Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 24, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
The Vatican's clarity lauded
In theAug. 27 WCR, regarding the Vatican's "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church," Bishop Fred Henry worries about ecumenical reaction in his disappointment "with the Vatican's lack of pastoral sensitivity, as it should have been better prepared to handle the very predictable pastoral confusion the document's release created.
"In combating the phenomenon of modern day relativism, attention must not only be focused on abstract truth but also on controlling the spin as the teaching touches not only minds, but hearts, souls and relationships."
In other words, the Vatican should have used "spin" to combat "confusion" and "relativism."
Bishop Henry is intimately familiar with "spin," having pulled our Church into partisanship in sometimes debatable and unsettled secular political disputes, and with using Vatican II as an excuse to devolve the conduct of Catholic worship to fashionable banality.
The Vatican document uses "clarity," not "spin," to explain its position. The "confusion" that worries Bishop Henry was created, not by the Vatican, but by the Church's detractors who demand change of the Church to suit them.
Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz of Monsey, N.Y., reacts better: "What the pope is saying - and I agree 100 per cent - is that there are irreconcilable differences, and we can't pretend those differences don't exist. I can respect the pope for making an unambiguous statement of what he believes."
The major faiths are always defended by their leaders. How dare we expect less from our pope?
Bishop Henry does eventually explain the document's contents fully and well using "clarity."
Yet, he cannot resist excusing its detractors by criticizing our pope for shunning "spin," even while admitting that "brouhahas" are inevitable and must be addressed with more "clarity." I must stop now; my head's spinning!
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