Readers respond to Register stories.
The recent disclosures regarding ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and the responses of some bishops to them (“McCarrick, the Bishops and Unanswered Questions,” Nation, July 24 at NCRegister.com), have been appalling, to say the least. Great harm has been done not only to the unfortunate victims of abuse, but to the many innocent and holy priests and bishops, my own included, who labor each day as good shepherds to their flocks.
Just a few short years ago, one of the great joys I experienced as a permanent deacon was to help catechumens and candidates in RCIA come to an understanding of the “four marks” of the one true Church; the Church established by Jesus had to exhibit these four marks.
It must be “one” in its beliefs and teachings, “holy” in its separation from — and firm stance against — the often sinful practices of society at large, “catholic” in its presence and essential uniformity throughout the entire world, and “apostolic” in its lineage going all the way back to the apostles and to Jesus himself.
Until recently, it was easy to demonstrate that the Roman Catholic Church was the only church that met those criteria.
Today, though, except for the last of the four marks, it is becoming more difficult, if not disingenuous, to maintain that the Church is one, or that it is holy, or that it is indeed catholic.
We know the many reasons for this disturbing development. The Church’s “oneness” is being undermined by errant teachings and changes in pastoral practice that threaten the indissolubility of marriage, the proper place of individual conscience, and the very meaning of the Eucharist. Likewise, the Church’s position as a countercultural beacon of truth is rapidly disintegrating, as she apparently seeks to defer to the values and the language of the secular world around her, and as more and more ghastly revelations of priestly and episcopal sexual perversion and cover-up come to light.
Lastly, her catholicity is slowly evaporating, as bishops’ conferences and diocesan or national boundaries begin to replace sound doctrine as the touchstone of what is right or wrong, of what is permissible or impermissible.
As we live through these terribly sad and confusing times, though, there is one constant that encourages me and should encourage all Catholics to remain faithful and hopeful.
Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, will be with us always, as he promised, and the Holy Spirit will remain present to guide the Church to all truth. Nothing that is said or done or may happen within the Church can alter this essential reality, or can diminish the Good News that God loved us so much that he sent his only Son to rescue us from sin and death, and that he continues to love each and every one of us, despite our human frailties, more than we can ever imagine.
Deacon Joseph Cinquino
Relative to “After Ireland’s Abortion Abdication” (front page, June 10 issue): St. Paul described the majority of the Irish voters 20 centuries ago in his Letter to the Romans: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (1:22).
On May 26, the world learned with profound sadness that the one great hope for the protection of human life in all ages and in all conditions was no longer the law of one of the last Catholic countries in Europe.
By a large majority, the Irish voters made the culture of death a sad reality in one of God’s great places to be a child, a child created in the image and likeness of God.
The sad truth is that a great part of the financial support for the legalizing of abortion in Ireland came from the coffers of the pro-abortion supporters known so well in the United States.
The culture of death is converting wealth into the taking away of the right to life itself from unborn children.
The U.S. was a nation uniquely founded on the wise belief that all human life was “endowed by the Creator with the unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The truth that this right to life of God’s greatest creation is so embedded in the human soul in Christian love and common sense means that time, work and especially prayer will return Ireland to the “Isle of St. Patrick” and the saints.
The pro-life movement is gaining momentum in the United States and with God’s help will drive the evil of the culture of death out of Ireland, America and the world.
We as Christians can and must trust in God.
Donald Chisholm, M.D.
Elm Grove, Wisconsin
End Family Separation
I am writing to express appreciation for J.D. Flynn’s June 19 commentary, “The Catholic Vision of Just Immigration Reform” (NCRegister.com).
This week I’ve been listening to government officials coolly defend the administration’s new policy of separating children from their parents at the border with a singular rationale:
“It’s sad, but we have no choice — their parents broke the law” [before the administration reversal]. To me, it sounds an awful lot like the defense that some politicians would give for the staggering number of abortions each year in the U.S. “It’s sad, but what can we do? Abortion is the law of the land.”
We who are pro-life should understand more than anyone that laws made by humans can be unjust, inhumane and just plain wrong.
We, more than anyone, should recoil at the flimsy defense that this new policy of separating innocent children from their parents is “just following the law.”
If this is the law, then the law is abhorrent and needs to change. Some of the families coming across the border are literally running for their lives. Which law is greater: U.S. Statute 8, USC Section 1325, which makes unauthorized border-crossing a petty misdemeanor, or the unwritten law in every parent’s heart that says “if you are in danger, defend the life of your child?”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has said that this new policy is intended to deter immigrants — including asylum-seekers fleeing violence — from coming to the United States.
If we as a nation are discouraging parents from heeding the law of life that is written in their hearts, woe unto us as a nation. I want those immigrant children to live, just as surely as I want every child in his or her mother’s womb to live.
We live in a democracy. That means when the government acts, it is acting on our behalf.
If we do not want children taken away from their parents in our name, and with our tax dollars, let’s call our congressional representatives and demand a swift end to family separations at our border, and an immigration policy that encourages, rather than deters, parents protecting the life of their children.
- letters to the editor