“Living Stones”

As the author of a recently published book on the subject of Holy Land pilgrimage, Jerusalem and the Holy Land: The First Ecumenical Pilgrim's Guide, I read your interview with Rabbi David Rosen ("Holy Land Pilgrims, ‘Living’ Judaism and Christian-Jewish Dialogue,” Aug. 3-9) with special interest.

Rabbi Rosen is certainly correct in asserting that most Americans go on pilgrimage to visit the holy places “where Jesus walked,” and arrive in Israel with a lack of interest in, or even a disdain for, Jewish religious practice as it exists there today. Therefore, incorporating visits with Jewish groups in recognition of their “elder brothers” status is a wonderful idea, which I encourage in my book.

Amodern pilgrimage should be more than a time-warp visit to the ancient past. A Christian visiting the cave in Bethlehem, the childhood home in Nazareth, the sites of the miracle at Cana, the raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper, the agony in Gethsemane, the carrying of the cross, Calvary and the empty tomb, to list just the most awesome holy places, should also extend the hand of Christian friendship to the Jews, Muslims, and Christians who live there today.

Opportunities can be provided for our people to learn firsthand the aspirations and needs of these good people, especially the “living stones” (a common term for the Arabic-speaking Christians whose communities are mostly Catholic or Orthodox) who have clung to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Galilee since the days of the early Church.

James McCormick

Traverse City, Michigan

Moral Absolutes

Daily, in the public media, we are barraged with liberal propaganda. I was surprised to be assaulted yet again by the letter of Jerome Downs, Esq., in the Aug. 10-16 issue of the Register.

The Supreme Court, like all civil authorities, is bound by the same moral absolutes as we, the individual citizens, are. In each of the cases mentioned in the “We Hold These Truths” article (Register, July 20-26), the Court acted outside those boundaries.

It is true, as Mr. Downs states that morality cannot be legislated; morality existed before any instrument of legislation ever came into being. However, it should also be noted that the Supreme Court does not legislate; legislatures legislate.

When the Supreme Court makes a patently immoral decision, it is, contrary to Mr. Downs's belief, not only the right, but also the responsibility of the Church and its members to inform the Court of the fallacy of its decision. Even the Court has recognized this right and has permitted both federal and state legislatures to enact laws recognizing it. That is why abortions are not performed in Catholic hospitals.

Mr. Downs states that the 13th and 14th amendments had “their genesis in the public's view of what was right and fair.” That is true but it is also true that the public's view of what is right and fair has its genesis in the immutable moral law established by God before all time, and all courts, and all liberals.

Albert Schultz

San Antonio, Texas

Correction

The phone number for the Carmelite 24-hour prayer line “Teresian Carmelites Offer a Potent Prayer Line”) printed in the Aug. 17-23 Register was incorrect. The correct number is (508) 756-1086. We regret the error and any inconvenience it caused our readers.