1 Problem, 2 Aspects
Regarding the commentary “The Florida Divisions: A Tale of Two Sees” (In Depth, Feb. 8 issue):
The comparison of the two Florida sees missed the mark. Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Lynch emphasized different aspects of the same problem. Homosexuality is sinful, Christian support of sin could lead others to sin, and, still, we must find a way to love these sinners and bring them back into the sheepfold.
It is not these bishops who divide us; rather, it is the staid liberal-conservative perspective that seeks a winner and a loser. It is difficult to imagine a solution that will not scandalize the faithful if people defiantly embrace sinfulness. Still, we must acknowledge that it is likely that we have within the flock people who divorced and remarried contrary to Church teachings.
What gives scandal is not the sin — we cannot know that — rather, it is the indiscretion. This debate is about how the Church can welcome more sinners and continue the “Catholics Come Home” campaign.
Thank you for addressing the Sunday obligation “to participate in the Mass” in “Why Do Catholics …” (Feb. 22 issue). Unfortunately, many of our young adults have not been properly catechized and do not fully understand this obligation.
Although your message properly states that “knowingly and willfully” failing to meet this obligation “would be a mortal sin,” I believe it would have been helpful if the author of your article had included, for reference purposes, No. 2181 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states:
“The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation. ... Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
May God continue to bless your work for his Church.
West Allis, Wisconsin
I read Joan Frawley Desmond’s article on EWTN’s HHS appeal before the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta (“EWTN Takes Appeal to 11th Circuit,” page one, Feb. 22 issue). I wonder who all these “millions” are who have received exemptions from this health-care mandate?
I’m sure the Amish are among them, perhaps even Muslims. If I recall correctly, the Amish went all the way to the Supreme Court to exempt themselves from educating their children beyond the eighth grade when public education through high school was mandated, and they won.
In EWTN’s case, employees are not being stopped from buying their own contraceptives should they want them. So I’m having a hard time seeing where employees “rights” are being violated — and understanding all these inconsistencies in granting exemptions to one group and not EWTN. It sure would be enlightening to have the spotlight put on who the groups were/are who got exemptions. EWTN and all its organizations are in my prayers.
Your article in the Feb. 22 issue, “Rethinking Narratives About Islam” (In Depth), hit the nail most squarely on the head.
In addition, you could also interject questions regarding the Islamic State’s name itself. The first word is “Islamic,” thus referring to Islam. I think many who attempt to explain the terrorists as only being plain terrorists (Syrian terrorists? Iraqi terrorists?) are simply being themselves denialists. But how can we blame them?
Our society has become so bludgeoned with political correctness we are browbeaten into submission if we dare call another what he is (especially if that description is uncomfortable or unattractive).
They are Islamic terrorists, and what they do so clearly is done in the following of their religious pillars. Their actions bring into clear focus why the Crusades were initiated and why the United States, once a country with a conscience, sent Marines to engage the Barbary Pirates, who were the Islamic terrorists of their day.
Des Moines, Washington
Thank you for the article in the Feb. 22 issue regarding Girl Scout cookies (“Girl Scout Cookies: Now That I Know, No Thank You,” In Depth). The article has a praiseworthy goal: Don’t buy Girl Scout cookies. But there is a better way to deal with the Girl Scouts. A parent of my grandchildren insists that she needs to be with Girl Scouts because her daughter needs the social structure provided. I call upon young women to start up an organization that is pro-life, which will give pro-life parents a place to take their children. As a 75-year-old man, this has to be left to others more suited to the challenge.
The editor responds: There are various non-Girl Scouts clubs that girls may join. Catholic clubs include: Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs, Our Lady’s Honor Guard, Little Women’s Hospitality Program, American Heritage Girls and Challenge.
Your Feb. 8 issue article by Joan Frawley Desmond, “Religious Orders Deal With Sexual Offenders in Their Ranks,” was impressive on several levels. The experts cited were not only knowledgeable but also humble. Jesuit Father Gerard McGlone, executive director of a treatment center for addicted religious men and women, gave clear insight on the parameters of supervising pedophiles when he said “risk never goes away” and that a safety plan for monitoring such individuals must be “measureable, updated and reviewed by external sources.”
Capuchin Father John Pavlik, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, an educational resource on issues such as recidivism and risk management of sex offenders, succinctly outlines what’s at stake for the religious orders who take on the intense commitment of housing a brother priest with sexual offenses in his past. He says they do so “at a price.”
Many people feel that offending clergy should automatically be laicized, particularly if the statute of limitations passed and they didn’t serve a prison sentence. But as Father McGlone admits, “The whole subject is far more complicated than we imagine.” Once an offender owns the truth of his actions and repents, he is only beginning the journey back to health, and true compassion will choose to go through it with him.
Catholics who suffer the fallout of this crime in any capacity are in a unique position to see that the Church’s involvement is no accident. The scandal broke in the U.S. through the ranks of our priesthood, and it is the sanctity of the Church that will prevail against it. When asked for, graces will come through the Holy Spirit to bind up the wounds of all involved. Our guiding light is the answer that the arrogance of Cain in the Old Testament couldn’t fathom.
Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. Our brother is the survivor and the one who hurt him.
Lavallette, New Jersey
The article “Planned Parenthood’s Payout” in the April 5 edition of the Register stated, “According to Planned Parenthood’s budget report for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the nonprofit banked $127 in excess revenue and had $1.4 billion in net assets.” It should have said $127 million. The Register regrets the error.