Politics and the Eucharist in the Catholic Church
Regarding your May 28 story "No communion for contrary Catholics: a good idea?": Putting aside the seemingly political motivations of the Roman Catholic Church to deny communion to politicians who support women's reproductive rights, there are deeper problems at the heart of this decision. If it's the opinion that is the sin, then the church would have to know the opinions of all who are about to receive communion, and not just the opinions of elected officials. What about other sins? What separates the sin of supporting abortion from thoughts of violence or the desire to bring death upon others? If an elected official casts a vote in support of women's rights, and then confesses this grave sin, then has not the forgiveness of Jesus Christ made this person worthy to receive communion again? If elected officials are to be denied communion for not being worthy, then we should all be denied communion.
The Catholic Church is not telling anyone how to vote. It's telling those who disagree with fundamental church doctrines that if they choose to vote in a certain way, they should not consider themselves Catholics - that this evidence of their rejection of definitive church teaching is something that sets them apart from the church.
This is an issue of Christian identity. Had bishops done this 30 years ago, at the beginning of the "culture of dissent" that has flowered in the church, this would not be an issue and no one would be surprised. It is only because open dissent has become the norm, as evidenced by groups such as the "Voice of the Faithful," that people are surprised to be reminded that following Christ involves certain faith norms. If you do not believe what Christ taught, you cannot claim to be a follower of Christ. It's that simple.
Contrary to the view stated in your May 25 article "National Parks Falling Fast into Disrepair," the "See America's National Parks" campaign is exactly what the nation needs. One of the campaign's top objectives is to sell park passes that immediately increase revenue for needed repairs and improvements. Secondly, the parks won't be saved by hiding them from the public. We're working to raise awareness of less-known and less-visited National Park sites to strengthen Americans' connection with and support for these national treasures while helping take some pressure off of the most heavily visited ones.
William S. Norman
President & CEO, Travel Industry Association of America
The attitude expressed by your May 26 editorial "WWII's Central Place" will make freedom difficult to defend in ongoing years. The idea that "the US saved the world in the mid-20th century" is literally true. Without American industrial might and 16 million participants from the US, the Allies would have failed. Surely, however, the effort was a combined one. The British, Russians, and Canadians all must raise their eyebrows at the Monitor's attitude.
In regard to the war on terrorism, only animosity will be propagated among our allies unless a team attitude is taken. We must work with the international community in the battle against terrorism and have the communities from Madrid to New York behind us. This will take not a pompous attitude that "we" [Americans] will save the world. What's needed is respect for others as free nations band together and share information and law-enforcement programs to fight terrorism in the 21st century.
William P. Jacobus
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