I Can't Take It Anymore!
Stop it. Stop, stop, stop. I can't stand your cover entrapment. I have enough trouble rescuing my mail from the dog's jaws. Now, when I get the mail, I start reading the cover, oblivious to Charlemagne's mastication of the rest of my mail into soggy wads.
It's happened twice. It's embarrassing to have to telephone my creditors asking for a second and third copy of a bill. (Makes one appear incompetent.) In my family, we'd call your cover format "a dirty Irish trick."
M. A. McCay
At First I Was Insulted
Thanks for helping me return to the Catholic Church. Nine years ago I never would have thought I would be involved in a Fundamentalist church.
I even graduated from Boston College, where I majored in philosophy and delighted in my theology courses--including Peter Kreeft's "Socrates and Jesus," which helped reconcile the intellectual and spiritual aspects of Christianity.
Likewise, once I became involved in "Bible-believing churches" after college, I would have found it highly unlikely that I would have left. I was in dialogue with Catholic friends from a RENEW group I dropped in on from time to time. One fellow in particular was more than willing to discuss our differences.
At first I was insulted when he gave me two dozen tracts from your organization. (I didn't even know there were such things as Catholic tracts!) I put them on my nightstand, but eventually began reading them. I was very critical of them and began writing notations disputing all the arguments. But I couldn't satisfy myself with these snippets of biblical justifications.
To sum up my brief story, I have received Communion in the Church only recently for the first time in six years. My reading now consists mainly of books which bear an imprimatur, and I am at peace with my beliefs.
Michael J. Tortolani
West Warwick, Rhode Island
Two Masses, Two Religions
Your answer to David Melechinsky in the June 1990 This Rock is downright laughable. To say that the invalid Novus Ordo is found in the old, venerable Mass of Tradition is idiocy. There is absolutely no resemblance whatsoever!
I watched a Novus Ordo on television a couple of months ago (called a Mass for shut-ins), and one would never associate the service with the ancient Latin Mass. There is no comparison to be made. One is opposite to the other. They reflect two different religions.
Jacqueline Marie Kahoun
Sugar Grove, Illinois
Editor’s reply: All one need do is compare the official Latin versions to see the New Mass is taken from the Old and that most prayers are word-for-word the same. Until one makes such a comparison in the official language, the issue should be avoided.
I am embarrassed to admit that my ignorance has sometimes allowed me to expound, with great sincerity, positions which I later see to be lopsided or patently false.
I hope that with age will come a modicum of wisdom, and now I strive to seek people whose beliefs are counter to my own. In doing so I sharpen my own position or I am confronted with evidence and reasons which lead me to change my position.
It is very risky business to continually test one's beliefs, and it requires painful vulnerability. This Rock is becoming a source of stability in this pursuit. I am very grateful for your efforts to present orthodox Catholicism, especially when you are gentle and compassionate as well as unequivocating. (Not always easy, is it?)
I am not a Catholic, but a Protestant testing Catholicism's claim to being the true church. I genuinely appreciate your understanding of the fears and struggles I face on the road to Rome. Thanks for leaving the light on.
This Priest Is No Shill (Honest)
The parish here is aglow! Your speakers, Mark Brumley and Patrick Madrid, are outstanding! Straight A's in content, delivery, and diction. They packed our hall on a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. For jaded, heard-it-all Brooklyn, that is no small accomplishment. And the folks stayed--all day!
Every single comment was unqualifiedly positive. Ours is a "basic" sort of parish; not much adult education has been available before this past year or so. Yet every person I spoke with understood the general issues and the particular applications.
The sessions and day went quickly; so many wanted to go longer. Perhaps I alone was glad to see the end (I knew that I would be taking them to a restaurant in Little Italy).
You have blessed our parish with your program, but even more so by these two superlative Catholic gentlemen. There was a good number of young people in attendance; there could have been no better role models than Pat and Mark. And I know that the young folks were paying attention.
Thank you and God bless you and your work.
Rev. Isaiah Bennett
Brooklyn, New York
Masons Not as Bad as Dragnet
I find that "Dragnet" is dragging down your publication.
1. It is cynical.
2. The authorship is a mystery. Why no signature? I suppose the editor is ultimately responsible for everything in the magazine, but I cannot believe Karl Keating is behind some of this flippant stuff.
3. "Dragnet" is at times inaccurate. For example, in your June issue you state that no Catholic may join a Masonic lodge. This really is not so, even though [it is] partially correct.
The Church does not absolutely hold a person in error who joins the Masons unless it is a hostile lodge. There are Knights of Columbus members who are also Masons. The Church does not seem to be condemning all Masons.
You may have available the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on this issue which was sent out in February 1981. [The letter] seemed to limit condemnation to specific situations or organizations plotting against the Church.
A number of American bishops hold the Masons in high esteem. The late Cardinal Terence Cooke is reported to have told the New York Masons in 1976 they were "people who believed in a community of spirit and who labor to reconcile the claim of duty and the claim of liberty under God." We do not need a return to mutual Catholic- Mason bashing of many years ago. Things go generally well between Masons and Catholics. Let's not repeat history.
"Dragnet" while amusing is hurting your magazine. It frankly seems irresponsible.
John P. Edwards
Where'd the Money Go?
At a very conservative guess, one Catholic donating 50 cents a week to Mass (the ridiculous rite established by your church) would donate 26 dollars a year. One hundred million Catholics world wide donating that much equals $2.6 billion. Where does the money go? Whose pocket does it end up in?
San Francisco, California
Editor’s reply: $2.6 billion is just one five-hundredth of the annual budget of the United States. So what's the problem?