Encyclical WisdomHappy 25th anniversary Humanae Vitae...


August 10, 1993

Encyclical Wisdom

Happy 25th anniversary Humanae Vitae! Here is one family celebrating a courageous encyclical written only shortly after I was born.

Contrary to Sara Engram's July 25 column, many young Catholics are embracing the complete and wonderful teaching of Humanae Vitae.

Although she admits there are some wonderful points in the encyclical, she fails to realize that it must be taken as a whole. Without the clause explaining that every sexual union in marriage must be totally giving -- to the point of always being open to new life -- conjugal love is meaningless.

As promoters for the Couple to Couple League, a non-profit, international interfaith organization to teach natural family planning, my husband and I see first hand what the method of birth regulation approved by the church and the truth of Humanae Vitae does to a marriage. Natural family planning users say that their marriages are more fulfilling and families happier.

Could this be the answer to all our unhappy families out there? I don't know, but it's not dumb luck that the Catholic church has survived for 2000 years. It must know something.

Ms. Engram's suggestion that Humanae Vitae is the cause of overpopulation is absurd.

We in the West are not even replacing ourselves. Europeans have had negative population growth for the last 20 years. Does she think the church should not speak out on forced sterilizations and abortions in China and other places?

Finally, Ms. Engram laments the fact that to advance in the church, one must pass the litmus test of adhering to Humanae Vitae. Of course they should. The church is not a democracy; obedience is paramount.

Christ himself had a litmus test for the Eucharist. No one is forced to believe the church's teachings, but if one wishes to belong to the church, one must accept its doctrines.

Joan Stromberg


County That Cares

This letter is in reference to an editorial which appeared in The Sun August 2, entitled "The County That Creaks."

I commend you on the accuracy of your statistical data. However, there are a few poignant facts you failed to mention.

First, the Roger Hayden administration did not create the problem existing in Baltimore County -- that credit goes to his predecessor. Second, the State Office on Aging had all but begged the previous administrations to become involved in the senior housing problem, but its efforts fell on deaf ears.

It is only through the efforts and support of the Hayden administration that Baltimore County will see a dramatic increase in senior assisted housing in the near future.

Throughout his entire process of downsizing county government, Mr. Hayden has insisted we keep focused on the needs of the people of Baltimore County, not just the dollars spent. This guidance has enabled us to pursue long overdue changes in the way we do business and the services we provide.

Due to Mr. Hayden's advocacy, the senior adults of Baltimore County are provided services second to none in the state of Maryland and equal, if not superior, to any in the country.

One of your ending statements was: "This revision of the zoning law is much needed and long overdue." Truer words could not be spoken, but you should have added, "And due to the Hayden administration, it will come to fruition."

I would like to re-write your opening paragraph: If Baltimore is The City That Reads, then the subdivision encircling the city could be called The County That Cares.

Philip H. Pushkin


The writer is the director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging.

Nehemiah Message

As a resident of the suburbs, it is easy to read of violence in Baltimore City and draw the wrong conclusions: that the inner-city poor have grown indifferent, that the problem has grown too large and insolvable and most erroneously that the violence in the city doesn't concern me.

Many of us who enjoy life in the county earn our livelihood in the city. The fact is we are our brother's keeper, and this is a battle we can ill-afford to lose.

The solutions include a broader economic base, increased home ownership, more parental involvement in education, stable family structures and an unwavering commitment to Judeo-Christian values. We can't afford to keep building more jails; people's heart must be changed and they must have hope.

Efforts like the Sandtown project are encouraging. Each of us should ask how we, not the other guy, can help make a difference.

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after the captivity in TC Babylon, the city was in great disrepair. It was the collective and diverse efforts of the whole populace, with God's blessing, that turned the tide.

Is there a message there for us?

Bradley J. Waters


Photographing Shooting Stars

Readers inspired by the Perseid meteor show this Wednesday night and early Thursday morning may attempt to capture it on film.

Normally, the chances of photographing a meteor are about the same as winning a bonanza lottery, but the odds will be considerably improved this week, weather permitting.

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