Lost in Translation
Pertinent to “Why Do Catholics Love Lent?” (page one, March 19 issue): I, too, share Father Raymond J. de Souza’s sadness about the labeling of our Sundays as “ordinary time,” but I believe this can be easily corrected. The problem probably stems back to an earlier misinterpretation. I believe the original intent was to identify the Sundays outside of specific Church seasons as being in “ordinal” sequence (numbered time, as in an ordinal scale). Somewhere a bad translation switched this to “Ordinary Time.”
There is no reason for us not to correct this sad error and return to using the correct and appealing terminology.
In your article about Catholic alternatives to the Boy Scouts (“Concerned About the Boy Scouts? There Are Catholic Alternatives,” News, March 5), I was dismayed to find that the Federation of North American Explorers (FNEExplorers.com) were not included. It is affiliated with the Federation of Scouts in Europe and recognized as a private pontifical association of the faithful. This is an international Catholic scouting organization that offers single-sex programs for boys and girls from ages 6 to 26. It is approved by the Holy See.
The FNE Explorers is an established organization of more than 65,000 scouts in 21 countries. It offers many opportunities for boys and girls to grow into Catholic leaders. As they say on their website, “We deliver a Christ-centered program experience where each member strives to become an ordinary saint through love, service, hard work, dedication, honesty, integrity, compassion, courage, prudence, and by embracing the sacraments of the Church. We hold true to our values and ideals, even if society may be moving in a different direction.”
Internal Church Battle
Regarding Edward Pentin’s interview with a cardinal who supports Communion by some divorced-remarried Catholics (“Cardinal Coccopalmerio Explains His Positions on Catholics in Irregular Unions,” March 19 issue):
If read by the great sophists of the fifth-century B.C. — Protagoras, Thrasymachus and Hippas — they would herald him as one of their own. His repetitive view that the woman he refers to cannot change because of her circumstances, but simply can make the intention to change and receive absolution, does not fulfill the dispositions of the sacrament of reconciliation — “interior repentance ... a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time, it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace” (Catechism, 1431).
The cardinal states, “‘When someone comes to confess and says to you, I committed this sin. I want to change, but I know that I am not capable of changing, but I want to change,’ what do you do? Do you send him away? No, you absolve him.” How does this fulfill the dispositions of the sacrament? It would appear in such a case that he would have repetitive counseling sessions with this person, helping her/him to understand that he/she is committing adultery, which threatens not only his/her eternal life, but also threatens the eternal life of the spouse (he never mentioned this important issue). And the way to come back to the Eucharist is to live as brother and sister — such a small sacrifice for the eternal life of this married couple.
There are Church leaders who openly favor Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s approach, while others, like Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, have written guidelines in contradistinction. This recalls the apparition of Our Lady at Akita — cardinals will fight cardinals; bishops will fight bishops.
The Church at this time is in apostasy, as noted in the Third Secret of Fatima. With scandals and priests, religious and laity leaving the Church, do we need to throw fuel on the fire?
A senior Vatican official’s answers to Edward Pentin’s questions (“Cardinal Coccopalmerio Explains His Positions on Catholics in Irregular Unions,” Vatican, March 19-April 1 issue) were troubling in light of an excellent article that Father Gerald Murray wrote in response to the interview and was published by The Catholic Thing (“The False and Dangerous Coccopalmerio Gambit,” March 18).
In the interview, it was obvious that Cardinal Coccopalmerio was doing the very thing that caused Peter to be sternly admonished by Jesus: for thinking in the ways of men rather than of God (Matthew 16:23). Thankfully, Father Murray cut through the “casuistry” — as he described it — that the cardinal used to defend the example of a woman who could still receive absolution and Communion due to the “impossibility” of ending an unlawful marriage for fear of harming her partner and/or children. Father Murray rightly explained why he would have none of that, concluding with a quote from Matthew 19:26: “With God all things are possible.”
If the Catholic Church were to allow a slight detour onto the path that Jesus warned is wide and easy but leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13), can we expect priests to forgive abortion-industry workers and permit them to receive the holy Eucharist due to the impossibility of leaving their jobs because of the risk of financial harm to them and their family?
As I am currently reading many articles and opinions that support a greater unity between the Catholic Church and other religions, I must say that I personally question a few of the challenges that other religions are going to have if and when these other religions choose to have unity with the Church.
Obviously, and only because all of my thoughts can’t be listed here, the main question is: How are other religions outside of the Catholic Church going to accept the celebration of the Eucharist as the main expression of their faith in God, as in, changing their celebration to now focus on the Truth that the Eucharistic celebration is the celebration of Jesus Christ himself?
Grand Forks, North Dakota
In “The Rosary: The Peace Plan From Heaven” (page one, April 30 issue), the pilgrimage information about Our Lady of Fatima parish in Lakewood, Colorado, was incorrect. The number of groups that had visited the parish as of press time was three, not 300 (though the three groups totaled between 250 and 300 people), and seven groups registered as pilgrims, not 700.
Also, our May 14 issue incorrectly listed the volume as Vol. 92; it is 93.
The Register regrets these errors.