To the editor:
Mike Latona’s cover article for the November issue of the Courier is right to bemoan increasing ideological disunity of Catholics regarding moral and liturgical issues. It is ironic, then, that the article both reflects and fosters this disunity by its striking neglect of the one source of true and meaningful unity for Catholics on these issues: fidelity to the moral teachings and liturgical dictates of the Church. In fact, the article never directly mentions the Church’s teaching on any issue.
Fidelity to the Church allows for different approaches with respect to those moral and political issues where some level of prudential judgment is involved — e.g., the death penalty and health-care reform — but allows only one approach, thereby creating unity, where the Church has taught definitively that something is always and everywhere wrong — e.g., birth control and euthanasia. Similarly, on liturgical matters, there are some areas where multiple approaches are allowed and other areas where only one approach is allowed. For example, many types of music may be permissible during the liturgy, but the tabernacle must always be placed "in a distinguished place … which is conspicuous" (Canon 938 §2).
The article, however, fails to distinguish between issues where Catholics are free to disagree and issues where fidelity to the Church and our identity as Catholics require adherence to certain beliefs and practices. By obscuring Church teaching in this way, the article leaves the impression that it is acceptable to hold a number of ideologically liberal positions that the Church has forbidden Catholics from holding. By thus favoring liberal ideology, the article adopts the overly ideological approach it bemoans, simultaneously rejecting the unity found in fidelity to the Church.
Guy Amisano Jr