Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 29,2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Dismayed over article on interchurch couples
I read with some dismay the article "At home in two churches" (WCR, Jan. 15). In it the situation of people in interchurch marriages is described by two couples.
What dismayed me was that their views were reported without comment in a context one would assume was sympathetic to a Catholic understanding of "Christian marriage."
For instance, Catholics gather every week for Sunday liturgy. It's essential to who we are. Yet the article implied that in an interchurch marriage the Catholic party joins the Catholic community every other week. Dismay No. 1.
Also, the pope, et al., points to relativism as one of the chief errors of our day. Yet your article quotes without comment as a justification for the former practice, "What difference does it make? . . . We're all practising the same belief." Dismay No. 2.
This issue of the WCR was published a week prior to the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In that week we remind ourselves of the sad fact of Christian disunity. We look for ways of cooperation which do not deny the differences, and we pray for unity among Christians.
But the article's "What difference does it make? . . . We're all practising the same belief. . . . The rest is just particulars," sweeps substantive differences away. There never was a Reformation. The differences were and are cosmetic. What's to pray for in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity? Dismay No. 3.
In fact the ecumenical work of the past 30 years or so moves carefully and slowly precisely because the differences of belief and discipline among the Christian churches are substantive.
"There are as yet unresolved differences and challenges which affect both communions," the Anglican and Catholic bishops said in their statement last May. Sweeping them away as trifles is offensive to all parties.
The editor was silent about these sources of dismay. Dismay No. 4.
Shallow arguments used to defend abortion prayer
I take issue with the rather shallow arguments as expressed by Vince Pallier ("Prayer against abortion is action," WCR, Jan. 15).
His accusation that our archbishop, the wonderfully astute intellectual and wise teacher that he is, of "imply(ing) that prayer is not action" is simply wrong. It appears that Pallier did not bother to listen to what was said and cared even less to seriously reflect on Archbishop Collins' words.
Had he done so, he would have heard the positive message that prayer, combined with a loving and zealous action within the context of each individual's unique vocation, provides the essential integrity to an effective evangelization. Neither prayer without works nor works without prayer does justice to the tasks required of the Christian.
So yes, by all means pray, wherever you may be called! But also do other works - counsel the dejected, lift the burdened, provide shelter - in your home and in your heart, provide food to the lonely, scared and pregnant teenager.
The possible works have no boundaries other than the limits set by one's own heart. And yes, even offer to raise the child if that is what you are called to do.
All too often, it has been my unfortunate experience that a significant element within the circle of hardcore pro-life activists simply prefers to ignore such a message of hope. How sad.
I participated in the Eucharistic celebration at St. Joseph's Basilica on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12.
Archbishop Thomas Collins gave an excellent, thought-provoking and challenging homily. He did not merely "make comments" as purported by Vince Pallier (WCR, Jan. 15).
It would seem that selective hearing continues to be alive and well.
Dissension over carbon dioxide
Re: "Hope for our battered planet" by Senator Douglas Roche (WCR, Dec. 25).
There is a serious lack of objectivity surrounding the carbon dioxide issue and it appears the WCR is more than content to follow the mainstream media in this regard.
One of the two lead agencies in examining the statistics associated with global climate, the Goddard Space Institute, an arm of NASA, recently went on the record stating that the leverage of CO2 on global warming has been overestimated and that other more significant "anthropogenic forcings" (read man-made factors) on global warming are coming under control (soot, CFCs etc.).
For that matter, there is considerable scientific dissension on the actual amount of global warming, the balance between anthropogenic sources versus other sources like changes in solar irradiance, and the question of whether the net effect of global warming is negative or positive.
There is a disturbing trend in our culture of increasing belief in a "the ends justify the means" philosophy. Well-meaning people seem more inclined to shade their objectivity, including scientific researchers and reporters, since this is what they believe it will take to stimulate action in the political sphere.
Is this OK even if they're right in their objective? And what if they're wrong? They have then only succeeded in focusing effort in a futile direction.
I believe respect for God demands respect for his creation, but demonizing carbon dioxide on science manipulated by political correctness is going too far.
If there is a calamity awaiting us, as Roche asserts, it will more likely originate in our increasing willingness to subvert truth for a "good cause" than in a tenuous connection between CO2 and climate change.
Brian R. Klappstein