August 25, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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Columnist should have done her homework

Cynthia Dewes’ column in the Aug. 11 issue of The Criterion perpetuates the myth that “psychology” promotes a totally relativistic moral position.

She quotes, apparently with approval, a statement of the Rev. David F. Wells of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts that “the dominant cultural belief, promoted by psychology,” is “that people should choose whatever they want.”

Dewes would do well to read the official publications of the American Psychological Association. In particular, she might pay attention to the ethical standards.

More importantly, she might read the report of the ethics committee, which regularly lists sanctions that have been imposed on psychologists.

Most importantly, it would be nice had she been aware that the APA and licensing boards in all states have for many years held psychologists accountable for a variety of ethical and/or legal violations.

For example, state licensing boards have revoked licenses, and the APA has expelled the members whose licenses were revoked, routinely, for many years, for sexual intimacy with clients.

Can the Church claim such a history? Some psychologists are openly opposed to religion. Psychology is not. Some psychologists believe “anything goes.” Psychology does not.

Psychologists are taught to respect the views of their clients and to avoid imposing their own views on those clients, but always within limits. Psychologists may not ethically take part in any illegal act.

Moreover, psychologists have for years been ethically and legally bound to report such behaviors as child abuse. Has the Church been as explicit for as many years?

Dewes should have done her homework.

- John Paul Maierle, Ph.D.,
Diplomate in Counseling Psychology, A.B.P.P, Indiana Health Service Provider in Psychology, Terre Haute

New Mass responses are a matter of faith

This is in response to a letter in the Aug. 11 issue of The Criterion about the new Mass responses approved by the U.S. bishops.

I find it absolutely appropriate that the pope, cardinals and magisterium find it appropriate to provide a Mass translation that is a more faithful, sacred and beautiful translation. After all, it is in the arena of faith and morals that we depend on them to guide us. The new English translation of the Mass is certainly a matter of faith.

The Church is not—and never has been—a democracy when it comes to faith and morals, but follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The letter writer’s reminder that, in the Church of my youth, “we had no input,” is still valid, and well it should be. In matters of faith and morals, there is no democracy, no majority rules, no input, but only a discerning of the promptings of the Holy Spirit of Scripture and tradition by the successors of the Apostles.

As to the statement “for us men and our salvation,” and interpreting this as excluding women, politically correct inclusive language is a recent innovation and should not be considered. Common sense and tradition dictates that “men” in this case refers to the traditional interpretation, which is the human individual, the human race, the human being and not the male of the species.

The breath of fresh air afforded by Vatican II cannot in any way change the teachings of the Catholic Church.

- Paul Kachinski, Greenwood

History of Middle East could be different

Regarding the letter in the Aug. 11 issue of The Criterion about Israel having the right to defend itself, I wonder where the Middle East would be today if United Nations’ Resolution No. 181, dated Nov. 29, 1947, had been implemented? It provided for separate Arab and Jewish states not later than Oct. 1, 1948.

Or, to go back a little farther, I wonder where the Middle East would be today if the country responsible for the atrocities against the Jews in World War II (Germany) had been made to pay, instead of a country not involved at all?

How would you feel if the neighbor on your left burned down the house of the neighbor on your right, and you had to pay, while the neighbor on your left went free?

I wonder.

- Barbara L. Maness, Vevay

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