Eye-opening Catechism quiz

Re: “How well do you know the Catechism?” (In Focus, July 8). 

I was appalled at the score I received on the Catechism of the Catholic Church quiz. I have read and quoted the Catechism frequently, and I teach Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at my parish. I was taking the quiz with input from my father, who teaches religious education at a Catholic parochial school, and we still only scored 46 out of 60 correct — that’s a C minus! 

It goes to show how very much we have to learn, even those who have been steeped in doctrine from the cradle. For example, we did not know that teaching about respect for creation and animals falls under the Seventh Commandment and its doctrine about respect for the integrity of created goods. It makes sense, now that we’ve read the relevant section. 

We are thankful for the teaching moment your latest issue provided. 

Name withheld, Alpena, Mich.

‘Literal’ interpretation

Re: “How well do you know the Catechism?” (In Focus, July 8). 

I enjoyed taking the Catechism test. My copy of the Catechism, along with the Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is considerably marked up, and I also consult YouCat, the official Youth Day catechism. 

According to my Catechism, your “false” answer to true-false content question No. 3, regarding a literal interpretation of the Bible, is incorrect. The correct answer is “true,” and is found in Catechism No. 116.  

Your “false” answer is a response to a non-Catholic use of “literal” interpretation of the Bible, what some call the “literalist” interpretation of the Bible, rather than the Catholic use of “literal” interpretation of the Bible in Catechism Nos. 109-119. 

Thank you for the website for the Catechism — it is great! 

May God bless you. 

John Gishpert, Denver, Colo.

Taking responsibility

I recently heard a well-known speaker on Catholic radio say that we should accept whatever situation we’re in as God’s perfect will for us. I plan to send her a copy of Emily Stimpson’s excellent article, “Discerning God’s positive and permissive will” (Faith, June 24). 

Many devout Christians view resignation to circumstances as identical with submission to God’s will. If that were the case, why would Jesus have taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? Obviously, the way God’s will is done on earth falls far short of how it is done in heaven, and our prayers are supposed to have a direct impact on that. 

It is impossible to take full responsibility for our own sinful choices and to truly repent as long as we believe that things somehow had to happen this way.  

Sin is never God’s desire; we chose it without any help from him. 

Margret Meyer, Jacksonville, Fla.

The whole teaching

Re: “More balance needed” (Letters to the Editor, July 8). 

I have been a subscriber to this newspaper for a few years now and there have been times my frustration level has risen because of my perception that OSV leans too far to the left or too far to the right.  

In the end, as a practicing Catholic who understands being Catholic means swallowing the “whole pill,” not only the parts that agree with me — for example, birth control means NFP; life is conception until death; marriage is between a man and a woman only; give God my best, not my leftovers, etc. — I think you need to be congratulated on the balance you strike trying to cover as many opinions of the laypeople as you do, but more importantly on sticking to what the Church actually teaches. 

Heather Mendoza, via email

Regard for clergy

Re: “Ireland’s future” (God lives, July 1). 

I have no idea where Msgr. Owen F. Campion grew up, but I am almost certain that it was not in Boston in an Irish-American home. 

I say this because my mother and father passed on to us the “unquestioning regard for clergy,” etc. When the sex abuse scandal hit the papers, it was in Boston, as you will recall, and it continues to be devastating in its impact.

Lawrence L. Donovan, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Misleading caption

Re: “Weighing the ethics of international surrogacy” (News Analysis, July 15). 

The caption to the photograph accompanying the story of surrogate mothers in India does not make sense and is seriously misleading. 

Surrogate mothers definitely do not “carry fertilized eggs until delivery.”  

Fertilized eggs, as such, last but moments after fertilization of the ovum (egg) by the sperm, and immediately thereafter are involved in division and differentiation through stages properly lumped under the term “embryo,” and later, “fetus.”  

In in vitro (IVF) fertilization, which is done prior to transfer to a surrogate’s womb, it is a human embryo, usually at the blastocyst stage, that is transferred.  

Regardless, the surrogate carries a developing human child, from embryo to fetus to baby until delivery, not a fertilized egg! 

Please correct the misleading, pro-abortion-choice-justifying misconception that the baby is only a “fertilized egg!” 

W.A. Krotoski, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Baton Rouge, La.