To the editor:
Mr. Robert J.DiFulio correctly notes the Church’s condemnation of sins against life. He then suggests that pro-lifers “spare some of that fervor on behalf of the other life issues” and asserts that if we are critical of the USCCB, then we haven’t kept up with the teachings of our Bishops. I respectfully but fervently disagree.
Fervor is defined as “great warmth or intensity of emotion; passion.” I doubt that even the most devout Catholic has a passion to work against each of the seven or eight issues that Mr. DiFulio mentioned. We know from Scripture that God has prepared good works for each of us to do. While my fervor is for ending contraception, abortion, and embryonic stem-cell research, others are dedicated to correcting homelessness, alleviating poverty, ending racism etc. Bless them. Although I support those efforts, I certainly can’t be fervent about each one. You can’t be a fervent fan of both Yankees and Red Sox. Similarly, pro-lifers must work fervently at those good works which we were given to do.
The USCCB does many good things. However, when the conference, or some of its members, falls short of supporting the clear teachings of the Magisterium, our Episcopal leaders deserve to hear, and must reflect and act upon the concerns of the faithful in such serious matters. Because we tell the bishops their shortcomings in regards to their teaching and preaching or lack thereof regarding the life issue about which we are “fervent,” and which the Church says is always and in every situation intrinsically evil, that in no way indicates that we do not support the teachings of the Church and Bishops regarding other sins against life. So, Mr.DiFulio, it’s not picking and choosing, it is being faithful — fervently.
Stephen A. Spaulding, MD