Letters To The Editor


April 14, 2005

Catholic tenets are not subject to public debate

The insistence by some Catholics that the church act as a kind of community association in which all members share an equal voice, and that its rules should automatically change for the times in which we live, is incomprehensible ("In the church, on their own terms," April 10).

The church is not a democracy, and those wanting it to be one are wasting their time.

Nothing forces American Catholics who believe in abortion, euthanasia and birth control to stay in the church. It's not a prison; people may leave if they believe the doctrine is too rigid, or the authority too centralized and patriarchal.

It seems disgruntled American Catholics and a complicit media agree the dissenters just need to have it their way.

News tip: The church is not a Burger King.

Michael A. Lagana


The Sun's article "In the church, on their own terms" (April 10) gives the impression that people can choose the parts of Catholic doctrine they want, whatever fits their "sense of spiritual potential." This is a grave error.

When a person doesn't fully participate and follow the guidelines set up by the church, that person is not Catholic (as he or she is not following the teachings of the church) but protestant, because that person is are protesting said teachings.

When we belong to Christ's church, we do not take part in a popularity contest nor do we live for our own thoughts of what it should be.

We belong because this is how Jesus wants His church to be. It is on His terms, and we follow His will in living our lives according to the leadership He gives us in the Catholic Church.

Ona Corkrin


Showing no respect for the Lord's Prayer

I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. And by the time I read the second paragraph of "In the church, on their own terms" (April 10), Janet Houlihan Kain had lost all credibility.

This woman has deliberately distorted the Lord's Prayer.

This prayer, demeaned by The Sun as an "ancient litany," was the very words of Jesus Christ, to teach his followers how to pray.

Ms. Kain is deliberately teaching her grandchildren falsely about the Scriptures.

This makes her a false teacher, and I found no need or desire to read any further.

James R. Cook


Church gives women the highest of honors

Once true feminists discover that the role of an ordained man is truly a subordinate role, I think they will stop looking at the sacrament as a sort of democratic achievement ("In the church, on their own terms," April 10).

Once they realize that it's not men or women who will decide who will be the next pope but the Holy Spirit, they will be comforted.

Our God transcends gender, and it wasn't our Catholic Church that made us pray to God, the man. It was Christ when, according to the Gospels, he told us to pray to "Our Father, who art in heaven."

Catholics bestow the greatest importance on womanhood. We are the original feminists. We believe one goes to Jesus through Mary.

Christ broke many traditions but never ordained his mother. He gave her to us in a higher role than a mere priest.

There was never a pope who placed more emphasis on Mary than John Paul II. And I promise, there will be more than one man in that conclave calling for Her intercession before the ballots are cast.

Brandon B. Justice


The writer is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order.

Church can't alter fundamental values

In "The Challenges that Lie Ahead" (April 4), Frank Langfitt advanced the notion that the Catholic Church should become more liberal to attract believers in the United States. This thought is wrong.

I ask myself: Wouldn't it have been easier for the women's rights pioneers to align themselves more closely with the moderates?

Wouldn't it have been easier for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to align himself more closely with moderates?

Yes, it would have been. It would not have been right, though.

The Catholic Church should not alter its values to increase its popularity with Americans. That would miss the point of religion.

Michael Wellen

West Friendship

The writer is an eighth-grader at St. Louis School.

Juveniles in jail need real help

It was shocking to read that a former employee of a juvenile detention center would suggest more punishment ("Make juvenile jails much more punitive," letters, April 9).

The Sun has done a remarkable job of detailing the horrors in Maryland's juvenile jails. Yet someone would write that we should make these places more punitive?

The children who wind up in jail are usually there because someone abused them. It may have been a family member, a neighbor, the neighborhood or the government. These children need help, and their inappropriate behavior is a cry for all of us to hear.

I am sure these children are difficult, but the answer is not solitary confinement. Rehabilitation must be the order of the day with juveniles.

The federal government can spend billions on a war to find Iraq's phantom weapons of mass destruction.

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