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Letter of criticism.

My dismay is equally divided between the content of Stanley Jasic's letter (Catholic Insight, May, 2008) and your decision to publish it. The responsibility for considerable potential for harm is also twofold--his because his letter is abundant in errors and yours because readers living outside the Niagara region might actually believe that there is some fact in what he has written. Please tell me your intent was to promote debate.

For a little comic relief we might have once said, "The devil made me do it." In Adam's case, "It was the woman'. Now we're told it's all the fault of Vatican II. Really? What happened to personal responsibility?

If we choose not to attend Mass on Sundays, it will almost certainly be because we're lazy, rebellious or culpably ignorant of God's commandment and the consequence of such disobedience. Vatican II did not empty the pews.

If some priests, at whatever level, make a conscious decision to ignore, neutralize or justify sin, it might be for the same reasons, not because of Vatican II. If Catholic parents and teachers deliberately fail to instruct those children placed in their care, do not blame Vatican II.

The same applies to misplaced loyalty and pride when we bend the knee to political principalities which espouse an agenda designed to destroy Catholic (and other Christian) doctrine. Vatican II doesn't even get a vote.

Much of the harm in Mr. Jasic's letter rests in the fact that he has targeted and identified a spiritually faithful bishop. Moreover, his assertions against Bishop James Wingle and his willingness to listen on the subject of abortion, are absolutely false.

Bishop Wingle repeatedly put his mouth, his teaching and his face on the line when it came to opposing this sin and social outrage. His Grace never hesitated when asked to participate in the distribution of the superb pro-life material, produced by the St. Catharines pro-life activists. His same willingness was seen in his participation in the regional Life Chain.

Because Mr. Jasic appears to include the bishop's confreres in his epistle, a little clarification and truth is in order. At the last pro-life banquet I attended, there were six priests--including the Bishop, who was humble enough to carry his own plate back to the kitchen--at the head table. In this they were ably supported by the Mother Superior and five Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Hardly a sign of closed minds and hearts.

In my own parish, the exhortations to participate in Life Chain went far beyond a flyer pinned to the bulletin board. The microphone was frequently turned over to organizers in order to stress the importance of this annual event.

As former co-ordinators of the Marriage Preparation Programme, my husband and I were instructed, by our parish priest, to present priests who would not hesitate to showpiece both the blessing and the curse spoken by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy. Furthermore we were both requested to personally devote a lengthy workshop to Preparation for Parenthood and the Sanctity of Human Life. Again, not a demonstration of a closed mind of heart by a priest. Rather the sign of a faithful and fearless apostle.

I find the criticism of the late and great Pope John Paul II almost too odious to address. The man was a visionary, abundant in love, humility,

obedience and courage.

The same applies to his successor Pope Benedict XVI.

Finally, the Church will survive. The merits of Vatican II notwithstanding, She will survive not because of conferences or clever argument but because of one very simple but stunningly profound promise, "I am with you all days, even to the end of the world."

Welland, ON
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Author:Purcell, Margaret
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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