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Letters

07/01/2015
A one-sided view of the church’s faults is ‘most uncharitable’

The Editor: I’ve read the book review several times of the “eminent American historian and Catholic thinker Garry Wills” in the May 20 Prairie Messenger. Though not a theologian, I’m certain that this “Catholic” thinker does not love the church, and his plans for her are no different than the protesters way back in history.

To look back on all the church’s efforts to protect the Scriptures from distortion and protect the faithful from being misled reminds me of what Rev. Avery Dulles said: “The Catholic sees in this ‘no arbitrary authoritarianism, but a gracious disposition of providence.’ ”

It is love of the faithful that motivates and has motivated the hierarchy and the papacy. To find unworthy motives in the church’s use of Latin, to assign devious and self-serving motives and fictional accounts of our beginnings just to strenthen her claims as a “divine right” ruler over the world is unjust.

Again, when St. Thomas Aquinas taught about the natural law, I’m pretty certain he was not justifying the superiority of males in the church.

The list of complaints is familiar: the church interferes with our wishes to live as we see fit, e.g., sexuality, artificial birth control and, of course, confession.

Confession invites us to really look at ourselves in the light of what we know about the love of God for ourselves and his love for each person. The church has so much respect for each one of us that she reminds us by the sacrament of confession that what we do or omit to do is important even if it is sinful and leads us away from God. God forgives and forgets, but we must “be a man” and face up to what we are and what we could be.

Many people like the church but don’t want to get into the details of what it means to be good.

Helping people become “holy” when we are wounded and lazy is not easy and for Catholics to complain and bring up only the church’s faults is most uncharitable. — Anne Campbell, Winnipeg