Sticking to Catholic principles
The June 3 issue was an excellent presentation of the state of the Church and church-state relations in America today. The only thing missing were the reasons for the state of affairs. The Church took a sharp turn to the secular in the 1960s by getting over-involved with the process of such concerns as poverty, war, justice and economic matters and by abdicating its teaching role of presenting basic principles to the people.
Concurrently, there began the diminution of Catholic education at the elementary and secondary levels and a transformation of many universities to little more than carbon copies of their secular counterparts. From this has sprung such travesties as speakers who are diametrically opposed to basic Catholic belief being invited to receive honors at Catholic institutions of higher learning. We have also seen the closing of Catholic schools or the transforming them into elitist institutions beyond the financial reach of most parishioners with only a nod to the underprivileged by establishing a few scholarships for the needy to maintain the appearance of “caring.”
Finally, the Church has become so identified with one political party that the ordinary of a major archdiocese participated in what amounted to a public state funeral of a high ranking “Catholic” politician who opposed every effort to protect the unborn.
It’s little surprise then that the federal government thought it could ignore Catholic belief with little consequence. We have arrived at a place where it is no wonder that many Catholics see little to differentiate their Church from any man-made institution. It is also little wonder that the churches growing the fastest are those that have principles and stick to them.
— Donald Link, Louisville, Ky.
Teaching the teachers
Re: “A difficult case” (God Lives, May 20).
In his column, Msgr. Owen F. Campion tells of a teacher at a Catholic school in Fort Wayne, Ind., whose contract was not renewed by the pastor, Msgr. John Kuzmich. It was alleged that she had stated publicly that she underwent in vitro fertilization in an effort to become pregnant. The Church teaches that this procedure is gravely immoral. The teacher in question is protesting in civil court.
I support Msgr. Kuzmich’s decision. However, I have read that the teacher stated that she did not know the Church’s teaching in this regard. She may have thought that what she was doing was pro-life and meritorious.
If a Catholic school wants its teachers to be models of Catholic living in such matters, it must inform those teachers, both Catholic and non-Catholic, of what Catholic teachings are — and the reasoning behind these teachings — before hiring them. It cannot assume that applicants for such positions, Catholic or non-Catholic, are familiar with these teachings.
The Church has not always done a very good job of instructing Catholics of its teachings in regard to sexual and life issues.
I pray that some good will come out of this situation.
— Diane Isabelle Reinke, Silver Spring, Md.
What future holds
Thank goodness for Msgr. Owen F. Campion’s column “Shrinking Influence” (God Lives, June 3), with the subtitle “Fewer and fewer Americans believe religion is important. What this means for Church’s future.”
His column is a succinct, detailed analysis of the problems facing the Catholicism of our baby boomer generation and their children’s religious future, “and the future of the Church” is the most important part of his statements.
Msgr. Campion’s column should be read at every Sunday Mass and be the subject of the homily. It probably will never happen because our baby boomer priests and bishops are loath to hurt the feelings of today’s casual Catholics.
— Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.
Appropriate for kids
Re: “New movie honors Mexican martyrs’ heroism” (News Analysis, May 27).
“For Greater Glory” is a well-made movie about a moment in history that Catholics especially should help to recover from obscurity. I saw it on June 1, the day it was released in theaters.
Parents needn’t worry about the R rating if they’re thinking of taking their junior high and high school children.
Such violence and cruelty as there is in the film is mostly quite muted by today’s standards, and after all, it merely depicts what the 14-year-old Jose Sanchez del Rio had to deal with in real life.
Young Catholics, in particular, need to see that if they are seeking a place to be heroes, the Catholic Church has been a great place for it.
— Bob March, via online comment
Setting an example
Re: “The next generation” (In Focus, June 17).
Our youths need more examples of faith and duty among older adults. Let us be those examples.
I have a 21-year-old daughter who wants to be a cloistered or contemplative nun. My 18-year-old has spent the past three years actively involved in the youth ministry at our church. They are both strong Catholics. I am so proud to be their mother.
— Geraldine Duddleston Young, via online comment