National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 06.01.14

BY The Editors

June 1-14, 2014 Issue | Posted 5/27/14 at 10:12 AM

 

A Father’s Prayer

Editor’s note: The following is a poem/prayer written by a father in honor of the child he and his wife lost after she experienced a first-trimester miscarriage:

 

You came to us so fast and so strong,

and now you’re gone — our unsung song.

You never got to find out how to walk,

nor did you ever learn to talk.

We will never see your smiling face,

or take you to your favorite place.

You won’t go to school or to play

or have troubles and need to find your way.

Yet though you were young and small,

you are our child, and a soul, all in all.

But little one, you were just out on loan,

a gift, away from your true home.

God needed a very special one

for his angelic choir,

and so it was you that he did require.

But, Lord, it was a very unexpected grace,

for such a quick return to your embrace.

So please forgive our anger and our grief;

come to us and give us nothing but relief.

Comfort us in our sorrow,

and remind us of the hope of tomorrow.

We know that nothing is beyond your reach,

and so we most fervently beseech:

Take our doubts, our confusion and our fears,

take our suffering and our many tears,

and with them baptize our Baby Bean,

so she can enjoy sights unseen.

Mary, Mother of us all, and of the Son,

you know this loss more than anyone.

Pray for us, and take our request

to him in whom we hope,

the blessed Fruit of thy womb.

Because, Jesus, we trust in you,

we know you will hear us, too.

So take our little one in your precious arms,

ever safe and happy from all the world’s harms.

Cover her in your mercy and your love,

as she stays with you up above.

Mommy and Daddy love you forever, little one.

And we’ll see you soon, my precious tiny bun.

Amen.

Jeff Ausmus

Erie, Michigan

 

Papacy a Divine Gift

Pertinent to Edward Pentin’s email interview (World, April 20) with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamansk:

Edward Pentin’s interview with Metropolitan Hilarion reveals, on the one hand, his genuine interest and desire to work together with the Catholic Church on a host of ethical and social issues where we have common principles; but, on the other hand, it reveals his rejection, with other Orthodox hierarchs — mistakenly, we must sadly note — of the historical evidence concerning the priority, pre-eminence and greater or superior authority (Petrine, not merely episcopal) acknowledged generally by the ancient Church to reside in the Roman See and its bishop as the successor of Peter, chief of the apostles by our Savior’s direct appointment.

History does not show that ancient bishops in council "awarded" this priority of position to the Roman bishop or that a Roman emperor did or could establish the same, other than by merely civil/canon law, or that this primacy is due to Rome’s prestige as the imperial capital.

When we have a reason given for this singular Roman primacy, it is attributed to the presence, mission and martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome and to the Roman bishop’s succession to Peter.

History knows nothing of an episcopal consensus awarding the primacy to Rome. No imperial appointment or regulation could have achieved, ultimately, anything other than a civil effect.

The evidence for the already-existing Roman primary in the ancient Church is laid out in volumes such as S. Herbert Scott’s The Eastern Churches and the Papacy (1927) and E. Giles’s Documents Illustrative of Papal Authority, A.D. 96-454 (1952). A recent extended review of this issue by this letter writer may be found in Ecumenical Trends issues: Vol. 38, December 2009; Vol. 39 July/August 2010; Vol. 39, September 2010; Vol. 41, September 2012; and Vol. 43, April 2014.

Metropolitan Hilarion’s assertions about limitations of the existing ancient Roman primacy contained in his interview differ from those of ancient bishops and theologians found in his recent book Orthodox Christianity (2011). These support the singular primacy exercised by the Roman bishop.

The pentarchy of (five) patriarchs, a creation of Justinian I (527-65) for the ecclesiastical organization of his Byzantine Empire, did not limit the pre-eminent authority of the Roman bishop. Justinian made clear in other novella (new laws and decrees) the priority and pre-eminence the Roman bishop enjoyed. No Constantinopolitan bishop before Photius (858) seriously presented himself as the equal of the Roman bishop.

The "ecumenical" patriarch originally referred to the territorial Byzantine Empire, and all the patriarchs exercised administrative autonomy in their patriarchates, while recognizing the singular authority of the Roman bishop when the unity, orthodoxy and communion of love for the whole Church was in question.

Thus, although we seek and indeed welcome proposals of cooperation from other Church leaders such as Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, we must be careful about silently accepting or endorsing assertions about the basis, nature and development of the Roman primacy in the ancient Church.

This primacy is a divine gift of the Lord to his Church in Peter. Nothing should be allowed to redefine it as one big ornament that just came along with history. The metropolitan’s comments about the so-called uniates would require another long letter of clarification.

Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton

Our Lady of Perpetual Health Church

Lindenhurst, New York

 
Vocations, Vocations

Relative to "New Ordinations Bring Hope for the Future" (May 8, NCRegister.com):

I pray for vocations in my family and other families, knowing that it is God who chooses his priests and sisters to serve in his Church.

I know in my heart that I must keep praying, even when it seems like nothing is happening. I know that God’s ways are not my ways, and he works in mysterious ways. I really believe that, if we keep praying, God will answer our prayers secretly — and do the impossible.

We just need to keep doing what we can, the same as with giving. Without priests, we would not have the miracle every day — the Eucharist. It’s really a wonderful mystery, when you think of it.

Gene Silvaggio

Winnipeg, Canada

 

‘Homophobe’ Bullying

Regarding the Register’s ongoing coverage of the redefinition of marriage:

Your readers are concerned about marriage (Letters to the editor: "Marriage’s Future,"  "Catholic Marriage," "Nihilistic Amorality" and "Not Going to Take It," to name a few).

Collective society is being cowed into silence. The "homophobe" stereotype is used to bully and dominate those who differ. The supportive part played by heterosexuals is more complex, but both directly challenge the Bible and God’s authority.

Separating fact from fiction: Every individual identity consists of an inherent, fundamental birthright — a name, race and gender — protected from usurpation by the Bill of Rights, which upholds fundamental rights. If the Constitution upheld non-fundamental rights like abortion, sodomy and euthanasia, every crime could be called a right.

Only heterosexuality is fundamental. Traditional marriage unites the male and female sexes; same-sex "marriage" is a mockery dividing them. The only relationship this issue has to race is its advocacy of "separate but equal" sexes.

Both heterosexuals and homosexuals are men and women — the primary identities that provide universal human equality — topping the list of all God’s creatures. The self-proclaimed representation of "gay" is a façade, with no basis in human science or history. It’s a sexless, secondary representation, with a secondary status creating inequality. Homosexual individuals can call themselves butterflies, but they’re still men and women. Under the Bill of Rights, no government or no human may divest any individual of any part of his or her inherent, primary birthright — or substitute an inaccurate, unproven representation in state and federal laws relegating them to secondary status.

Legal decisions by judges and others use the "gay" or "same-sex" façade — which blankets the entire homosexual, man and woman, population, overriding individual free-will choice both now and in the future.

Heterosexual support of same-sex "marriage" encourages today’s young to deviate from normal — and gives special recognition to "gay pride" in the military, as though the identities of loyal "men and women" who died for this nation aren’t good enough. Heterosexuals belittle their own tradition, identities and the credit that belongs to fundamental men and women who birth and raise America’s workforce and military.

They aid in re-establishing "separate but equal" discrimination and help attack the Constitution, "finding" rights to deviancy that obfuscate truth.

Heterosexuals — presidents, Supreme Court justices, judges, politicians and the media — go along with the marriage mockery, while using the "gay" and "same-sex" facades, promoting secondary status. These "non-discriminating" heterosexuals are able to accept homosexuality — even giving homosexuals same-sex "marriage" — so long as homosexuals are considered something other than equal men and women.

Ruth Ruhl-LaMusga

Chico, California