Thanks for the article on Father Emil Kapaun ("Catholic Heroes for Today: Part 2," Aug. 8, NCRegister.com; "Cause of Father Kapaun, War Hero, Heads to Rome," July 17). My family and I just watched a documentary about him. It's truly a blessing to have a growing number of (relatively) modern-day saints and to hear who served with Father Kapaun witness "in their own words." God bless all you do at the Register and EWTN.
Union With the Church
Re: "Sisters Unite With Church" (Aug. 28): I truly enjoyed this up-to-date rundown of the sedevacantist movement. I was not a happy camper when the Second Vatican Council ended. But what they saw as a misrepresentation of the Council, I saw as a dissident attempt to usurp the intentions Pope John XXIII had for the Council. I thought they should have brought the modern world into the Church instead of what Pope Paul VI identified as only allowing Satan into the sanctuary.
I was unhappy with the "Decree on Ecumenism" because I saw it as a direct confrontation with evangelization. My concern proved accurate when it did in fact almost destroy evangelization. I accepted the Novus Ordo Mass, because if anything was wrong with it, the fault was not mine, rather than joining those who believed it invalid. Belief in the Real Presence has always been my yardstick to measure the impact of the Council. I sadly watched as it plummeted from almost 100% in the "Golden Years of the Catholic Church in America," when Bishop Sheen ruled the airwaves, to the current estimated 25%. I don't doubt the accuracy.
The upgrade on the sedevacantist controversy by William Marshner who I have the highest respect for was very interesting but rather sad, too, because I knew some of those who fell away from the Church, and I have grieved for them. Many of them were good Catholics at one time that were led astray because of the dissident Shanghai of VCII. It was called a pastoral council to keep from having to deal with disagreements between it and the doctrinal Councils of Trent and Vatican I that it contains.
I joined the Blue Army organization affiliated with Couer d'Alene, before the controversy with Francis Schuckardt developed. But when it occurred, I made a hasty retreat to dealing with John Haffert and the national office in New Jersey in 1967. That began a commitment that has been a major part of my life ever since.
My heart goes out to those sisters who have come to their senses and realigned with the Church, and I am not surprised by the harsh bitterness of their former contemporaries. Their return to the sacraments is heartening. Their joy must now be unbounded.
Thank you for publishing the most outstanding Catholic newspaper.
For these past years we can count on fair, reliable articles of interest to us all. I am concerned to see what seems to be a searching out of the negative things happening and elaborating on them, rather than finding the positive situations and using them to bring more hope and joy to all of us. Human-interest stories are wonderful if they help us grow in our faith.
God bless you in your continued work for him.
Memories of St. Ann's
Regarding "Find St. Anne in Florida" (Travel & Saints, July 17):
My wife Joan and I were married in St. Ann's Church on Aug. 9, 1957. At the time, I was in the Air Force and was not a Catholic. We were married at a side altar in the rectory.
Two years ago, while on vacation in West Palm Beach from our home in Michigan, we attended Mass regularly at St. Ann's. On our first visit, we introduced ourselves to Father and told him about being married there 52 years ago in the rectory. He renewed our vows in church in front of the congregation, and it was really a blessed occasion.
I am a convert to Catholicism, and St. Ann's has a lot of history worth seeing. I have one of the original altar tiles from a previous renovation. My wife and I also spent time working in their food pantry.
Clinton Township, Michigan
Marring God's Design
In regard to the article "'Gay Bashing': Who Is Bullying Whom?" in the July 31 edition of the Register, I would like to add some thoughts: We are all dysfunctional in regard to one thing or another. We all have weaknesses that lead to destructive behavior — behavior we Catholics call "sin." We are taught to love the sinner but hate the sin. We are not taught to normalize the sin.
Through observation and the use of our intelligence, we come to understand that there is order and design in nature and in human nature. Both the homosexual lifestyle and heterosexual promiscuity are contrary to and destructive of the order and design in human nature and ultimately a civilized society.
Order and design are indicative of intelligence at work. Destruction of order and design is indicative of the corruption of human intelligence.
We destroy the order and design built into human nature at our own peril.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Janet Smith is a moral-theology star for her excellent CD "Contraception: Why Not?" (especially the "New and Revised" edition). However, I disagree with her analysis of lying ("Are All Falsehoods Lies?" July 17).
She quotes the first edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as saying, "To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth." The italicized phrase is clearly an error, since this applies to withholding the truth, as St. Thomas Aquinas taught, not falsifying it.
The official Catechism, as she points out, leaves out the passage I italicized above and ends the sentence with "lead someone into error." There should be no problem there. That is settled teaching in the Church.
Regarding jocular lies (jokes) and conventional falsehoods, it seems that neither is said with an intent to deceive, and thus under the Catechism definition, such statements would not be lies.
Smith tries to do a hermeneutic on all the different "difficult cases" and the history of this issue in the Church. However, I think it better to do a hermeneutic on sacred Scripture. In Matthew 5:48 we read, "You must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." I doubt that the Father would tell a lie to accomplish a good end. Or we might look to John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor (45): "God predestines men and women 'to be conformed to the image of his Son'" (Romans 8:29).
I think [William] May and [Germain] Grisez were right: If we take another path, we run the risk of falling into consequentialism, with the end justifying the means.
And, incidentally, Pam Haines (Letters, Aug. 14) is correct in pointing out that the gravity of a lie is related to the intention of the one who lies, but the intention does not make it morally right.
Father T. G. Morrow
Please, please monitor what your children and teens read. It was gratifying to read about Catholic comic books ("Manga Pope," Aug. 14), but I can assure you these make up a tiny minority of graphic novels.
In my work, I am exposed to them every day, and many of them are extremely violent and gory, disrespectful of women, and increasingly explicit in their drawings of both heterosexual and same-sex "romance."
Some parents are so glad their kids are reading that they don't take a closer look; please don't make that mistake.