National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 11.21.2010

BY The Editors

November 21-December 4, 2010 Issue | Posted 11/11/10 at 5:25 PM

 

‘Pop-Culture Platitudes’

Regarding Richard Welch’s letter (“Women’s Ordination,” Nov. 7):

Jesus didn’t ordain women because females “would not have been readily accepted.” Jesus had no fear at all in going against the religious establishment in far more serious matters, and broke cultural norms from traveling with women, allowing a woman to wash his feet, breaking the Sabbath, talking to a Samaritan woman, eating with publicans — all things that were simply not done by a Jewish male.

Is it credible to imagine that the Lord of all creation, who went to his death because (among other reasons, including our salvation!) the establishment believed he opposed it, was terrified to rock the boat on this one issue?

Women can be truck drivers and fighter pilots? Yes, and “ministers” for any religion that has a functional, rather than ontological, view of the priesthood.

The Church’s views on women are “outdated”? Even a cursory study of theological anthropology reveals repeatedly that the Church’s view of women is far more profound and results in far more dignity for women than what we see every day in the secular culture.

I would strongly suggest Sister Sarah Butler’s book The Catholic Priesthood and Women. Sister Sarah, the first American woman on the International Theological Commission, chaired a task force on women for the Catholic Theological Society of America and strongly believed that women should be priests … until she actually did some research. The issues range far deeper into the heart of sacramentality, the very foundation of the Church, the nature of Mary, the difference between the Catholic Church and the churches of the Reformation, and the nature of God’s choice to image himself in male and female in Genesis than the pop-culture platitudes mouthed by Mr. Welch.

S. Quinn

Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Israel’s Culpability

I would like to comment on the calamitous decline of the Christian and Catholic population in the Holy Land — that is, Israel and the occupied territories of Palestine. I do this as a person of Jewish ethnicity and heritage and as a person who has, over a period of about 10 years, come to see the light — or the darkness, if you will — regarding the precarious situation of Christians in the Holy Land.

The issue of Oct. 10 (Vatican, page 5, “With Eyes on the Middle East Synod …”) touched upon the precarious state of the Catholic and Christian communities in the Middle East, but somehow failed to address Israel’s culpability in the collapse of the Christian population in the Holy Land. The facts, as you know, are very disturbing; the Catholic population is now down to less than 2% of the total in Israel, and the Christian community of Bethlehem, for example, has seen its population decrease from over 75% when Israel was re-created to less than 20% now.

The fact is: What with its myriad security checkpoints, its Separation Wall, its storming of Christian churches in the name of its “war on terrorism,” its discrimination against non-Jews with so-called loyalty pledges to Israel, its closure of Bethlehem University — a Catholic institution under the auspices of the Vatican — on many occasions for political purposes, its continued illegal settlement activity, its role in the creation of the largest refugee crises in the world today, its murder of civilians in the name of self-defense, and its transformation of Bethlehem from a peaceful destination for Catholic and other Christian pilgrims to a war-torn, battered ghetto, Israel policies have resulted in the decimation of the Palestinian Christian population.

I find the total passivity of the Catholic Church in the face of the loss of the Christian population in the land of Jesus’ birth beyond comprehension. I have made it one of my most passionate causes, as I believe it is a form of cultural and demographic genocide that stems from Israel’s hard-line policies.

I urge your readers not to fear speaking out against Israel’s policies on this issue out of fear of being labeled “anti-Semitic.” The Catholic Church does not owe Israel a free pass with regard to the injustices it perpetrates in the name of its homeland security. And this country — the United States — must eventually come to grips with the fact that its massive military-aid packages to Israel have not only contributed to the radicalism of the Islamic population in the Holy Land; they have resulted in the near demise of Catholics and Christians of the Holy Land.

I implore your readers to act, before it is too late, to seek justice in the face of the tyranny of Israel’s military prowess. Who would ever have imagined in the face of the Catholic Church’s past injustices against Jews that a situation like this would have developed during the present era?

Harry Katz

Southold, New York

Welcome Home

Pertinent to “Anglican Homecoming” (NCRegister.com, Nov. 10):

I commend the five Church of England bishops who announced Nov. 8 they were converting to Catholicism following Pope Benedict’s invitation to disaffected Anglicans.

Anglicans who support women bishops and homosexuality misinterpret the Bible, and are guided by a false sense of freedom. They seek not God but their own selfish desires of power and lust.

Freedom does not rest in one’s ability to do as one pleases: “Ye shall be as gods.” This promise is quite clearly behind modernity’s radical demand for freedom. Such anarchical freedom does not redeem, but makes man a miscarried creature, a pointless being. Those who live like this very soon clash with others who want to live the same way. The inevitable consequence of this selfish concept of freedom is violence and the mutual destruction of freedom and life. This is the direction in which the world-wide Anglican communion is now headed.

Sadly, some people want to measure the truth of the faith by modern society’s standards. They mistakenly believe that divine Revelation must adapt itself to the current mentality in order to be credible, instead of the current mentality converting in the light that comes to us from on high. The result is a stripping of the Redeemer of man of his radical uniqueness, and classifying him as someone who can be managed and domesticated.

Anglican traditionalists should take heart. They are always welcome back to the fullness of truth that resides, with all its pristine beauty and splendor, inside the Catholic Church. I encourage everyone — including agnostics, atheists and dissenting Catholics — who is tossed about by the waves of false doctrines, to climb aboard the barque of Peter, for it will be their only safe haven in these troubling times.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Corrupt Parties

Concerning the vote on abortions in the military (“Congress to Vote on Abortions on Military Bases,” Oct. 24), the key phrase in Rich Daly’s article is “after the midterm elections.”

After the experience of this election, my wife and I are going to register as independents. Never in our lives have we been so turned off by the corruption of both major parties. As pro-life Catholics, we have seen Republicans garner our votes in a bait-and-switch maneuver to empower themselves for programs and spending we never wanted. As American citizens believing in the principles of Catholic social justice, with its “preferential option for the poor,” we have seen Democrats commandeer our votes for huge deficits and excessive government control.

Our constitutional republic with opportunities for all is headed for a socialistic nightmare which can get worse. Radical national socialism, as in Nazi Germany, led to concentration camps; international socialism, as in Communist Russia, fostered the gulags and political psychiatric institutes. It can happen here. Remember that it was under Republican Gov. Earl Warren of California and Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt that Japanese-American citizens were shamefully herded, without due process, into concentration camps during World War II.

In 1988, Congress and President Reagan enacted legislation that apologized for this, and this led to reparations for Japanese citizens. However, the political corruption still goes on. In this election campaign, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida and former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, conspired with Machiavellian cunning to urge a decent black candidate for senator, Kendrick Meeks, to withdraw from the race and [try to] prevent a Cuban-American, Marco Rubio, from winning.

Both parties throw the word transparency around with abandon. To paraphrase the comment in The Imitation of Christ about compunction, I would rather experience transparency than know its definition. May their manipulation and backroom deals fall quickly into the dustbin of American history.

Catholics and other Americans should consider leaving these parties in droves and registering as independents. We should encourage independent candidates to run.

Since elected politicians are our servants and we pay their salaries, we should consider periodically sending them “employee evaluation reviews” (on April 15 or July 4). They should be told what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right. In no uncertain terms they should be told what is expected of them.

We would still have a two-party system, but they would have to prove themselves to get our votes. It would make them nervous and vulnerable. Then maybe we would hopefully get back our constitutional republic. Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, my friends. It says nothing about political parties.

Deacon John P. Coffey

Brooklyn, New York

Clarifications and

Corrections

In “Sanctity Made in America” (Oct. 24), Mary Preece is from the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

In our online Daily News section story “ACLU Tries to Force Abortions on Catholic Hospitals” (Nov. 3), a name was incorrect. The Becket Fund’s director of litigation is Eric Rassbach, not Eric Mossbach.