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Recent letter contained false statements about the Catholic church

November 08, 2003|By Richard Giovanoni

To the editor:

The letter by Jeanne Jacobs (Oct. 19) defending Allan Powell contains the same type of loose thinking that started this whole discussion of the meaning of words and adds to it a host of false statements about Catholic Faith and teachings that cannot be allowed to go unanswered.

Catholic faith represents an assent of mind and will to a body of teachings found in scripture, tradition and the Magisterium of the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the Rock of Peter.

One can find short summaries of the major doctrines in the Apostles Creed,the Creeds of Nicea and Constantinople and a full explication in the catechism of the Catholic Church. The mission of the Church is to preach the good news of salvation to the whole world, to bring sinners to repentance and incorporation into the mystical body of Christ and to heaven. By its very nature it is a collection of "recovering" sinners, many of whom, including myself, often fail and have to start over.

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My failures or those of a thousand priests and bishops or the pope himself in no way impacts the truths of the faith. The recent scandal of abuse is the horrendous result of men who repudiated their faith and their vows.

The church,as the bride of Christ, remains without "spot or blemish." As my mother always told me, ''The priest is not the church."

The Catholic church has never taught that the Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Christ. There have always been individuals and groups of Catholics who have engaged in sinful actions against Jews and others. I also expect to see Catholic, Jewish, Protestant and Muslim thieves, fornicators, abortionists, etc., as long as the world lasts. The teaching of the Church is quite simple. Every sinner - Jew and Gentile, from Adam and Eve to the end of the world - is responsible. Pilate was our hired hit man.

I do not have to look it up in an encyclopedia. When I pray the creed each day I say, "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried." In reality each one of us has held the nails and wielded the hammer, applied the lash and wove the thorns.

Pope John Paul II did not apologize for the church, but for the actions of those members who failed in their obligation in charity and sinned in this regard. I ask Ms. Jacobs to read the document.

Lastly, one is assured of the inerrancy of the Bible when one takes the word of the author, God himself. Ms. Jacobs takes the word of an anonymous encyclopedia author.

God has left us a church with an infallible teaching authority to determine the content and meaning of His Word.

It is irrational to posit a God that would deceive His children. In the same way it is irrational to look upon creation and, with the tools of science and logic, know that contingent being cannot be the cause of itself and then deny the existence of a God whose very essence is "to be" and is the cause of our existence.

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