Readers respond to Register articles.
Contrition, Not Collusion
Pertinent to “Cardinal Coccopalmerio Explains His Positions on Catholics in Irregular Unions” that appeared in the March 19-April 1 edition: I totally disagree with the cardinal’s logic and find it hard to believe that the Holy Father agrees with him. It goes against everything I’ve been taught, believe and live by.
To look beneficently on such couples would be to, first of all, look to their salvation and not lead them into more serious sin. Didn’t Jesus say, “If you love me, keep my commandments”?
His word holds true today and will forever — it will never change. To choose not to obey a commandment is more than a mistake: It’s making a bad choice, and it’s called sin. No one wants to admit they’ve sinned anymore — they just make mistakes.
If one believes that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, how can these couples, in good conscience, go to Communion? If the cardinal gives them Communion, isn’t he contributing to the sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist? Shouldn’t the salvation of the penitent’s soul be the first concern of a priest or cardinal?
God’s word makes it very clear that whoever eats the Bread and drinks the Blood unworthily sins against the Body and Blood of the Lord. He who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
It is not impossible for a couple to live together without conjugal relations. Seventeen years ago, my husband died after a long illness. His illness did not affect our marriage in a negative way — it brought us closer together. If you love someone, you want what is best for him, and that is to help him get to heaven.
To say that living as brother and sister is impossible is to deny the power of the cross and the power of God to give us the grace to conquer sin (if we want it and ask for it). We begin our Act of Contrition expressing our sorrow for offending God because of his just punishments, and we end it with: “I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.”
The cardinal, in trying to fill the couple’s wishes, is gambling with their souls. He has no guarantee that they will ever marry or that they will not die suddenly in a fatal accident. Can anyone say that the children are not hurt by this relationship? Children learn what they live.
Doctors take an oath “to do no harm.” Cardinals and priests should take the oath “to not make matters worse.”
The second reason for sorrow in the Act of Contrition is: “but most of all because they offend thee my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.”
The Eucharistic Lord is my anchor — my life — and it pains me to see his presence, the gift of himself, the gift that caused him to give his life for the love of us, to be totally disregarded.
Allowing couples in these marriages to receive the Eucharist is a bad decision and will only open a Pandora’s box.
We have a God of love and infinite wisdom. His laws are to protect us from ourselves and to lead us on a straight path to heaven.
It isn’t easy being a Catholic, but it’s possible because of Who suffered and died for us on the cross. Thank you, Jesus.
Harrisville, Rhode Island
Commitment to Fairness
Regarding “Cardinal Coccopalmerio Explains His Positions on Catholics in Irregular Unions” (Vatican, March 19-April 1 issue):
Thank you for running this article. It demonstrates your commitment to present both sides of this important issue. It gave me better insight and appreciation of the Church’s struggle to demonstrate faithfulness to Christ’s teaching and his mercy.
Deacon Steve McGlone
Rep. Lipinski, Take Note
Relative to “Battle to Defund Planned Parenthood” (front page, March 5 issue): Rep. Dan Lipinski states, “If pro-life supporters do not turn out, they’re going to be disappointed.”
Please consider that each group (pro-abortion, gay, lesbian, transgenders, atheists, etc.) have their own separate armies. These separate armies do not necessarily show up at each other’s rallies, nor support the other’s causes. But these armies do have multiple individual demonstrations. To require those who are pro-life and pro-family (only one army) to continually engage all the other armies before they get attention and proper action and political assistance is unreasonable. I would tell the congressman, if you do not act in accordance with the way the electorate voted this last election (defund Planned Parenthood, etc.), your political career may be quite short and you may be the one who is “disappointed.”
Flower Mound, Texas
Return to Virtues
Pertinent to Edward Sri’s seven-part series on moral relativism:
These were a very insightful and helpful explanation of how people’s attitudes evolve because of our fallen nature and lack of virtue.
I must keep these articles in my do-not-throw away stack, so I may be more charitable and patient to others. Thanks for publishing him.
Need for Silence
Cardinal Robert Sarah’s absorbing interview on silence (In Person, April 16 issue) made me aware of an area of silence in the Church that is needed but sadly missing: silence during Communion. When I go to Communion, I try to talk with Jesus in mental prayer. But mental prayer after receiving the Host is difficult because of the music and singing during Communion.
It’s like going to a friend’s house and trying to hold a conversation with the TV going at the same time. If it is kept on, you soon leave, as conversation is difficult.
One priest told me that singing brings us together, and that’s true most of the time, but not at Communion time. It is Communion that brings us closer to Jesus and thus closer to each other. The singing might “bring us together” (a little) at Communion, but it keeps us apart from Jesus. At least it keeps me apart from Jesus, and I hope I’m not that different from others. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches,” so I gather from that that by being closer to Jesus, we are truly closer to each other. Even at weekday morning Mass there is singing at Communion. I hope this letter might prompt those in authority to at least give silence at Communion a try. I surely need it, and I hope I am not alone.
In “Health Care Bill Awaits Senate Scrutiny: Catholic Response Mixed” (front page, May 28 issue), Stephen Schneck was incorrectly identified as the director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America. He is the former director. He also spells his name with a “ph” not a “v.” The Register regrets the errors.
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