Polls can’t reveal Catholic truths

“Evaluating the accuracy of Catholic polls” (News Analysis, April 14) 

Polls cannot reveal what Catholics believe. To know what Catholics believe, one must study the Catechism of the Catholic Church. By definition, Catholics believe what the Church teaches as eternal truths, that is, as unchangeable truths. 

One who believes that there can be such a thing as homosexual marriage, or that women can be priests, or that the use of artificial contraceptives is acceptable are not Catholics; they are Protestants, guilty of the heresy of modernism.  

Of course, we are all sinners, so it is possible to believe what the Church teaches yet fail to practice it.  

The Church is full of sinners, but lack of belief separates one from the Church, by definition. Our bishops and priests need to start teaching this fact, this distinction. 

Patrick Christle, New Haven, Ind.

Plan B is abortifacient

Re: “Failing our children” (Editorial, April 21). 

This was a wonderful article about the many problems associated with the Plan B One-Step drug (also known as “the morning-after pill”). Another very important problem with the morning-after pill is that if a young life has been conceived, taking the morning-after pill starves that newly conceived life by not allowing it to implant in the uterus to receive the nutrients it needs to grow.  

Thus, women taking this drug may be aborting a newly conceived life that is still making its way down the fallopian tube. 

Nancy Kiolbasa, Stillwater, Minn.

Truly pastoral approach

Re: “A delicate balance” (Editorial, April 14). 

You ask how does the Church act pastorally while still upholding what it knows to be true? I would suggest that upholding what it knows to be true IS acting pastorally (i.e. “to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and guaranteeing them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error.” See Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 890).  

However, if your definition of “pastoral” mirrors the common definition (i.e. tolerance, acceptance, permissiveness, don’t offend, etc.) then we already have the de facto answer. The Church has been acting pastorally in that we no longer hear the truth about adultery, cohabitation, contraception, abortion, gay activity and sacramental marriage, among many other significant moral issues of our day. This pastoral approach has resulted in the condition of the Church today. We need a robust discussion regarding the proper definition of “pastoral” and some improvement as we go forward.  

Should not editorials be hard-hitting and specific? Lately it seems that those found in OSV are the religious equivalent of the financial advise of “buy low, sell high.” 

Tom Bobrowski, Comstock Park, Mich.

Blessings of age

Re: “Global gray wave” (In Focus, April 14) and “Aging’s effects on the Church” (In Focus, April 21). 

The perception of old age as a period of decline, in which human and social inadequacy is taken for granted, is very widespread today. But this is a stereotype. It does not take into account a condition that is far more diversified, because older people are not a homogenous human group and old age is experienced in different ways. 

Older adulthood is a time of life that offers new opportunities for growth and commitment. There are others more numerous in our day for whom old age is a traumatic experience, and who react to their own aging with attitudes ranging from passive resignation to rebellion, rejection and despair. They become locked into themselves and marginalize themselves, thus accelerating the process of their own physical and mental deterioration.  

Therefore, we need to situate aging in a context of a precise providential scheme of God who is love. We need to accept it as a stage in the journey by which Christ leads us to the Father’s house (Jn 14:2). 

Aubert J. Lemrise, Peru, Ill.

Curia made simple

Re: “What is the Curia?” (God Lives, April 7). 

I really appreciated Msgr. Owen Campion’s article about the Curia. He did a wonderful job of translating Church words into plain English. The Church does itself, its members and the general public no favors by using vocabulary that is unfamiliar to most people. 

Thank you, Msgr. Campion, for making the Church’s governing agencies and its employees come to life! 

Patrick K. Seltzer, Deming, N.M.

Precedent already set

“New Big East Conference has distinctive Catholic feel” (News Analysis, April 7). 

Scott Alessi says that the new Big East is unprecedented in college basketball. 

I beg to differ. The Metro Atlantic Athletic League (MAAC) hosts nine Catholic colleges (Iona College, Manhattan College, Siena College, Canisius College, Niagara University, Fairfield University, Marist College, St. Peter’s University and Loyola University-Maryland) and one non-Catholic school, Rider University, like Butler in the new Big East. 

John Dillon, Bronx, N.Y.