George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RIGHT...AND WRONG...WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #21
The following personal observations are
frequently based upon specific articles that have appeared in the
cyber-news bulletins reported at
www.zenit.org: "The World From Rome"..
Where this is the case, I will list the specific publication date that
applies. Please see also my other 20 offerings under the above
rubric, particularly #17.
- The Catholic Church's
Relationship with Judaism and Israel. (See Zenit, Jan. 17
and 20, 2010). It appears to me that the Church continues to be
too circumspect in these relations. Catholics consider the Hebrew
Religion as our Faith Brotherhood. But that should not prevent us
from advancing our rightful claims in the Holy Land and in Jerusalem on
behalf of Christians everywhere, including Palestinians.
- Similarly, The Church's
dealings with Islam, and whoever is representing that polyglot,
is also too much of a Kabuki Dance. The Catholic Church is the
one international organization with the influence to engage that
- On the issue of priests and
their prohibition to marry, the Church can be practical
when it sees a need. See Zenit, Jan. 18, 2010: "The communique
stated that 'following the changes of 1989, the Eastern Catholic
Churches of Cebntral and Eastern Europe have had the joy of being able
to ordain numerous young priests, including married ones, in keeping
with the ancient tradition of their Churches.'" The problem is
that the Church fails to see the real need facing it to revisit this
question, manifested in part by the continuing clergy sex abuse
scandals - now reaching ever closer to the Vatican.
- There is no lack of challenges
to Church teachings in Bioethics. See Zenit, Feb. 14, 2010: "Pontiff: Bioethics Needs Natural Law".
See also the very disturbing article in the NYTimes entitled "Building a Baby, With Few Ground Rules", by
Stephanie Saul, (Sunday Dec. 13, 2009, pA1). But here also, the Church paints
everything with the same broad brush unnecessarily: the absolute
position on abortion with issues of contraception even between a
committed married couple, and with issues of in vitro fertilization
within the same committed couple. Yes, frozen excess embryos is a
vexing problem; but is wasting them the answer? Or as expressed
in a letter to Zenit on this subject by a reader: "I do not see how embryo adoption and
giving a child a womb to grow in is so terribly different from adopting
a child and giving it a home to live in. It is an act of
tremendous generosity and charity". (Zenit, Feb. 27,
2010). Or is the decision by a Bishop in Florida to bar children
of committed gay or lesbian couples from attending Catholic Schools
consistent with the spirit and meaning of "the best interests of the child"?
- The Church is right to take to
task the recent Copenhagen Climate Summit as a possible return
to Malthusian population control, precisely at a time when a strong
case is made that the current low birth rates throughout the world will
make economic progress and reduction in poverty an impossibility. (See
Zenit, Dec. 13, 2009).
- The Church is right in its
position regarding the current Health Care Reform Bills under
consideration. No Federal funding for abortion can be allowed,
wiether directly or by slight of hand.
- The Church is right in its
continuing efforts to promote a comprehensive Immigration
- Finally, for now, the Pope is
right in his recent statement that "...there is a need to change mentalities, so as to see
laypeople as co-responsible for the Church, not merely as collaborators
of the clergy". (See Zenit, March 7, 2010) Right
On, as discussed in some of the earlier "Whats Wrong..." articles
already offered in this section.
So, we continue with messages of mixed benefit from the
Magisterium. Our Church leaders should meditate on the many times
the Church has been wrong in the last 2,000 years - sometimes terribly
wrong - and THINK
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