Not a game show — let the truth be made known

Msgr. Owen Campion’s fine column in the April 18 issue (“Confess contraception,” Perspectives) brought to mind a parody of former game shows — “To Tell the Truth”: Would the real God please stand up? Another show was called “I’ve Got a Secret.” But in this parody, we no longer want the truth of the Catholic Church to be a secret, to be mysterious, distorted or confusing. We want the truth to be made known. 

In presenting the errors, misjudgments and challenges of the contraceptive mentality, we could similarly present other pressing concerns in need of reform. Allow me to mention some of them:

1. Evading honesty about sin and rejecting the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

2. Reminding Catholics that the selfish neglect of Sunday Mass and other grievous sins require confession before Communion.  

3. Being forthright that those Catholics marrying outside of the Church are not free to receive Communion. The same applies to cohabiting couples.  

4. Applying sanctions if cohabiting couples refuse to separate and still want a festive wedding celebration.  

5. With the bombardment of secular propaganda we need to be constant and non-compromising on abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and the gravity of homosexual behavior.  

Finally, I recommend that “the real God stand up” and be heralded by priests taking three minutes at Sunday Mass to proclaim the clear, true teaching found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  

— Father Tom Rudolph. Stratford, Wis.

Voices of laity are valid

In quotes April 4 (“This Week”) Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver complains that people who speak out against bishops in regard to the debate on health care reform undercut the bishops and spread confusion.  

Many who have voiced concerns about the health care provisions pointed out their valid concerns but have not had their opinions listened to by the bishops, so they have spoken out against the stand the bishops have taken. These have been legitimate concerns.  

Unfortunately, it has been the experience of many thoughtful and sincere lay Catholics that the bishops do not listen to them when they voice valid concerns. God inspires laypeople as well as the clergy. This is an issue the bishops need to address.  

— Georgette Hansen. Kuna, Idaho 

Superfluous opinions 

Re “Vatican official plants doubts about GM foods” (New Analysis, April 18). 

My only reaction to your story on the good Cardinal [Peter Turkson]’s considerations about genetically modified foods was to shake my head in wonderment. What was this man thinking? And what are you thinking by printing such a meaningless piece?  

Are there no questions in the entire world concerning which you would agree that it is not necessary for the Church to have a position, an opinion, with which to render guidance to an uninformed faithful?  

This is not the Middle Ages. Catholics are able to read and even think these days, and do not need a cardinal to tell them what foods are good and which are bad for them.  

You trivialize the real problems in the Church and the cardinal himself by putting this to ink and paper.  

— Dave Mishur Pontiac, Ill.  

Setting the facts straight

Re “Abuse Confusion” (Editorial, April 18). For Catholics still struggling to explain the sexual abuse scandal to friends, here are four facts that can help:  

1. The incidents making recent headlines are cases from the period before the Church reformed its procedures for preventing, reporting and dealing with sexual abuse.  

2. Even before the Church’s reforms, only 4 percent of priests in the United States were ever accused of sexual misconduct involving youth. 

3. Insurance companies report that their own studies show that the Catholic Church is not at greater risk of clerical sex abuse than any other religious group, including those with married clergy — demonstrating that priestly celibacy is not the problem.  

4. While Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of particular cases when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been negatively portrayed by some of the secular media, other commentators have offered a more positive appraisal of his overall record.  

— Tom and Judy Lickona Cortland, N.Y. 

Anniverary tribute 

Greg Erlandson gave his wife a wonderful anniversary present with his April 25 column (“In Christ’s love,” Spectator). It was a beautiful tribute to her and their marriage. Happy anniversary to Greg and his wife, Corine.  

— Paula Benjamin Ada, Mich. 

Retreat into silence 

I felt the same way [editor John Norton] did about the movie “Into Great Silence” (“How I spent three hours as a Carthusian monk,” Openers, April 18). For that reason, I cherish my daily hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament each morning and the silence.  

Thank you for sharing.  

— Phyllis Durrieu Miami, Fla.