Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 20, 2004
WCR Letters to the Editor
Knights lauded for U.S. stance
Brian Vail shows a misunderstanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church in "Knights' Bush stance shocks"(WCR Letters, Sept. 6).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that abortion and homosexual activity are intrinsically and actually evil, that is, they are evil per se, in and of themselves, by virtue of their very object, while war and the death penalty are only extrinsically and potentially evil, that is, they are not evil per se but can in some cases be good, their moral goodness or evil being determined by the circumstances rather than the object of the act.
Whether a particular war or particular case of capital punishment is morally good or evil is not determined by the Church's magisterium but rather by the prudential judgment of the legitimate civil authority.
The Church does not say whether the war in Iraq is evil or not (Pope John Paul has opposed it only as a matter of prudential judgment, not doctrinal teaching), but the Church does say that abortion and homosexual activity are evil. Regarding the death penalty, the holy father has said that the cases today which justify capital punishment are "very rare if not practically non-existent"(Evangelium Vitae). But note that he says "practically non-existent," not "absolutely non-existent."
Mr. Vail says Jesus opposed war and capital punishment.
That is Mr. Vail's private interpretation of Scripture, however, and private interpretation of Scripture was one of Martin Luther's heresies and was and is condemned by the Church. Vatican II said in Dei Verbum that the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone, and that its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.
Mr. Vail's criticism of the male hierarchy of the Church is an insult to Christ, who was himself a male and who instituted his Church with a male hierarchy.
As for sexual sin, it is a perversion of one of the most sacred gifts of God to man and woman-marriage, the primary purpose of which is procreation. Marriage is essential for the family, and the family is essential for society, so an attack on marriage leads to an attack on society. A culture filled with so many sexual disorders as ours will lead many souls to unhappiness in this life, and more appallingly, to hell in the next.
Bravo to the Knights of Columbus!
And more backing for Bush
After reading the Sept. 6 letters on the Knights of Columbus convention, I do not think that the writers had the benefit that the Knights had in the U.S.
There was a memo sent on June 4 from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion before the American bishops met in June in Colorado.
In paragraph three, it states: "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the holy father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.
"While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggression or to have recourse to capital punishment.
"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
Thus, the way I see things we are to be in solidarity with the poorest of the poor who are the unborn who have no voice, no vote and are helpless. Those who request euthanasia are also poor, sometimes depressed, afraid of living due to physical pain, old, alone, with overwhelming problems and lack faith, hope and love, yet they have a voice.
As for capital punishment, I think of Ted Bundy, serial killer, who had a voice and explained why he did what he did. If Ted had lived in Canada, he could vote from prison. As for the present war in Iraq, Pope John Paul had the right idea - not to go to war.
All in all, President George Bush is pro-life. See paragraph three of "Knights delirious over Bush" (WCR, Aug. 30). If only our Canadian politicians were so pro-life in governing.
U.S. Knights right
In response to the letters to the editor in the Sept. 6 WCR regarding "Knights delirious over Bush," as a member of the Knights of Columbus, I agree with the stance taken by the Knights at the convention that George Bush is the best choice for president.
It is an asset to have someone in a position of power who is strongly pro-life and wants to maintain strong family values. He is a man who is not scared to publicly acknowledge and stand behind his religious beliefs, unlike John Kerry who claims to be a practising Catholic but is strongly pro-choice as well as favouring same sex marriage.
In Canada, this is not the case where many parliamentarians, in particular the former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, claim to be devoted, practising Catholics who privately oppose abortion but for the sake of political popularity, will vote pro abortion and same sex marriage.
In regards to the decision to invade Iraq, this decision was not made lightly by one man but by Congress after much deliberation with the CIA and the intelligence department.
They felt it was the best course of action to take for the sake of the people of Iraq.
Some of the information has since proven to be flawed, however, at the time, the decision was made on the best information available following the tragedy of 9-11.
Church Crusade membership queried
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem(WCR, Sept. 6) is a major Catholic order of knighthood.
Why would our Catholic leaders get involved with an organization that is associated even remotely with the Crusades?
No matter how one wishes to portray this organization, as assisting Catholics in Israel, it brings back memories of a major blemish of the Catholic Church.
The equestrian order maintains the great battle cry of Pope Urban II of 1095 as their motto: Deus Lo Vult - God Wills It. Are not these the same words that motivate current terrorists to perpetrate death and destruction?
The main objective of the crusaders was to conquer the infidel, unbelieving Turks, and take possession of their territory which was known to be the Holy Land.
In doing so, history tells us that the crusaders committed murder, pillage and rape while conquering the infidels in this unjust war.
Are there not more noble priorities for the Canadian Catholic Church than reintroducing a medieval organization which represents chivalry, knighthood, equestrians (horses), gentlemen and ladies (dames)?
Their apparel with badges, stars and sashes makes me think of adults trying to be Boy Scouts. (No offence to the Boy Scouts.)
Yes, women are accepted among these elite. Leo XIII permitted this equestrian order to confer membership upon ladies of "society and noble birth." Documentation states that the men wear creamy white woolen capes as a symbol of "purity of intent"and black velvet berets. The women wear a black silken mantle and a mantilla of fine, long black lace.
The place of women is evident in the official photo of the pope's address to the organization in March 2002.
The men dressed in impeccable white are seated in a group in front of the women in black.
The focus of this equestrian order is on the wealthy to raise money. Catholics of good character "are required to make a generous donation as 'passage money' as well as an annual oblation."
But there are other goals of prayer, sacrifice and absolute obedience to the sovereign pontiff.
Surely there must be more appropriate ways in which we could support the Catholics in the Holy Land.
Why not do more to promote better understanding and relationships among the Jews, Muslims and other Christian groups, as they all believe in the one and same God?
This is the only way peace and security can be achieved in the Holy Land.
Hey, boys, let's get real with the times and quit wasting time with pomp and ceremony.
What would Jesus say?
Letter to the Editor - 10/04/04
Take back our moral courage and speak out for what is right
With reference to clothing in church (and elsewhere), it is becoming blatantly apparent that we need to take a firm stand, both clergy and lay people, to withstand the dominance, bullying and blackmailing of style-setters in marketing and media.
These people, under cover of anonymity, are (like invisible disease germs), destroying civilized society, changing a Christian people to pagan degeneration.
We, of the older generations now, are seeing the consequences of our not being firm enough in resisting trends we knew were harmful.
We knuckled under to "human respect" or to fear of losing favour with our children with tragic results.
We lacked sufficient moral courage to risk conflict and/or rejection by more strongly resisting popular trends.
Now the younger parents are having to deal with diabolical trends in style (and in political correctness as well) while we elderly may have to suffer terribly in purgatory, seeing it from beyond the grave. Lord, have mercy.
Keep States as our ally
In response to the Sept. 6 letters condemning the Knights of Columbus for supporting George Bush.
Some of the comments are erroneous. George Bush does not promote capital punishment only in cases of capital murder as is written in the Book of Numbers 35, 30, 31:
"If anyone kills another person, the murderer shall surely be put to death on the evidence of sworn witnesses."
America bashing may be popular, but with the current lack of capable defence in Canada, we should be grateful the U.S. is our ally.
I applaud the Knights of Columbus for their astuteness.