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How a Catholic should live is the key issue Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I’d like to add a few observations to Fr. Robert Barron’s column, “It doesn’t matter what you believe . . .” (Catholic Herald, December 4 issue). He reports that “88 percent of those surveyed said ‘how a person lives is more important than whether he or she is a Catholic.’”

However, if the respondents had been asked, “How should a Catholic live?” the answers would not have been cavalier at all.

Father Barron attributes the split between doctrine and ethics to the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant. This is certainly a factor.

However, Kant stated, “Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands.” It sounds orthodox, but we as Catholics from 1827 to 1966 were not allowed to read Kant.

The issue of how a Catholic should live is of the utmost importance. That is why we must examine in the light of day not only our own practices, but those of our leaders, if they are to be moral leaders.

Kickbacks on Vatican maintenance contracts, improprieties including money laundering by the Vatican Bank, and the fact that slave labor ended only in 1996 when the last Magdalene Laundry closed show how difficult it is even for our leaders to live as Catholics.

Tom Roberts, Madison