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Letter to the Editor: Did writer read archbishop's letter?


Gene Rigelon's letter of Nov. 19 decries what he histrionically terms "the fierce opposition (against support of homosexual marriage) from the religious conservatives lead by American Catholic bishops."

Rigelon specifically cites the Sept. 14 pastoral letter of the Rev. John J. Meyers, archbishop of Newark, N.J., describing it as "a clearly politically motivated document." Additionally, Rigelon falsely attributes quotations using inflammatory language defining the nature of homosexuality that appears nowhere within its 15 pages.

Yet Meyers' "motivation" is clear enough through his summation: "Every human being must obey the dictates of conscience, but our consciences must be fully formed. In our world today, a secular analysis of various issues is often pervasive, while the faithful are often not adequately educated in the teachings of faith."

This all has me wondering whether Rigelon actually read the archbishop's letter, or has any interest in understanding it.

Space doesn't allow recitation of Mr. Rigelon's other dubious claims regarding his prognosis for the future of the Catholic Church, or its position with the issue at hand.

For those truly interested with understanding the Catholic teaching on the point and politics of marriage and sexuality, I invite them to read Meyers' positive, in-depth, footnoted letter. It is by no means for the simple-minded or for the demagogue.

Rigelon's essential point is that the church must adopt its moral teaching to changing societal norms rather than the other way around. This is evident through use of a quote by retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong at the letter's close.

Spong, a huge fan of existentialism, was roundly criticized for denying Christ's divinity and useful application of the Ten Commandments to modern life by no lesser authority than the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Those readers unfamiliar with the existentialist movement should be aware of the horrors engendered by such relativism: Friedrich Nietzsche had exerted great influence on philosophers and on people of literary and artistic culture.

But putting Nietzsche's philosophy of aristocracy into practice could only be done by an organization similar to the Fascist or the Nazi parties.

We're better off taking moral instruction from Rome and other "religious conservatives."

Dan Flathers, Toms Brook


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