Letters

Predecessors in Faith

 

Advertisement

My sincere and heartfelt congratulations on the article about Mother Katharine Drexel by Dennis M. Linehan, S.J., in your religious education issue (9/16). I appreciated your evident pleasure with the material we furnished.

Our prayerful best wishes to each of you in your demanding but so essential ministry. Thanks also to you and all your predecessors.

Maria Espiritu McCall, S.B.S.

Archivist, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

Bensalem, Pa.

 

Scandalized

In grammar school 55 years ago I was taught that it was important not to give scandal. Certainly the beatification of Pius IX on Sept. 3 was an occasion of embarrassment. Now, however, with the statement made in 1871 by Pius quoted in Signs of the Times (9/16), his beatification becomes a source of scandal and the cause of shame.

Lawrence Norton

San Rafael, Calif.

 

 

A Theologian’s View

The beatification of the autocrat monarch Pius IX ending the Constantinian era, together with the responsible parliamentarian John Paul XXIII opening the windows of the church (9/16), expresses the complementarity of two Christian idealsa strong individual and a person for others. The two popes together are a welcome symbol for a divided Christianity. After the Incarnation, not either/or but both/and is our problem-solving paradigm.

Tibor Horvath, S.J.

Toronto, Ont.

 

Make a Difference

The article, Coarse TV, (9/16) by James Martin, S.J., certainly hit the bull’s-eye. And his predictions for the future of television are right on target. I am not sure the adjective coarse is quite strong enough, but I am sure that we have to do more than wring our hands and say, How sad. Let’s make these people in the wasteland aware of how we feel about the violent, porno swill they’re feeding us.

Here’s a suggestion. Near your television keep a generous supply of postcards, a pen and addresses of TV channels. When you see a program you dislike, write to the TV channel telling them exactly why it offended you. Conversely, when there is something you particularly enjoyed, let them know that also. Ask two others people to do the same, suggesting they get two others, and so on.

A few opinions may not seem to be of much value, but television companies have a system of weighting viewers’ opinions. For instance, one person who writes equals hundreds or thousands who feel the same but didn’t bother to call or write. The larger the viewing area, the larger the equation. We viewers can make a difference!

June Guncheon Vajda

Aurora, Colo.

 

Honesty Over Diplomacy

You will presumably add to your continuing catalog of negative reactions to Dominus Iesus (Signs of the Times, 10/7, 10/14) the positive reaction of one of the leading voices of Protestant Evangelicals, the magazine Christianity Today. In a lead editorial characterizing the Vatican’s statement as a step forward, not backward, for Christian unity, the magazine takes sharp issue with the many left-of-center ecumenists [who] have responded with outrage.

The editor maintains that the document doesn’t slam the door on post Vatican II ecumenical efforts, but rather simply reminds readers that ecumenism isn’t done simply to be nice. After identifying some of the principal misinterpretations of the document in much the same way as have the Pope and other bishops, e.g., the statement doesn’t call Protestants gravely deficient’the editor concludes that the Vatican has merely reiterated long-standing Roman Catholic beliefs. Documents such as these are crucial for true cooperation, the editor contends, because there is danger of thinking that by coming up with language we can agree upon, we’ve also agreed on what we mean by these words. Real unity, the author writes, comes through an ecumenism of conviction, not an ecumenism of accommodation. Since the Catholic Church is, in the words of Vatican II, a pilgrim church suffering from defects just as do Evangelicals, whose movement is one of renewal and reform, the common recognition of the call of Christ to prepare for His coming is our hope for unity. As Christ-loving believers in various churches do this work with humility and patience, we will continue to grow closer. So here is one vote, at least, for elevating honesty over diplomacy.

William H. Dempsey

Arlington, Va.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla clash with military police in the Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Jan. 20, 2018. Following a disputed election marred by irregularities, incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the victor and will be inaugurated on Jan. 27. The opposition does not recognize Hernandez's victory and are protesting against the result. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)
“You will see many protests during his mandate...because Honduras hasn’t fixed its age-old problems of inequality, exclusion, poor educational and health system, corruption and impunity.”
Melissa VidaJanuary 23, 2018
I want to be able to serve the state better. I want to be able to serve more of the state.
Nathan SchneiderJanuary 23, 2018
Formed in 2011, The Oh Hellos' Christianity is one of their foundational inspirations, evident in lines like "the only God I should have loved."
Colleen DulleJanuary 23, 2018
People gather at a June 14 candlelight vigil in Manila, Philippines, in memory of the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Philippine Catholic bishops called for vigilance against bullying, ostracism and harassment of gay people in the wake of the incident in which police said a lone gunman killed 49 people early June 12 at the club. (CNS photo/Mark R. Cristino, EPA)
“We are losing three generations of people, and we need to hear why,” said Bishop Mark O’Connell.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 23, 2018