence about his church affiliation or his sexuality (which have nothing to do with his teaching abilities), he’s tossed out without a hearing, based on an e-mail squawk from an evidently influential individual.

It’s interesting that one of Fr. St. George’s courses is — or was to have been — “Theology and Justice.” Too bad he couldn’t have taught it to the college’s administrators. They might have learned something of justice; there surely is none evident in their decision.

Mary Price Lee



Living in the City

Two stories run repeatedly in the Local.  The first is that the community is experiencing the loss of yet another business.  The second is that a new project has been proposed for Chestnut Hill and the neighbors are opposing it.  How are we to redevelop our community if we do not allow new growth?

A restaurant, a dialysis center, a school, and a food market would all bring traffic to Chestnut Hill.  We want traffic here.  Traffic brings shoppers, shoppers increase sales, increased sales lead to more enterprises coming in.  The internet has changed shopping patterns across the country.  We will not return to the Chestnut Hill of the past.

We need to be open to all of the new opportunities that bring people into Chestnut Hill.  We do not want to become the NIMBY neighborhood that makes it so hard for new businesses to develop that they stop trying to come here.

When we choose to live within the City we have to expect traffic, parking limitations, and noise.  They are part of city living and they come with success.

Lisa Hogan

Chestnut Hill


Feeling loss of Solaris’ John Anderson

While it’s great news to here that a new restaurant will open in the former Solaris site, members of the Chestnut Hill Rotary feel the loss of John Anderson and his beautiful Solaris Restaurant.

John was a true friend to the Rotary, both in hosting monthly Rotary fellowship gatherings and in turning over his entire restaurant for many years to allow us to host our annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast. With John’s generosity the Chestnut Hill Rotary has been able to raise thousands of dollars  annually to support an orphanage and school in Guyana.

I imagine most of us have fond memories of sitting in the Solaris garden watching the Chestnut Hill world go by. It is a special place and John, it’s creator, is a special person. The Chestnut Hill Rotary says many, many thanks to John and wishes him the best of everything in his next endeavor.

Christian Mongrain


Chestnut Hill Rotary


How to handle charity requests

I read in the Inquirer about a woman living in a retirement community who monitored the solicitations she received in a year from charities. There were hundreds. I doubt that I am in that league, but I receive enough requests for donations that I keep a list of the organizations to which I send money and the date of payment for I realize that to gift an organization is to encourage it to solicit me several weeks later.

In truth, every organization that asks me for money sounds worthwhile. Since my discretionary money is limited, I have formulated a standard for making donations as follows:

I will send money only by credit card. I do not write checks.

I will donate annually. Requests throughout the  year will go into the recycle bag.

I will not respond to any organization that sends me bears, slippers, totes, etc., on the theory that my gift is being misused.

I will give no weight to the organizations that send me return address stickers. I keep them and use them because they are here, and to discard them is wasteful.

To reinforce my plan, I will take ads in several newspapers and magazines. For those who have my point of view, we will organize a group called “once a year only (OYO).” For signing up, there will be no rewards and hopefully less mail. Let’s hear it for “OYO.”

Maggie Wollman

Mt. Airy