I would like to make some comments in reference to your article titled “Despite Growing Environmental Threats, ‘Green’ Catholics Remain Few in Number” (Nov. 2-8). This article measures the activism of Catholics against the “environmental justice” movement only. I find this to be a poor measure of what Catholics are doing in this area.
I am an environmental engineer with a multinational company. I can think of many in San Diego who are also environmental engineers with major corporations that are also Catholic. We work for these companies, and in our work we bring our beliefs and convictions. We sponsor programs in our companies that directly affect the environment. We educate the employees by announcements and training programs through these companies. We have been CCD teachers together and have answered questions from our students. We work with the city, state, and federal governments by providing comments and testimony on legislation.
For example, I spent more than a year on the San Diego mayor's committee for strategic water supply. Some of us have been to other countries on environmental programs. In this category, I was on the Citizens Ambassador Program to Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine in 1993, the first group from this program to go to these countries.
Environmental justice is only one aspect of stew-ardship of the earth. We must start to focus on sustainability of our resources—air, water, and materials—and on sustainability of our economy, employment, culture, and freedom.
‘Always Our Children’
With one exception, I think Father Harvey's critique of the bishop's statement on homosexuality (“‘Always Our Children’: A Critique,” Oct. 19-25) clearly carries the day. The one exception would be the question of the orientation itself. I don't think the bishops can be faulted for coming down on the innate or given side with regard to homosexuality. Without clear scientific evidence showing the possibility of orientation change, which does not exist, the logical presumption is that the homosexual condition is something innate.
On every other point and most especially with regard to chastity, Father Harvey is right on. I am especially upset with the bishops'reference to the objective mortal sin of the young in this predicament as “experimentation.” What could pierce the heart of our Savior more than impurity among the young? Nothing!
It is also necessary for the bishops to make clear that there is only one type of sexuality in God's created design and that is heterosexuality. The fact that God allows homosexuality to exist has to do with his permissive will and to the reality of the effects of Original Sin.
Does this mean that the homosexual person is someone less valued in God's eyes? Of course not! Although God does deny to the person with an unchangeable homosexual condition the possibility of sexual love between man and woman in marriage, they are not denied the greatest love of all. A homosexual person who picks up his or her cross and embraces celibacy will experience the love of God a hundredfold.
What other cross can be so completely turned around?
Paul Trouve Montague, New Jersey
Rating USCC Ratings
We would both like to commend you for the excellence and quality both in content and layout of the Register, our favorite newspaper. We have only one complaint, namely your regular printing of “Film Clips” by the U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Film and Broadcasting.
In your Oct. 26-Nov. 1 edition, the USCC office remarks that several of the movies therein rated contain scenes with “brief” or “some” nudity, “numerous sexual situations,” “comic treatment of adultery,” “many perverse sexual references,” and “implied sexual encounters.” The USCC rates all these films as either A-III—adults or A-IV—adults, with reservations.
The Office claims that A-IV rated films are “problematic,” but not “morally offensive in themselves.” This is an insult to our Catholic sensitivities and also to our plain common sense. Our Lord, who warned that even deliberate lustful thoughts are gravely sinful, would surely consider “comic treatment of adultery” as an offense against God.
If only the USCC would have the moral courage to rate such films as 0—morally offensive, maybe today's Catholic youth and young adults would not be so confused in moral matters. But apparently the USCC office itself is confused morally. And to a certain extent we as future Catholic parents feel the failure of the USCC in this matter contributes to the general decline of morality in the Church and in contemporary secular society.
We are not prudish, we are two young university students ages 22 and 32, who enjoy good movies, the theater, and even a lot of modern music. We appreciate tasteful and respectful nudity even in religious art—such as one sees in the Vatican—but “perverse sexual references” and “comic treatment of adultery” are clearly offensive to us.
Two questions we would pose to the USCC office: Would you invite our Lord to watch a film with you that intended the audience to laugh at adultery? What do you believe our Lord would think about such a movie?
Samuel and Melissa Sinner