Three rallies recently took place in Washington, D.C. On Inauguration Day, protesters burned cars and broke windows. During the Women’s March, protesters shouted vulgarities and threatened to blow up the White House. During the March for Life, protesters sang, prayed and walked peacefully. What a strong difference in the way these groups delivered their messages.
Answering the ‘dubia’
Re: “‘Amoris Laetitia’ sparks calls for clarity, unity” (News Analysis, Jan. 22-28).
The public airing of this is potentially very damaging. At its root, nobody, not even the pope, will ever have the authority to change the fundamental faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church. For example: A pope can never legitimize Arianism, abortion, fornication, women priests, etc. Even if the pope states (although he has not) he is personally in support of Communion for certain divorced and remarried Catholic couples who have not received an annulment, the Church teaching rejecting this still stands.
When, in the past, there was (and still is) heated discussion on legitimizing artificial birth control, many clergy failed in communicating the Church’s unchangeable teaching to those in their care. Result? Most Catholics today think the use of artificial birth control is a mere issue of personal conscience.
A bishop is responsible before God to educate and minister to all those in his diocese (Catholic and non-Catholic). We must pray for our clergy that they will, at times, disregard the wind and the waves outside the boat and concentrate on the proper instruction of the people in their diocese.
— Joe Marincel, Flower Mound, Texas
The OSV article by Russell Shaw on Amoris Laetitia is well-researched. Though this document contains some very sound Catholic teachings, there are elements in the document that can be interpreted in ways that are counter to Church doctrine, relative to the Sacraments of Marriage, the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
The dubia questions the practice of allowing some divorced and “remarried” Catholics to receive the Eucharist without their having an annulment, nor their living together as “brother and sister.” Amoris Laetitia places a grave burden on priests in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to divorced and “remarried” Catholics because of the confusion that this document has introduced. Obviously, this is a very bad situation in the Church, which can be resolved with the pope correcting the errors in Amoris Laetitia.
Throughout the history of the Church, there is always an absolute need for clarity and consistency with the teachings of Jesus Christ. What is happening is that the practice is interpreted by many Catholics as effectively changing the doctrine of the Church.
Doctrines cannot be changed because doctrines are divinely revealed truths that are binding.
— M.P. Smyth, Finksburg, Maryland
Health care legislation
Re: “Trump’s challenge: Turning rhetoric into policy” (News Analysis, Jan. 15-21).
There is a growing trend among American Catholics of fast judgment of sin by commission but staunch refusal to recognize sin by omission. The latter type of sin must be considered by all who would favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act without simultaneous enactment of provisions continuing to preclude exclusions based upon pre-existing conditions, as well to prohibit lifetime caps. Moreover, leaving people without insurance is not a public policy decision but a sin. It is nice to talk about how people attend anti-abortion rallies and are pro-life, but these self-righteous fellows within the Republican Party should be called to task for their stance on national health insurance. On the Democratic side, on this issue, they surely are not as fast to leave the Lazaruses without.
— Jack J. Lipari, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
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