A bishop’s response to column
I read with interest your recent article “Bishops behaving badly, even 10 years after scandal start” (Openers, Jan. 22). I was consecrated to the episcopacy on Jan. 13, 2011. I said yes to the Holy Father’s request to embrace this role in a time when the Church is increasingly under siege by the secularism of our society, rising atheism, attacks on religious freedom and criticism of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Did I want this position? Frankly, no, I did not. But I accepted it fully understanding that for every pat on the back I received there is someone out there waiting to stab me in the back as well. As one of my brother bishops stated, “When you become a bishop, you get a bulls eye on your back.”
What type of bishop do I desire to be? Of course, I want to be pastoral. Of course, I want to be orthodox. Of course, I want to be zealous and inspire and teach the faith with courage and do my part to build up the Church. And, as I find myself committing to more and more meetings, I must remember and make conscious choices that reflect the type of bishop I want to be, the type of bishop the People of God desire.
I am an ordinary man who comes from ordinary people. I was born into this time for a particular purpose. And, at this point in time, graced with the fullness of the priesthood as a bishop of the Church, I have been called to step up and do my part. As we face the issues I mentioned above, we have no idea what the future holds. My consolation comes from what I said to those gathered in the Cathedral-Basilica on the day of my consecration, “God is faithful. He has brought me to this point and he will not abandon me. Do not be afraid.”
— Most Rev. Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
“Bishops behaving badly, even 10 years after scandal start” (Openers, Jan. 22) identified very well the weight of anger, disillusion and discouragement that saddles many practicing Catholics because the bishops still don’t seem to “get it” about clerical sexual abuse and/or misconduct. I have another issue with the bishops about something else they don’t seem to “get” — what their major role is as bishops! They are quick these days and for the past few decades to become politically active in writing Congress, addressing Congress and writing documents that address the intersection of some moral and political issues. But where are they when it comes to being the primary pastors and teachers of the people in their dioceses?
If the bishops would spend the time and energy on educating their own diocese members that they spend making national political statements, Catholics would take care of the slippery slope by how they vote.
— Sandy Wedel, Great Falls, Mont.
New Mass translation
Re: “Catholics getting comfortable with new Mass translation” (News Analysis, Jan. 29).
I can’t help but wonder how many of us peons in the pews you interviewed? We may “appear to be ... slowly accustoming” ourselves to the new translation, but from my viewpoint, that is only because we have no choice in the matter, but that doesn’t mean we like it! I don’t, and none of the people I know do. The new words are just a different way of saying exactly the same thing. In spite of all the hoopla and hype about it, the new words do not seem to be at all more poetic, reverent, uplifting, beautiful, meaningful, etc. It’s just tedious to have to read everything now.
The holier than thou intellectuals who insisted on forcing such pedantic phrases as “consubstantial with” and “incarnate of” upon us poor folks with only normal intelligence are in complete opposition to Vatican II’s call for a “simple, clear vernacular,” and are just, in my opinion, showing off how intelligent they are.
— Rita Conley, Sicklerville, N.J.
Blessing of the Hours
Thank you for your recent article on The Liturgy of the Hours (“Give Liturgy of the Hours a try in 2012,” Jan. 1).
About eight years ago, a young priest, Father Randy Soto, spent an extended time at our parish. He was/is a great teacher, and the first class of his that I attended was on the Liturgy of the Hours. One of the first things Father said was that there were two official prayers of the Church — The Mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours.
I had never heard that before! Before Father’s class, the Liturgy of the Hours was something monks prayed in remote monasteries as far as I was concerned, and I was a 63 year-old cradle Catholic! Are most Catholics as unaware as I was?
— Linda Spicer, Seminole, Fla.
Investing for Catholics says that Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are among the commonly traded companies that will not be found on a screened Catholic portfolio because they produce weapons and military products (“Investing with a clear conscience,” Jan. 8).
You will not find me or any of my World War II buddies among parish groups and Catholic activists participating in corporate boycotts against organizations that provide the very means of defending our great nation’s very existence.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best. “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”
— Ben Nicks, Shawnee, Kan.