The Seven Sacraments vs. the Secular ‘Sacraments’

Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran’s commentary “Reaping the Whirlwind of Abortion” (Commentary & Opinion, Oct. 1-7) was a welcome surprise and, surely, one of the most pointed statements we have seen on the evils attacking our culture and the world.

We are thankful that an American bishop has the courage to speak out and identify the evils our society has first tolerated and then embraced — the seven secular “sacraments.” These are, to quote Bishop Doran, “abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation.”

This is not the first warning society has received. Father Prosper Gueranger, a 19th-century Benedictine monk, wrote about the seven capital and deadly sins. “Turning our eyes to the kingdom of Satan, we see him mimicking God’s work and setting up a seven of his own,” he wrote. “Seven capital and deadly sins are the instruments whereby he makes man his slave.” He further warned that chastisement would come by “seven trumpets, surrounded by seven angels who would pour out seven vials filled with the wrath of God”.

He encouraged us in our resolve to reverence and love the seven sacraments of the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI calls us to use love and reason to combat the seven evils so aptly described by Bishop Doran and Father Gueranger.

 These, then, are the weapons we should use in the battle against Satan and his seven deadly sins. In addition, we suggest an increase in the enlightenment and awareness of the holy sacrament of matrimony as a place to begin.

Jim and Bea Muir

Sequim, Washington

Bias or the the Beat

The inference suggested by your Aug. 27 - Sept. 2 editorial, “Teacher Abuse Crisis,” is that the media are more apt to cover conservative religious scandals than they would be a teacher scandal.

You are partially right. I say that the media will cover the most sensational stories that would provide the highest ratings, the most newspapers sold. Is that immoral? No.

It’s more sensational to the news that a priest, who is held to a far higher standard in the community, congregation and media, would commit such a heinous act to so many children. That’s just a fact of life. Churches and religious groups hold their own leaders to a higher standard. So when a priest or some other pastor commits a rape on a child, that priest has gone against the very teachings they pound into the congregation week after week.

Teachers are not held to the top standard as religious leaders are. Some get divorced, smoke, drink, swear and don’t go to church. When the teacher reports for work in the morning, the school system does not ask what he or she did last night.

The priesthood is a 24-hour-a-day job. Higher standards come with the calling.

All in all, I think you mistake reality and human nature for political bias in reporting. Don’t shut out the “liberal” media, because the conservative media won’t check you like the liberal media will. Welcome them to help you keep on the straight and narrow instead of blaming them for the mistakes of the Church.

I hope you take my points to thought and do not discount them. I am a viewer of both conservative media and liberal media, and both are biased for their own purposes.

Steve Wei

Muskegon, Michigan

Israel Then and Now

The assertion of Franciscan Father Alex Kratz that “the ‘founding’ of Israel from the 1890s was premised on the planned expulsion of Palestinians, including Christians” is arrant nonsense (“Israeli Gears,” Letters to the Editor, Sept. 17-23).

I defy Father Kratz or anybody else to bring forth so much as a smidgen of hard evidence substantiating that unsupported allegation. The burden of proof is on the accuser.

The facts of history are clear: The Palestinian Jews neither planned nor implemented anything remotely resembling a “mass expulsion” of anybody in the founding of the State of Israel. And those who insist on revisiting that old, thoroughly discredited boatload of bilge water are in clear and shameless defiance of the commandment forbidding us to bear false witness against our neighbor.

The mere fact that Father Kratz may have spent a year living in Israel’s disputed territories does not somehow give him any special standing to take liberties with the facts for the sake of building a case on superheated emotionalism and undisciplined rhetoric. His claim that Christians are leaving the Holy Land because of Israel’s “occupation” of it — rather than because of well-documented Islamic pressure — is illogical and bizarre. Jews don’t have a problem coexisting with Christians; Muslims do. And everybody knows it.

Finally, I really must say that I hardly think the Register needs, of all people, Father Kratz, who unmistakably has axes to grind, to be offering himself, as he does, as a voice for balanced coverage.

Michael Zebulon

Cotati, California

Real Love, Real Marriage

Relevant to “New Website Offers Support For Adult Children of Homosexuals” (Oct. 8-14):

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. This is the way God designed marriage and the context for which God created sexual intercourse.

He made sex in marriage to be a complete union of male and female — physically, emotionally and spiritually. This union is the arena through which he would bring new life into the world. The sexual act would be not only a sign of their love, but also a sign of the life and constantly fruitful love of God. This love doesn’t happen in homosexual activity.

It’s a bad idea for someone with a homosexual orientation to marry because it wouldn’t be a marriage to the spouse. Marriage must be to a member of the opposite sex even though people with a homosexual orientation don’t want it that way. The solution to this is not same-sex “marriages.” We could pretend they were married along with our judicial court system, but we didn’t invent marriage. God decides who is married and who isn’t. He created marriage just as he created sex to be between male and female. Same-sex “marriage” isn’t a marriage at all. It would be just a license to misuse the gift of sexuality.

 John G. Minjares

Birmingham, Alabama

Prayer at Cana

I noticed that, in your Oct. 1-7 editorial, “Benedict’s Lepanto,” you quote the Holy Father as saying: “Holy Mother of God, pray for us, just as at Cana you prayed for the bride and the bridegroom!”

I did not remember reading that in the text (John 3:1-11). It’s not there. Where does the Pope get support for that statement — or is it just an assumption?

Fred Bergamo

Paramus, New Jersey

Editor’s note: In No. 534, the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church asks “What is prayer?” and answers: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God, or the petition of good things from him in accord with his will.” The Gospel of John tells us: “When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’” (2:3). In fact, Mary provides a textbook example of both forms of prayer. She both raises mind and heart to Jesus, and petitions him on behalf of the bride and groom without presuming to know his will.

Silent No More

Relevant to “Aftermath” (Oct. 1-7):

As Catholics, we can’t stick our heads in the sand and hope the problem of radical Islam will go away. It won’t! Our government won’t do much for us unless we make enough noise and demand changes. This very disturbing situation must be addressed and now is the time to get active.

Any non-Muslims, and especially Catholics and Jews, are considered infidels and likely targets of radical Islam. This means that we should become proactive and prepare for the long struggle that we suspect lies ahead.

With the exception of 9/11, most of the chaos caused by radical Muslims is taking place in foreign lands where these fanatics are destroying Christian churches and killing infidels. Unfortunately, a large percentage of U.S. citizens think nothing will happen on our own turf. This is a false assumption. Something terrible can happen at any moment and the threat seems to be getting worse with every passing day.

Radical Muslims are adamant in their quest to conquer and convert all people of the world to Islam by all means available. By contrast, all other major religions, and especially the Catholic faith, teach peace and love.

There’s only one answer. Each Catholic has an obligation to become aware of the facts right now, and to speak out to repel this bold attack on our religious freedom. If we do not step up, we will suffer the consequences of our own apathy.

John Shields

Huntington, Indiana

I Want My Register!

For starters, let me say that your paper is a great read and I enjoy it very much.

My dilemma: For at least the last four years, I’ve been sharing friends’ copies of the paper. I would get eight or 10 back issues and read them in a week or two. Now, my friends are cutting them up because they need the articles for the CCD classes they teach. Help! I can’t stand to receive the issues all cut up as you might imagine.

Thus, my questions:

Do you archive the papers? Do you have an online subscription rate that is lower than the print version?

Since I am on disability, working part-time and hoping and working toward getting off disability, my “discretionary” income is almost non-existent. I add new monthly bills or new items very reluctantly. Do you ever allow a sliding scale or some sort of scholarship? There used to be copies of the paper available at daily Mass at local parishes, but that seems to have dried up here in San Diego.

If you had a lower price for an online version, I might be interested in that.

Please give this some consideration. Many thanks for a great paper, which is much appreciated. God bless your work.

Janet Howard

San Diego, California

Editor’s note: Visit the new ncregister.com. You will have access to all Register content for free for a limited time. After this, subscribers will have access to all content, non-subscribers to a few stories a week.

Correction

In “Legionaries Host Course for ‘Baby’ Bishops,” we cited Bishop Alexander King Sample as bishop of Marquette, Wis. There is a university by that name in the Badger State, but no such diocese. Bishop King presides over the see of Marquette, Mich. We regret the error.