Letters to the editor

A downside to digital devotions? 

If I read the Aug. 15 issue correctly about the Internet (“2010 OSV Internet Guide: readers’ choice”) and digital devotions (“Digital devotions add new dimension to faith life”), it appears to this 87-year-old curmudgeon that Catholicism has become a religion of convenience. 

Seems to me the only physical sacrifice remaining is the problem of getting up in time to go to Sunday Mass. Visiting Christ in the tabernacle and making the Way of the Cross and other Church devotions have little attendance. Reading OSV Newsweekly explains why: You can do all devotions without going to church. 

Is the next “convenient” devotion going to be attending Sunday Mass through the Internet so we don’t have to get up early, dress and go to our church? Where are the sacrifices demanded, to follow the religion Christ gave us? 

— Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.

Authentic sexuality 

“The only reason same-sex marriage initiatives have made such headway is because of the mess heterosexuals couples have made of marriage”(Openers, Aug. 29). 

While nothing is ever as simple as it seems, I have to agree that the poor example many heterosexual couples have set helped pave the way for same-sex marriage initiatives. I believe our contraceptive mentality has undermined some arguments against same-sex marriage. I agree with those who submit that once the marriage act was stripped of its procreative aspects, then sex was reduced to the pleasure/bonding aspect exclusively.  

Also, the prevalence of adultery and fornication doesn’t really give us a moral high ground from which to speak without being hypocritical. 

The overall recreational attitude of our culture toward sex with regard to pornography, comedy and movies hasn’t helped either. 

Thank you for focusing on the theology of the body (In Focus, Aug. 29). It is good that the Catholic Church and publications like OSV focus on what is right with the Catholic perspective on human sexuality and the purpose of marriage. We can, and we must, reclaim the hearts and souls of this and future generations. 

— Alan Nauertz, via www.osv.com 

More facts needed 

Re “Turning a Catholic spotlight on society’s basic building block” (Openers, Aug. 29): 

I have not read elsewhere about the survey of Catholic marriage in Boston. The way you state the case, we can make no conclusions about whether or not young Catholics are choosing not to wed. I assume there is some information missing from your summary, or that you misstated the facts. Otherwise, you are jumping to conclusions too quickly. For example, has the number of Catholics in Boston declined, and if so, by how much? And are more Catholics choosing to wed outside the Church? There could also have been a drop in remarriage within the Church, so that the numbers do not just include the choices of young people. 

— Connie Rossini, via www.osv.com 

Evangelical counsels 

I have been working on a doctoral thesis on matri-mony and its relationship to the evangelical counsels. 

My research shows that where there is a presumption that “we can always get a divorce,” invariably there is a divorce because the couple does not put the necessary work into their relationship. 

Couples who practice the evangelical counsels alongside their marriage vows invariably have successful marriages. It works as follows: 

Poverty: The holding of all things in common, after all, they are no longer two separate individuals, but one couple. 

Obedience: Obedience to God, the Scriptures, to the Church and to each other. 

Chastity: The total loving, nonexploitative self-giving to each other. 

We all need to remember that marriage is a sacrament that we administer to each other moment by moment. Everything we do is a source of grace. If my husband makes me a cup of coffee, he is administering matrimony to me; if I work to provide the family with an income, I am administering matrimony to him. 

— Rita Williams, Cardiff, Wales

Addiction’s side effect 

Re “Catholic psychologist trains confessors to battle pornography” (News Analysis, Aug. 8): 

Tragic as this situation is, at least people are going back to Reconciliation in droves! That’s a miracle in itself. Indeed, the horror of this sin has sent men and women crashing to their knees, begging God’s forgiveness, and isn’t that food for spiritual thought? 

I will be praying for those poor souls who suffer from this sin and from those who are victimized by this sin. God’s mercy is greater than all sin, however, and we do well to remember this. 

— Catherine O’Toole, via www.osv.com


The Aug. 15 Milestone regarding the appointment of Redemptorist Father Joseph Tobin as secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious was accompanied incorrectly by a photo of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I. We regret the error.