Ave Maria, it’s a girl!
Letters: Prisoner of the Vatican
It is with a mild sense of trepidation that I bring to Dr Joe Morley’s attention an error in an otherwise interesting article (Pope can step down if he wants to, CW 2/6).
Pius XI – not Paul VI – was the last “prisoner of the Vatican”. It was in his Pontificate that the Holy See and the Italian Government signed the Lateran Agreement which made the Pope the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and gave him the freedom to travel freely in Italy and elsewhere.
Severino M Milazzo
DASH FOR FREEDOM
Two young brothers who made a bold dash for freedom from the Woomera detention centre have been handed over to authorities by the British Consulate, where they sought asylum, and are once again incarcerated.
We have failed this particular family and numerous others.
The fair dinkum Aussie of yesteryear would have said: “You wouldn’t treat a mongrel dog like that.”
FREE VOTE ON ABORTION
Gavan Grimes asks (Godbotherers, Letters CW 23/6) why – “if for all practical purposes Catholics who hold beliefs about pro-life policies, etc, are excluded from membership” – Catholics should vote for the ALP?
The ALP is the oldest and largest political party in Australia.
It could not retain its position unless it allowed members, including Catholics, a free vote on abortion.
The Liberal and National parties when in power have never moved to restrict abortion. They are guilty of hypocrisy when they attack the ALP on this issue.
‘GOOD OLD DAYS?’
Some of the statements by Fr Desmond O’Donnell in comparing “the good old days” with the present “real Church” (‘Good old days’ are starting now, Reflections CW 30/6) need to be addressed.
1. The real Church is not the numbers at Sunday Mass nor the number of men in seminaries ... or even its priests and bishops …
2. The real Church is the quality of people’s relationships with God, with themselves, with one another and with the environment.
The real Church (Catholic) goes back 2000 years, founded by Jesus Christ with its loyal numbers regularly attending on Sundays the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, inter alia, “represents Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary” (1366), “thanksgiving to God the Father for all His benefits” (1405) and “reparation for the sins of the living and the dead” (1414).
The Third Commandment clearly states this essential element of our faith, and we must also keep in mind His exhortation from Scripture to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers into His vineyard” which clearly debunks Fr O’Donnell’s statement.
Regarding the second part we could again quote from Scripture: “... even the pagans do that”.
E J Baulman
It is disturbing to find, even at the back of the paper, an article based on a speech by Sr Joan Chittister OSB (Eco-feminism and ‘enough is enough’, page 23, CW 14/7), a notable dissenter who is notorious as the nun who defied the Vatican to be a principal speaker at the Women’s Ordination Worldwide International Conference in Dublin last year.
Articulate and appealing in her rhetoric, Sr Joan is one of several American religious who espouse issues contrary to Church teaching and assume a licence and authority for preaching in support of them. Sr Joan peddles innuendo and plays on those less learned, with distortions of history.
In the article you publish, she advocates ‘eco-feminism’ with its undertones of pantheism.
As is usual for dissidents of her type, she subtly expresses intense hate for so-called male domination in the Church but leaves unsaid that she wants her heterodox teachings to prevail.
In her writings she conveniently overlooks the high importance of women in the Church, accusing the Church for what she labels women’s pauperisation and invisibility.
To allow her views even limited but uncritical exposure in your paper does not diminish her disobedience nor her deviation from official teaching, nor excuse her attacks on the Church from which she and her fellows make the untenable claim of loyal dissent.
It is pleasing to see Sheikh Hilaly and other Muslim leaders taking some positive action confirming with the families of the pack rapists that religion and race cannot be used as excuses for criminal acts of hate against others.
But it would be totally wrong to assume that only Australian Muslims of Lebanese descent need to do some reflecting on respecting others.
Civil libertarians who attempt to hide the reality of racist pack rapes will need to reconsider their actions that delayed the healing process of community ownership of these problems.
The media’s own disregard for the virtue of modesty has impacted on society’s own moral standards. For example, a Sunday newspaper front page with an unnecessarily revealing picture of Kylie Minogue next to the ethnic rape headline story is difficult to rationalise.
Finally, the lack of common courtesy displayed in our community interactions is a matter of grave concern. For example, how often do you wait for people to get off a train before trying to board it or assist mums with young children and prams travelling on trains and buses?
Each of these little courtesies displays our respect for each other. We could all do well to reflect on that.
Bryan Michael Doyle