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Letters to the Editor.

From Clare Burns

Fr. Joseph Thompson's "Inclusive language revisited" (C.I., Nov. 2000) was excellent. Thank you.

Toronto. ON

From J.K. MacKenzie re homosexuals

The article by Michael Coren on homosexual marriages in Catholic Insight (March 2001) makes some good points, but it is not entirely in agreement with Catholic doctrine. One of the statements with which one should take issue is that which describes homosexuals as "loving".

Almighty God commanded: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: because it is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22). One who engages in an act of sodomy is not "loving" his co-participant, because he is not willing eternal life for that person. Dr. D. Q. McInery (Jan. 2001) defines "love" as "...simply to will...the ultimate real good for another,...the supreme happiness of the other,...which is to say, eternal life with God." Sodomy is objectively a mortal sin, thus risking eternal damnation for the participants-"Do not deceive yourselves; sodomites...will inherit God's kingdom" (1 Cor. 6: 9-10).

On Feb. 20, 1994, regarding the European Parliament resolution proposing homosexual marriages, the Holy Father declared, "What is not morally acceptable is the legal approval of homosexual activity;...[the] resolution seeks to legitimize a moral disorder. The Parliament has institutionalized deviant kinds of behaviour not in conformity with God's plan;...the attempt has been made to tell the inhabitants of this continent that moral evil, deviation, a kind of slavery, is the way to liberation, thus distorting the true meaning of the family" (Catholic Insight, May 1994, p.5).

The Pontifical Council for the Family further instructed us on July 26, 2000, in Family, Marriage and 'De Facto' Unions, as follows," The state...must not institutionalize de facto unions, thereby giving them a status similar to marriage and the family, nor much less make them equivalent to the family based on marriage." The document mentions "the essential differences between the vital and necessary contribution to the common good of the family based on marriage, and the other reality that exists in merely emotional forms of cohabitation." Specifically, concerning homosexuals, it asserts, "Lastly, de facto unions' between homosexuals are a deplorable distortion of what should be a communion of love and life between a man and a woman in a reciprocal gift open to life" (

Therefore, it is not possible to legalize a homosexual relationship, either as "a domestic partnership" or "a recognized civil union" as mentioned by the author of the Catholic Insight article. It follows that neither should homosexuals be entitled to benefits relative to the relationship as suggested by the author, i.e., "legal and financial beneficiaries."

Finally, let us follow the advice of our Holy Father who exhorted us that "the insidious attacks on the family in modem hedonistic civilization... cannot be resisted except by prayer, fasting, and mutual love" (Catholic Insight, May 1994, p.5). Otherwise we may have another Sodom and Gomorrah--" And the Lord said...their sin is become exceedingly grievous (Gen. 18:20); "And the two angels...said, "For we will destroy this place; because their cry is grown loud before the Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them" (Gen. 19:13).

London, ON

From Colin Burke re imposing morality

Urbain Leblanc's letter and Michael Coren's column in March seem to reflect much the same view of imposing one's moral code on others. Mr. Leblanc doesn't want to impose his own moral code on women wanting abortion, provided they don't make him pay for it, and Mr. Coren seems not to want to impose his own moral code on "gay couples", provided they don't equate officially approved sodomy with his own idea of marriage.

I differ with those two; I want to impose my own moral code on everyone who belongs to the society of which I am a member, though anyone who likes may decline membership.

Societies are defined by their moral codes; those who can't agree on what they deem gravely wrong but still muddle along in mutual "toleration" belong not to a "pluralistic" society but merely a confused one; in societies truly pluralistic, all people, for different reasons in theory, yet accept the same moral standards in practice.

People sharing territory but at odds over morality deemed important belong to hostile societies which ought either to divide that territory or fight over it: a sane government in Canada now would organize and supervise formal duels between men who really care about what they vote for in opposing one another, except that our corporate masters wouldn't deem that to be "productive," and our media which say social conflicts must be resolved by rational discussion actually thrive on reviving those conflicts.

I know, I know: "violence is always wrong" and "violence begets more violence"; except that violence in the first instance means both wrongful use of force and any use of force not welcomed by the recipient--like a robber's being arrested by armed police; anyone raising that first objection is merely punning to deceitful purpose. And anyone who objects to violence's begetting violence, unless he says why violence is wrong in the first place, is only finding fault with reproduction, like any benighted pro-abortionist. Logical pacifists must equate moral wrong with purely physical unpleasantness, so that any who insist on purely peaceful protest against injustice must refrain from seeking police protection for the protesters.

Port au Port, NF

From Daniel Dauvin re Bishop Henry

Bravo to Bishop Henry for his February 25 article in the Calgary Sun reproving Jean Chretien and Joe Clark for their hypocritical and scandalous stand on the issue of human life. However, Bishop Henry did not include in his statement that any Catholic who deliberately and knowingly chooses abortion over human life becomes an enemy of Christ and excommunicates himself from his Church. In other words, Jean Chretien and Joe Clark are no longer Catholics. By their position they have renounced their Christian faith. If they dare to receive communion in the Catholic Church without having first publicly repented of their pro-abortion stand and reconciled themselves with the Church, they are committing a sacrilege against Christ who said, "What you do to the least of mine you do to Me."

Upholding the right to life, however, is not just a Catholic or a Christian issue; it is the sacred duty of all men and women of good will, regardless of their beliefs, because if we do not have the right to live, all other human rights are meaningless.

Killaloe, ON

From Lorne Ma her

Regarding Father Alphonse de Valk's article "Should Rock be excommunicated" (March 2001, editorial), I think he is asking the wrong question.

There is absolutely no doubt that Messrs Rock, Chretien and Clark are already under the penalty of latae sententiae (automatic, self-inflicted) excommunication. While professing to be practicing Catholics, they have publicly and obstinately denied a truth of the Catholic faith, as is obvious from The Code of Canon Law:

Can. 175 - Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and Catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Can. 1364, [ss]1 - An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 [ss]1, n. 2;

[ss]2 - If a longstanding contempt or the gravity of scandal calls for it, other penalties may be added, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

Therefore, they are already under the penalty of excommunication. The question Fr. de Valk should have asked is: when will our bishops have the guts to stand up and be counted and confirm this publicly?

Gatineau, QC

From Edward Collins re Christopher Dawson and Cardinal Mahony (March)

Catholic Insight just keeps getting better and better. I found the March issue especially provocative and would like to offer a comment on the connection, perhaps not readily apparent, between the two articles above.

A failure to distinguish between the "secular" and the "secularist" has caused untold grief. When Christopher Dawson speaks about "secular or neo-pagan civilization," his context makes his meaning perfectly clear. He is referring to the "secularist's" view of culture and civilization, namely, to refer to the process of removing God. This secularization is a danger to both the secular and the religious spheres of human existence.

However, we must not conclude that the "secular," when it is used to describe the world of non-religious affairs, is bad. Such sloppy thinking lies behind Cardinal Mahony's astigmatic vision of the Church. The Cardinal's view is that there are religious rites and secular rites: religious rites are good; secular rites are bad. It follows that the lay Catholic's salvation consists in becoming a religious "ritewright," i.e., a pseudo priest or nun. This view omits an important fact, viz., that the laity's abdication of its proper role as described in the Vatican II documents necessarily leaves the process of secularization unchecked.

Our secular culture has already lost its Catholic connections and threatens to descend into chaos. After inflicting pain and suffering on their fellow human beings, secularizers usually discover that a world without God is a world gone mad. The great irony is that this time they, the secularizers, are being aided by Catholics. Exactly how do Catholics further the process of secularization? They do so by insisting on doing a job other than their own: priests and nuns want to write novels, analyze mental patients, pass laws, or fight a revolution in the banana belt; married women want to drive eighteen-wheelers or make deals on Wall Street; mothers of small children want to check out your groceries for you or write you a prescription for your lumbago.

Meanwhile, the Catholic laity as a whole is split one percent to 99 percent. The one percent wants desperately to get inside the sanctuary to do something--anything !--and the remaining 99 percent, since they are denied both spiritual nourishment and proper social guidance, simply want to be left alone. We can all hope that Catholics, both clerical and lay, will soon come to know and take seriously the directives of Vatican II. When that day arrives, the 99 percent will begin to renew secular culture, from which will appear an abundant supply of young men and women to respond to religious vocations. And Cardinal Mahony's daydream will pop like a decaying bubble.

Sarnia, ON
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 1, 2001
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