Amorality running rampant among Catholics

Re: “Faith and morality” (This Week, March 30).

Our Sunday Visitor recently reported that the Pew Research Center released a survey indicating in the United States that 46 percent of people indicated it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral. What’s next?

A few years ago a survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found 58 percent of American Catholics believe we can be “good” Catholics while disregarding the teachings on abortion; 66 percent believe one can ignore the Church’s position on divorce and remarriage; 75 percent believe one can disregard the ban on birth control; 76 percent think one doesn’t have to go to church every Sunday.

Since that survey, our bishops have reported, the practice of the sacrament of penance is practically nonexistent, Catholic college students involved in the practice of intercourse is alarming and the cohabitation of unmarried Catholic couples is on the increase.

With the general disrespect of morality by the general public under the right of “free expression” it would seem to me, amorality is oozing its way into the lifestyles of our youths and young adults. It is surprising this path of spiritual destruction hasn’t been addressed to families in the homilies at Sunday Masses.

Bill Bandle, Manchester, Mo.

Men’s fellowship

Re: “New kind of male bonding” (Essay, March 23).

Karl Schultz’s article was certainly challenging to those of us who have been at the forefront of the Catholic men’s movement over these past 15-plus years.

Karl is partly correct. The content of many speakers’ presentations are elementary because they are attempting to reach a broad audience. The “spiritually mature man” he mentioned is not the focus of most conferences. The focus has always been the Catholic man who is starving to death spiritually and needs a reminder of the basic elements of his faith.

In December 2001, the USCCB’s national symposium on Leadership for Ministry with Catholic Men, found the bishops saying, “The Catholic men’s movement in the United States is alive and well, and the bishop’s role(s) should be ‘hands off.’” Karl, your expansive suggestions in this article fly in the face of those clergy’s findings. You can obtain a copy of this report through the USCCB, entitled: Catholic Men’s Ministries, published May 2002.

Mike Anderson, Portage, Mich.

Avoid temptation

Re: “Awareness is critical to fight off temptation” (Faith, March 23).

Thank you for reminding us that “awareness is critical to fight off temptation.” We are at war, and knowledge of our enemy’s tactics is indispensable. Temptation to sin is never a good, and the best way to deal with it is to avoid it. Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Two truths are implied in this petition: The first is it is not God’s desire that we enter into temptation. The second is protection from temptation is not automatic. We have to ask! It is far wiser and safer to develop the fruits of grace under the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit than to welcome temptation as an aid to virtue.

Margret Meyer, Jacksonville, Fla.

Free speech

Re: “The right direction” (Eye on Culture, March 30).

In the case of bullying or freedom of speech, it is sometimes difficult to know where to draw the line. Although you may disagree with what One Direction were saying in their song, they were expressing their freedom of speech. And later when so many others repeatedly defended those views, it was still freedom of speech.

Bobby Cook, Glen Ridge, N.J.