The Creed of the Catholic Church states that Jesus rose again ("He rose again from the dead"). I have also seen this in an epistle of St. Paul, but I don’t recall which one. Doesn’t this "rose again" imply that Jesus had two resurrections? I have read of two explanations, as follows:
- Jesus rose from the "just," and Jesus rose from his earthly grave, thus two resurrections.
- The term "rose again" is a mistranslation, and there is only one resurrection and that from his earthly grave.
Another question follows. Why the confusion? Since it is our Creed, shouldn’t it be clearly stated?
The editor responds: This is an issue of translation of the Creed from Latin to English. The Latin word resurrexit was given the acceptable English translation of "rose again," but it doesn’t mean he rose "twice." It means he rose "anew."
It seems with the passage of time, and in deference to many things in the name of everything from goodwill to ecumenism, etc., we seem to be losing our identity as Catholics. At times, many almost seem to be ashamed; others inconvenienced; and others just trying to fit in with the culture.
But the problem with all that is we were never made to fit in. We have always been fish out of water. We have always been countercultural people.
Jesus Christ did not call us to follow him part of the way. He called us all the way to the cross to join him in a life of self-sacrifice. But first, we must understand who we are.
When he gave Peter the keys and said, "You are the rock on which I will build my Church," we are that living organism of the Church, but not part-time living stones. Once we are fitted into the living organism of the Church, with Jesus Christ as the head of his mystical body, there’s no room any longer for compromise, negotiations or half-truths.
Now, more than at any time in our history, we must be solid, sure and unwavering in our defense of the faith and the Church. As he has said to us, if we deny him, he will deny us. If we ask in his name, he will give us the courage, fortitude and perseverance to stand solid, fitted in his armor of salvation and showered in his grace, with St. Michael at our side.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Pertinent to "A Tale of Three Popes" (page one, April 20 issue):
In Peter Jesserer Smith’s story, I read with amusement when he wrote, "Both of them [Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II] have touched a certain chord in the general public and the Catholic public, and people have acted accordingly. ... They get through to people, and they know how to speak to ordinary people — and ordinary people prick up their ears and listen."
From the papacies of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, church attendance has dropped considerably, the seminaries and convents are empty, the Catholic schools are closing at an alarming rate, very few Catholics go to confession, and we have a large group of cafeteria Catholics. More than 50% are pro-abortion.
I don’t doubt that they were holy men, but their papacies were nothing to write home about.
Joseph A. DeCarlo
Sewell, New Jersey
The editor responds: I think you’re confusing St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II with the culture in which they served. The conventional wisdom by Church watchers is that both Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II were able to reach people where they were. The culture had changed considerably after World War II: Divorce, contraception and abortion were all well on their way to becoming embedded in the culture we live in today. And Catholics, just as the rest of fallen humanity, are susceptible to the ills of society, even though we have the means to resist it.
I take issue with your article "Choosing Full-Time Motherhood" (Culture of Life, May 18) because I think that it fell short of stating in full what the Church (and nature) teaches about motherhood.
The Church has never used the terms "full time" or "professional" to modify motherhood. To call it so is a demotion. Motherhood is a vocation, not a profession. It is a calling from God that the Church has always taught is to be placed before and above a profession or any other life’s work, save that of provision.
If a woman chooses to leave her profession, she can easily be replaced. But a mother is irreplaceable to her children. A mother is naturally, and even sacramentally, necessary to her children by God’s design. Her job cannot be done "part time."
The Church still teaches that the vocation of motherhood calls a woman to give herself fully to her vocation of forming her children emotionally, physically and spiritually. As any mother knows, this cannot be done at its best on a part-time basis outside of the home. The Church also recognizes that there are cases in which a mother may be called out of the home to help provide for the family. This should be the exception, not the norm, as it is today.
Please, mothers who work who are reading this, do not read this as an accusation — read it as an invitation to understand fully what the Church teaches about motherhood and to know that, if possible, God is calling you to immerse yourselves wholly into your first vocation — and it will be a thousand times more fulfilling than any career or profession that you are in. I am certain that many will find this letter an insult to the so-called progression of women, from housewives to individuals in the workforce, but I challenge them to look at the condition of our society today and to realize that, in reality, women have been demeaned, demoted and demoralized far more as a result of feminism. Our society as a whole has been irreparably harmed because they have lost their mothers by the thousands.
Mothers are the queens of the home and of society at large. Where are our queens?
The editor responds: Perhaps you take issue more with the article’s title rather than its content because its seems the author makes the same case you do about the importance of motherhood to the life of the family and society. The article used "full-time" to modify motherhood because it follows a trend of women choosing to forgo other jobs to give themselves fully to the care of their children. Not only does the author cite positive statistics, her sources laud these women’s decision to be countercultural in their choice to stay home. She also quoted the Catechism and St. John Paul II on the importance of mothers and parents. Church teaching may be timeless; humanity, however, is affected by the conventions of its times. And the plain fact of the matter is that all mothers, for one reason or another, are not able to stay at home "full-time" to care for their children. Nonetheless, as this article shows many of these mothers who must work outside the home strive to do so in a way that places family first.
Marriage or ‘Marriage’
Regarding "The Fight Against Redefining Marriage: Time to Quit or Dig In?" (NCRegister.com, May 27):
Respect is a two-way street. When you seek to demean the worth of same-sex couples’ marriages by putting the word "marriage" between scare quotes for them, you are defining yourselves as religious anti-gay bigots.
I suggest getting out of your "bigot bubble" and getting to know some flesh-and-blood, long-term same-sex couples, now married.
To paraphrase Shakespeare: "Hath not a lesbian a heart?" But as I said at the beginning, respect is a two-way street.
New York, New York
The editor responds: The reason we choose to put marriage in quotes when referring to same-sex "marriage" is that the Church has elevated the bond of matrimony between one man and one woman to a sacrament, a gift from God. Anything outside of that, whatever it is called by the popular culture, is not. It is similar to one man and one woman who choose to cohabitate and call it marriage. The Catechism says, "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament" (1601).
Cruel and Unusual
In the aftermath of the recent "botched" execution ("‘Botched’ Execution in Oklahoma Marks Church’s Shifting View of Death Penalty," NCRegister.com, May 5, and page one of May 18 issue), death-penalty opponents are calling for a temporary moratorium on capital punishment, because it is cruel and unusual treatment that is inflicted on human beings who are sometimes innocent.
Following the same line of reasoning, should we not issue a permanent moratorium on abortion, because it is cruel and unusual treatment that is inflicted on tiny human beings who are always innocent?
Richard A. Carey
Relevant to "Cardinal Müller: LCWR Stands in Open Provocation of CDF" (page one, May 18 issue):
When I attended grade school, I was taught that religious took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. It seems to me that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has discarded the third vow.
It should be apparent to a neutral observer, much less Cardinal Müller and Archbishop Sartain, that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has no honest intention of either accepting the findings of the doctrinal assessment or the reform mandate of the CDF.
The LCWR leadership’s response to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s concerns take the same secularist line with which we are so familiar. Consensus, discernment, frank and open discussions, respectful conversations, etc., are some of the frequently used secular buzz words in American society today, spoken many times as a delaying tactic to avoid actions with which one doesn’t agree.
I would suggest to the cardinal and the archbishop that they don’t have to prove themselves respectful of women religious as a pre-condition and that bending over backward to be polite and apologizing for having the temerity to speak the truth will have little effect with this group.
The LCWR interprets that as weakness, which simply enables it to continue to indefinitely delay compliance. They are taking kindness/politeness for weakness, and it appears to me that they are simply contemptuous of Archbishop Sartain’s role.
The LCWR is not only in open provocation of the CDF, but actually in covert defiance of the CDF. The LCWR’s position is that the doctrinal assessment is unsubstantiated; that position does not show signs of changing. The LCWR’s choice of newsletter content, speakers and honorees makes that clear.
The LCWR appears to feel that it has the upper hand and has no intention of showing the substantive signs of the collaboration that Cardinal Müller seeks. The LCWR is just playing a waiting game until the other side loses interest.
William R. Ponton Jr.