Weigel should respect other Catholics' points of view
To the editor:
I am saddened and angered at the mean-spirited and polarizing column of George Weigel in the April 28 Catholic Herald in which he categorically labels anyone who questions certain church practices as Catholics who want to know, "How little can I believe, and how little can I do, and still remain Catholic?" He must believe you can label people of opposing viewpoints "minimalist Catholics" and thus negate their legitimacy as Catholics.
Surely he knows that unrest among some Catholics is primarily because of church practice and not because of church doctrine or dogma. He must also know that "practice" does not have equal status as dogma or doctrine. He must also know that "practice" has been revised and reformed down through the ages. Indeed, institutions refusing self study and revision when necessary suffer the consequence of stagnation and death. It is love for the church and loyalty to that church which requires some Catholics to question practices outside dogma, doctrine, and infallibility.
He further states that this conclave, "May mark the moment at which the 40 year effort to force Catholicism to tailor its doctrine and its message to the tastes of secular modernity crashed and burned." Does he not accept Vatican II whose constitutions and documents were approved by a pope and the assembly of cardinals and bishops at that time? Does he negate them and the many learned and respected theologians and "people in the pews" as people of strong faith and deep love of the church? Why is he so afraid? Why are understandings to new questions so frightening? Why are people who raise questions so threatening?
Mr. Weigel is a columnist with an opinion. I respect that. However, his readers are loyal Catholics with opinions also. He would do well to write respectfully of them.
He won't bring me to even entertain his point of view until he recognizes the dignity of Catholics who love their church as he does but whose informed conscience brings them to a different conclusion.
Joan Prendergast, Janesville
Thanks bishop and clergy for education, inspiration
To the editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Morlino for the spiritually challenging Confirmation Ceremony he conducted at St. Victor Parish on May 8. Bishop was indeed the "Good Shepherd" leading his flock with staff in hand, as he blessed the confirmed with the gift of the Spirit and the gift of wisdom.
Using his mild manner and subtle humor, Bishop painted the scenario of the secular definition of "Heaven." Using the local brewery, pop culture idols, and today's lifestyle, he assured them "that was not Heaven." Being no stranger to the difficult decisions they are facing, he reassured them that making the right choices leads to heaven. What a perfect time and place to call for "Catholic Accountability."
At the end of Mass using two of the confirmed, Bishop gave an animated and heartwarming plea for young women and men to seriously consider vocations. His two shining examples of what a difference they can make in our church and community, were Monroe's own favorite sons, Msgr. Tom Campion and Fr. Mike Klarer.
Special thanks to Bishop Morlino, and all the clergy, for their "education and inspiration" which keeps the Holy Spirit alive in our hearts and our diocese!
Dorene Shuda, Jefferson
Bells not necessary today
To the editor:
The two-page article by Matthew Herrera on Sanctus bells (April 21 issue [print edition only]) is astonishing, both for its sloppy thinking and for the amount of space you give it.
Herrera states three rationales for the use of Sanctus bells, each of which would be better served in another way. Creating a joyful noise to the Lord is far better accomplished by good, participative music than by ringing a one-note bell. Second, signaling to those not in attendance that something supernatural is occurring can only be accomplished by the use of tower bells.
His third reason is to "wake up" the congregation to the consecration. The use of Sanctus bells was no doubt necessary when the priest turned his back toward us and spoke in Latin. We do have a similar problem today in that the consecration prayer, while in English, is in such stilted language that many Catholics daydream through it.
But we also know it is possible to create engaging consecration prayers because those intended for congregations with children are stated in simple, inviting terms that compel one to pay attention. How much better it would be to make the consecration interesting than to use bells to wake us up!
Don Haasl, Cross Plains
Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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