Housing, Environment, and Bishop of Fall River

Construction vs. environment difficult to reconcile

Ms. Ludtke’s Your Turn column on January 15 touched on a topic very close to the hearts of many Cape Town communities. We all agree that there is a great need for affordable housing across Cape Town. At the same time, we are concerned to preserve the character of our cantons and to protect our fragile strip of sand from overconstruction.

How can we reconcile our need for housing with our desire to preserve the environment? Here in Wellfleet, the city owns nine acres of land, six of which are offered to an affordable housing developer. It’s a very commendable undertaking, and on paper it sounds like an ideal solution. However, it is a question of stripping six acres of woodland and replacing them with the development of 46 housing units, asphalt, public lighting and traffic.

Are we overloading our environment? Are we adding pollutants to the air, to the water, to the soil? In my opinion, it would be healthier to find or build smaller dwellings that won’t impact our open spaces, because once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. I completely agree with Mrs Ludtke that we have an obligation to avoid the destruction of our heritage.

Edina Kopits, Wellfleet

The Bishop of Fall River exceeded his authority

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha of the Catholic Diocese of Fall River may have exceeded his authority by silencing Rev. Michael Fitzpatrick of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis for his criticism of COVID-19 vaccines, (the anti-priest -vaccine in Hyannis is censored by the Catholic Bishop of Fall River, January 13).

It is not up to any Catholic prelate to determine the “effectiveness” of a medical treatment. As for its moral legitimacy, although Pope Francis has urged Catholics to accept the vaccine, the same Vatican document that states that receiving the vaccine is morally licit, insists that vaccination must be voluntary.

This makes it clear that those with medical or ethical reservations about the vaccine — such as Catholics concerned about the use of fetal cell lines in vaccine production or testing — should not be coerced.

Nor does the Pope’s endorsement of the vaccine negate traditional Catholic teaching on the exercise of a properly formed conscience.

The Catholic Church expects faithful Catholics to uphold the sanctity of innocent human life in an often hostile public square. One would think that the hierarchy would be accommodating to the conscientious concerns of such Catholics.

Unfortunately, it is not the case. When it comes to the relationship between the Catholic people and the Catholic bishops, loyalty, it seems, is one-sided.

CJ Doyle, Executive Director, Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

COVID deaths explain the loss of many workers

In Sunday’s paper, there was a long article explaining all the reasons companies can’t find workers. Nowhere in the entire article was there any mention of the fact that over 800,000 Americans have died from COVID. I wonder why not. Are journalists warned not to report these numbers?

True, many of those dead were elderly and retired people, but surely several hundred thousand were workers who will never return to the workforce. And, until people take reasonable precautions to get vaccinated and wear masks, that number will continue to rise.

Robin Hubbard, Orleans

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: construction of affordable housing at the expense of the environment of the cape

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