January 31, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Common good can be attained through collaboration, dialogue, reader says

This is in response to a letter to the editor in the Jan. 17 issue of The Criterion.

Relational dialogue of words ought to be experienced in the goal of seeking truth. The Gospel is simple, sound, sacred and sanctifying. The messages within speak solidly to the person docile to the Holy Spirit and open to the theological dimension.

The Church is the privileged place for group effort to clarify the mystery of the Word made flesh and the irreversible idea of incarnation.

The poor is everyone, and we are to bring human dignity to all. Applying extensive collaboration using the tools of alliance, teamwork, partnership, cooperation and relational dialogue, the goal of truth is the outcome.

How can we possibly arrive at the truth amid conflicting and confrontational monologues? Dialogue requires peace.

Conscience is to be formed rightly, and matters of poverty, education, economy and employment will move toward fullness and the common good amid collaborative relational dialogue of words.

- Gary Taylor | Salem

Pope Francis stresses changing hearts using the instrument of loving persuasion

News reports suggest that some Catholics are puzzled by Pope Francis’ apparent de-emphasis of abortion.

It may be that his emphasis on joy and the “good news” is intended to weaken a perception of the Catholic Church as a power-hungry organization.

A tradition in America has long seen our Church as one that sought power, and then used it to force its views on others. The Inquisition and the Crusades are well-known symbols of that tradition.

Current news items reinforce that “power” perception: bishops protecting the organization by concealing sexual crimes against children; Vatican officials charged with financial misdeeds; organized demonstrations before Planned Parenthood facilities, seen by some as intimidation. The emphasis on passing laws against gay marriage and against abortion is seen by many as Catholic attempts to impose Catholic doctrines on those who don’t share Catholic views.

Pope Francis may want to stress changing hearts, rather than imposing laws—using the instruments of loving persuasion rather than those of power.

- John C. (Jack) Moore | Bloomington

Give serious consideration to future before deciding on constitutional amendment

Catholics can uphold the Catholic Church’s teaching and stand against the proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution, HJR3. It is time to contact your representatives about this proposed amendment.

Before you decide on your position, give serious consideration to the future consequences of a constitutional amendment and the people you impact.

You may one day be surprised by your child’s or grandchild’s revelation that he or she has a homosexual orientation.

You may have friends or colleagues you truly admire and respect who have not revealed to you their sexual orientation because of the risk. You do not really know them.

You may find that you cannot tell your child, grandchild or friend that he or she has no right to enter into a legal union of any kind with a person who represents to him or her everything your spouse represents to you.

Your voice today could bless them with or deny them the right to even visit each other in the hospital, as is the case during this flu season at St. Francis Hospital.

To quote Catholic News Service columnist Karen Osborne in the Jan. 24 issue of The Criterion: “This year, I want to see what the astronauts see: a united world where people will work together for the advancement of all. That’s very much in line with what God wants us to do as Catholics. … God’s love for everyone is universal. That’s his perspective.”

- Kathy Heath | Indianapolis

Reader draws parallel between proposed marriage amendment and Affordable Care Act

I believe in traditional marriage, between one man and one woman, and the attempt by the Affordable Care Act to require religious employers to provide contraception, sterilization and abortifacient services for their employees contrary to the employer’s religious belief is a violation of Church-state separation.

However, it seems hypocritical for religious communities to attempt to force their belief regarding a definition of marriage on others who do not believe the same.

We do not want our belief intruded upon, but we want to intrude on the belief of others.

- Nick Schmutte | Avon

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