Catholicism debated

To the Journal editor:

A writer to this column recently declared that as a lifelong Catholic, he was heartened by the possibility of changes in Catholic Church teaching. I am a lifelong Catholic who wonders where the writer got his information.

The Catholic Church, more than any other institution, advocates that homosexual individuals be treated with the honor due all children of God, and with special concern for the difficult circumstances which their sexual orientation imposes upon them. From its tone, it is clear the writer of this letter did not know this.

Nor has he grasped the importance the Church places upon the contributions of women in the Church through the ages. For example, other than Jesus (who is God), the Church teaches that the greatest human being ever to have lived is His Blessed Mother. By her intercession, Holy Mary has played a major role in the progress of the Church and the progress of history. The historic great teachers (“Doctors”) of the Church include Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, and Therese of Lisieux. In the present age we see Edith Stein, Theresa of Calcutta, Mother Angelica, the writer’s own mother, and mine. No other earthly institution gives such honor to women and their contributions than does the Catholic Church.

But nowhere in his letter does the writer display more incoherence than on the subject of birth control. He starts off by stating that easy access to birth control has “proven to significantly reduce the number of teen-age pregnancies.” Actually, the opposite is true.

Perhaps this “life-long Catholic” has forgotten the message of Pope Paul VI, who wrote in 1968 that easy accessibility to birth control would dishonor women by making them mere sex objects. The sad, ironic truth is that accessible birth control has been proven by time to have significantly, nay enormously, increased the number of teen age pregnancies, unwanted children, abortion and infanticide.

I, as a life-long Catholic, am grateful for the Church’s guidance and discipline. I am grateful for the gift of God’s Grace, which guides and strengthens me as I seek to find my way in the world. It is I, not the Church, who must evolve. It is in the Church that I can.