Parish treated

pantry fairly

The Inquirer wrongly states that the Diocese of Camden suddenly has forced the closure of a local food pantry ("Food pantry clients angry over planned closing," Feb. 26). The truth is that the local parish in Mount Ephraim, not the diocese, invited Touch New Jersey food pantry to utilize its parish facilities on a rent-free basis. The parish informed the pantry at the beginning that the arrangement would be only temporary since the parish would be consolidating with another nearby parish and eventually would need the space.

In November, the parish informed Touch New Jersey of its need to reclaim the space by early March. Understanding the difficulty that Touch New Jersey has had in finding alternate space, the parish subsequently agreed to extend the term until the end of April, a full five months after the initial notice.

To suggest somehow that the church is insensitive to the needs of the poor is outrageous and unfair. The fact is that Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden is one of the largest private providers of services to the poor in South Jersey. The local parishes individually also provide such outreach through their St. Vincent de Paul chapters and, once the parishes are consolidated, they intend to significantly expand their service to the poor and disadvantaged in this area of South Jersey.

Andrew J. Walton

Office of Communications

Diocese of Camden

A warmer welcome

for Steve Wynn

I am nauseated by letter writers and the dwindling membership of Casino-Free Philadelphia who purport to speak for the majority in their opposition to casinos in Philadelphia ("A chilly welcome for Steve Wynn," Saturday).

There were no more than 15 protesters in Harrisburg this past week for Steve Wynn's initial presentation to the Gaming Control Board. I know, because I was there. The protesters were what they've always been - the vocal and obnoxious minority. Conversely, there were 150 union members of the city's Building Trades Council who welcomed and applauded Wynn for his interest in rescuing the Foxwoods project and putting thousands of people back to work.

Mr. Wynn, thank you for your desire to build a world-class casino on Philadelphia's waterfront. The majority of us want you here.

Frank Keel

North Wales

Congress bickers

but does nothing

More than 40 years ago during an embargo of oil from the Middle East, our Congress resolved that we would never again be dependent on imported oil. As of today congressmen are still bickering, and oil shortages and oil priced at $140 per barrel still loom as possibilities.

As for health care, the Nixon administration back in the '60s appealed to Congress for a health-care bill. Fifty years later, a large segment of our population cannot afford the cost of health insurance and have no option but to neglect their illnesses or injuries until they are forced to go to a hospital emergency room.

Martin Gingold

Warwick

Fund abortions

for poor women

Re: "Clinic fell through cracks," Wednesday:

The story of Karnamaya Mongar and the problems at Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic is a tragic one. However, your reporting on the issue makes it sound as if more regulation of abortion providers is a fait accompli, one that even women's advocates agree with. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in the United States, and one that about 40 percent of American women will undergo in their lifetime. It is also one of the most regulated. Further increasing regulation will lead to increased price. And, given that the federal government and most states, including Pennsylvania, carve out abortion, and abortion alone, from Medicaid coverage for indigent women, two things are inevitable: 1) there will be doctors who cut corners and provide substandard care at low prices, and 2) there will be women who have no choice other than going to those doctors.

Until Pennsylvania and the federal government change their policy on funding abortion for poor women, there will be more Karnamaya Mongars. No amount of increased oversight will change that.

David S. Cohen

Philadelphia

Obama health bill

overlooks causes

Obama's health-care reform initiative will fail because it does nothing to curb the perverse incentives that lead doctors to overtreat the well-insured.

Meaningful reform must bend the health-care spending curve downward by reimbursing doctors per condition they treat rather than tests they run. This will make private insurance more affordable for all.

Michael J. Santella

West Chester