October 3, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Supporting the unborn and poor based on a love and respect for the most vulnerable in society

American politics is an interesting beast. Many countries have a multitude of parties and platforms. We have two parties with two platforms and members that enforce political purity. As bad as this situation is, I fear that this same attitude has seeped into the American churches.

For instance, many Catholic Democrats loudly endorse government aid for the poor—good for them! Then, many of these same people will support government mandates for contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilization.

Again: many Catholic Republicans decry abortion—again, good for them! However, they then want to gut programs that assist struggling families. This is an oversimplification to make a point, but I do regularly see things like this happen. There are pro-life Democrats—like state Rep. Rebecca Hamilton in Oklahoma—and most Republicans do not want to completely get rid of aid for the poor.

Jesus did not vote, and Holy Mother Church does not bless political parties. It is easier to wholly support a party then to argue with particular planks of their platform; I have definitely been guilty of this.

We ought to constantly think with the Church as she herself is guided by the Holy Spirit. We can help the poor and the unborn; in fact, both of these are based on a love and respect for the most vulnerable in our society.

I pray our clergy faithfully teach the entirety of the Church’s teaching, and that we laity earnestly apply this to our voting.

I know I need to think like Jesus more and my favorite talking head less.

- Scott Embry | New Albany

Criterion editors must always ‘speak the truth in love,’ reader says

The editors of The Criterion fail to adequately “serve the Church in central and southern Indiana” when letters presenting opinions which dissent from established Church teaching are printed without an immediate rebuttal and restatement of true Church teaching.

On the contrary, by passing along these dissenting letters, the paper may appear to validate readers’ erroneous beliefs and allow other readers to form wrong moral judgments. This section of The Criterion provides an unused opportunity to correct the poorly formed consciences of many readers; sadly, this opportunity has been wasted.

Most recently, two letters were printed in the Aug. 29 edition from readers who took exception to the Aug. 22 column by Father Tad Pacholczyk regarding the immoral nature of artificial insemination, even among married couples.

These letters incorrectly present the substance of the Aug. 22 column as merely the statements of Father Pacholczyk, and then go on to advocate a stance on artificial insemination opposed to the clear teaching of the Church. In reality, Father Pacholczyk was presenting not his own teaching, but that of the Church.

The editors nearly addressed the errors of the writers by citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This I commend; however, the key text of the catechism of which the letter writers may be unfamiliar was not provided.

Another paragraph of the catechism should have been presented, as it clearly teaches that artificial insemination, even among married couples, “is not morally acceptable” (#2377). This is the teaching that was disputed by the writers. This is the clear teaching of the Church, and it should have been presented out of love for the two letter writers and of all readers of The Criterion.

I call on the editors of The Criterion to speak the truth in love. It is not love to present opinions which dissent from Church teaching without offering correction to these errors.

Christ founded but one Church to teach in his name. Of that Church, he says, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Lk 10:16).

For the love of those who have perhaps unknowingly rejected Christ, by rejecting his teaching Church, please refute error by presenting Church teaching clearly.

- Matt Render | Indianapolis

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