No wisdom from the baby boomer generation
Re Greg Erlandson’s column “As the world turns” (Spectator, Sept. 18).
You refer to my generation’s disdain for the received wisdom of our elders. Had what we received from your generation been wisdom, we would have no reason for disdain. Instead we perceive a foolish, querulous and adolescent disregard for authority and your disdain for a patrimony unparalleled in the history of western civilization.
I am a layman born in 1980 and formed in the best catechesis your generation had to offer, which was minimalist at best (therefore it wasn’t much). What you described as a whirlwind of change following the Second Vatican Council, I would describe as a rupture from all that had preceded you — or at least its attempt.
What brought me to Christ, what has always brought people to Christ, is fidelity to the magisterium. What will bring us to fidelity is discipline, something we did not learn from you. It was something we have learned for ourselves and from the generations preceding you, an inheritance of patrimony your generation recklessly and foolishly betrayed.
— Seth Wm. Peters, Alpena, Mich.
Not amused by Rulli
Re “Catholic ‘screw-up’ explains why humor is essential to spiritual life” (In Focus, Sept. 25).
I suppose it’s possible to listen to Howard Stern and David Letterman for years and not be taken in or influenced by the foul language and inappropriate “humor” they seem to continuously spew out. Maybe Lino Rulli is just shilling his book as something semi-outrageous in hopes of cashing in on those “uptight Catholics” who may want to partake of some forbidden fruit, namely sex.
Sometimes there can be a fine line between revealing one’s “temptations” and one’s past failures or sins that were too good to forget, despite attempts to obtain forgiveness in confession. Many people can’t wait to explain to a national literary audience how they succeeded (or failed) in life and gain a bit of sympathy or even status with their life adventures. In the hedonistic culture we live in where anything goes — spare us those attempts at humor. Each of us has an obligation to build up the Church and not make fun of serious commandments and provide good example to others.
Authors might well consider how their works affect others and how people need to recognize sin in its various forms and not have the lines blurred.
But, of course, sex sells and money talks. This “uptight crank” will skip Rulli’s book. Enjoyed the rest of the related articles!
— Steven Gasper, San Antonio, Texas
Needed: Better topics
I was encouraged when I saw headline “Bishops begin work on new preaching document” (News Analysis, Sept. 25). Then when I read the topics for the draft, I was disappointed. Rarely do I hear a homily on important issues such as morality, right for life, abortion, the Ten Commandments, parental responsibility and proper example to inculcate Catholic faith, integrity in schools and workplace and support or nonsupport of politicians who support issues that are contrary to the teachings of the Church. For many Catholics, the Sunday sermons are the only instructions on the faith that they receive since their confirmation preparation. I hope that the final preaching document will provide more specifics.
— William Peery, Annapolis, Md.
Priest’s shining example
I was horrified to read that Father Frank Pavone has been sent back to Amarillo, Texas. A few weeks ago, we had a reading and a sermon concerning putting a light under a basket. Father Pavone has been a light indeed!
For years, those of us who were concerned about the life issues since Roe v. Wade, have been waiting and waiting for our churches to actively support us. We were thrilled when Father Pavone became a face for the Church and the babies.
Where did all the money come from for Father Pavone’s ministry? Probably from small individual donations, like ourselves. Why has there been so little comment about our bishops giving money to ACORN and to “women’s health services groups” that also fund Planned Parenthood?
The comment by canon law professor Ed Peters that Father Pavone has a “deficient understanding of what ordained priesthood is about in the first place” sounds a bit petty to me. It is amazing how often the Church works to put its brightest lights under a basket!
— LaVerne Sober, Greensburg, Pa.
Re “Phoenix altar servers” (This Week, Sept. 11).
Father John Lankeit wants only boys to serve at Mass as only they can be ordained into the priesthood. And serving at Mass might encourage them to this vocation. We certainly need more young men in this vocation. However, we have tons of teens not attending weekend Mass and not practicing their faith.
It is therefore my opinion that we should have high school age boys and girls serving at Mass. When teens who come to Mass see young teens in the sanctuary and serving at Mass, they will get a feeling of belonging.
We often see young children serving, and they are like angels. However, this might just foster the totally wrong idea that faith is for children and the old. Our youth is our future church, and we must do more to keep them as an active part of our Catholic family.
— Steve De Jong, British Columbia, Canada