From readers: August 10, 2017

| August 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

Thoughtful perspectives

Kudos to the “Commentary” writers in the July 13 edition. All articles of Ramon Garcia, Father Schmitz, Christina Capecchi and Laura Fanucci were well written and thought provoking. I was pleased to read these and share the columnists’ viewpoints. As a very longtime subscriber of The Catholic Spirit, I appreciate your efforts to keep our often challenged community informed and inspired. It may seem like an often thankless job. Know that we are out there who appreciate your service.

Mary Trisko
St. John the Baptist, New Brighton

Denying grace for better life

Re: “[Illinois] Bishop prohibits Catholics in same-sex unions from receiving Communion,” July 31. A placebo is commonly known as a sham medication, having no true benefit, but only an imagined benefit to those who believe in it strongly enough. A truly efficacious medication, such as penicillin, renders a cure whether or not one understands it or believes in it. I have been taught that our Catholic sacraments, such as the Eucharist, are truly efficacious, not just placebos. They are a conduit of the grace to live a better life. If this is the case, why would the Eucharist ever be denied to anyone? It seems to me that to deny sinners the Eucharist is like a physician denying penicillin to someone dying of syphilis. Is this what our Church is about? An explanation please.

G. J. Mayer
St. Peter, Forest Lake

God’s law is not a democracy

Re: “Don’t withhold sacraments” (Letters, July 27) This is a common approach today, saying that God loves “unconditionally,” therefore we shouldn’t “condemn” and “embrace … the other.” First of all, if you are in a same-sex union, you are not a practicing Catholic. Second, Jesus came to fulfill God’s laws, underscore “laws.” Jesus demands loyalty to God the Father; he came to fulfill the law — this isn’t a democracy. Note “king” is in his title. Third, Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” The truth is, God made man and woman and set the parameters. For a person to challenge that is to challenge the way, the truth — and eventually, the life. Today’s “culture” challenges rules. But the rules are given to help us guide our way. These rules were given by God, and it’s not our place to decide that God will forgive and forget that we choose not to obey. God does show mercy — when one turns from sin and sins no more. But he does not have a place in heaven for those who decide his rules are outdated and don’t fit the current whims of individuals.

Sharon Peterson
St. Joseph, Rosemount

Christians serve, not judge

I was enjoying reading the July 13 edition of “The Catholic Spirit,” hearing how we as Catholics spread the word of God and live to love all. As a disciple of God and a practicing Catholic, turning others away from the Church is not what God instructed us to do. The Church is the people, all people, accepting all sinners as Jesus did and taught. To see the article “Bishop prohibits Catholics in same-sex unions from receiving Communion” explicitly condemning and turning away God’s children is upsetting.

To intentionally turn someone away from the right to have anointing of the sick or a Catholic funeral is not following Jesus. We are not here to be the judge, no matter what your title may be; we are to love and serve all. As a Catholic, it broke my heart to read this article. I will pray for The Catholic Spirit to better choose what they are printing and what message they want to convey to the world. We serve, not judge. I will pray for the Catholic Church.

Heidi Blanchette
St. Stephen, Anoka

Church’s teachings will not change

I understand that there is, always has been and always will be dissent within the Catholic Church. I do not expect an archdiocesan newspaper whose mission is surely to promote the clearly defined, unchanging doctrines of Christ’s Church to lend a microphone to those who sow that dissent (Letters, July 27).

There are many churches which accept same-sex marriage, contraception, women’s ordination and other practices which the Catholic Church opposes. People who embrace those beliefs would do themselves and orthodox Catholics a favor if they would simply join the denomination that expresses their faith. But if they want to be Catholic, they do not get to make the Church over to their particular preferences.

The Scriptures (e.g. Gen 1:27 and Mt 19:4-6 for starters) and sacred tradition clearly state the law of God — and the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ — cannot and will not change that law any more than it will change the law of gravity. Those who claim they are loving others by allowing forbidden practices may just be loving them into hell.

Anne Callopy
St. Augustine, South St. Paul

Catholic identity questions

Re: “Nothing less than Catholic,” July 27. Archbishop Hebda speaks of Catholic institutions being responsible for the “deposit of faith” given to us through the “magisterium.” What is meant by “deposit of faith”? What is meant by “magisterium”? I think the problem we have in our archdiocesan culture at present is that we have had too much emphasis on defining “Catholic identity” and contention over the “deposit.” For some, it is a set of criteria by which those who pass can exclude those whom they judge to be deficient. They substitute “catechetics” for “faith” and silence questioning. Perhaps if faith-filled Catholics run a blue-ribbon hospital or school or food shelf, the identity will be evident. The key is faith-filled people. I welcome Archbishop Hebda’s continued teaching on this subject.

Would Archbishop Hebda consider allowing comments and questions after his column [online]?

Paula Ruddy
St. Albert the Great, Minneapolis

Editor’s note: Going forward, The Catholic Spirit will allow online comments on the “Only Jesus” column.

Share your perspective by emailing Please include your parish and phone number. The Commentary page does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Catholic Spirit. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

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Category: From Readers