Anti-Semitic and Proud of It
I am a senior at Rutgers University, and I too think that religious education among the younger generation is paramount. I subscribed to your publication because I support much of your work.
One issue, however, changed my view about your organization, and I decided not to renew. I read that you said a book named something like The Elders of Zion was anti-Semitic. This book was recommended to one of your writers to read, and he dismissed it as anti-Semitic.
My views tend to agree with the line of thinking that you call anti-Semitic. I find it narrow-minded to dismiss this book as merely anti-Semitic. I may be anti-Semitic, but I'm pro-Catholic too. It is not Catholic to be critical of the Jews, you say. To be pro-Jewish, in my opinion, is to be anti-Catholic and anti-Christ.
With all your zeal for Catholicism, can't you take some of that energy and turn it toward an objective evaluation of not all, but some of the Jews who do anti-Christian things in this country?
In light of the aforementioned I have not renewed my subscription, but if you feel that I have been deceived, please feel free to tell me.
How Do We Get Trained?
I've finished reading "Door to Door with the Legion of Mary" [December 1990] by Robert H. Nyssen. I have been privately advocating going door to door for years. Unfortunately, most Legion members I have known, with one exception, spent their time in rest homes. I fully realize that those in their final years probably need God more than anyone else, but, not being called to the rest home apostolate, I have not joined the Legion.
Mr. Nyssen stated that with a few hours' training practically anyone can do this work; however, we are not told how to get this training. I suggest This Rock put out a few training tapes. This way, if our local Legion is not geared to this type of apostolate, other Catholic lay groups can do it.
Jensen Beach, Florida
Editor’s reply: Our new offices include a small recording studio, where we plan to do just as you suggest--produce tapes designed to train people for door-to-door work.
Missionary Priest Gets His Mag
I read with interest the letter from Fr. Andrew Thang Za Khai of Myanmar (Burma). In the letter he solicits Mass stipends for a subscription to This Rock. If someone has not already made a cash subscription on his behalf, I shall be glad to make a contribution for a year's subscription for this priest.
Editor’s reply: Several people have offered to underwrite a subscription for Fr. Khai, and he is now getting his magazine. He is not the only priest overseas who has asked for--and is getting--This Rock on a complimentary basis, and we get inquiries regularly. If any reader wishes to underwrite a foreign priest's subscription, we'll have no trouble finding a priest who could make good use of the magazine. Our thanks to all who so kindly responded to Fr. Khai's plea.
The Three Commandments
Tonight I heard in a Catholic church, from an ordained priest who is conducting a mission in a neighboring parish, that there are only three sins that can keep us from receiving Holy Communion--or, as he put it, "three sins that can keep us from attending the breaking of the bread at Mass."
The three sins are apostasy, murder, and adultery. He also mentioned that the sacrament of reconciliation was not introduced into the Church until the eleventh century.
It is difficult enough to explain our Catholic faith to persons of other denominations, but when our own priests begin to create doubts in our minds and lead us to question what they say, then we are in big trouble. Am I wrong in thinking that missing Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, bearing false witness, stealing, coveting the neighbor's wife and goods, and/or breaking any of the Ten Commandments are mortal sins?
Please let me know if there are only three sins that are considered mortal sins and if the sacrament of confession is a thing of the past.
Rodolfo R. Jasso, Jr.
Editor’s reply: You're right and the priest is wrong. Any mortal sin, until repented of and forgiven, disqualifies you from receiving Communion. A violation of any of the Ten Commandments may be a mortal sin--in some cases a venial sin, depending on circumstances. For instance, stealing a nickel from a rich man is undoubtedly a venial sin, but stealing the life savings from a poor man is a mortal sin. For a sin to be mortal, three things are needed: gravity of subject matter, full consent of the will, and knowledge of the act's sinfulness. If one of those is lacking, the sin will be venial or the person may incur no guilt at all.
You're Gonna Be Surprised
Please cancel my subscription. My experience with Catholic Answers is all head and very little heart. My fervent wish and prayer for your organization is that the Lord will bless you in "unexpected" ways.
Seaford, New York
Such a Deal We Have for You!
If virtue is its own reward, then we subscribers are doubly rewarded--when we get our copy and again when we are allowed to practice patience. Now is that a bonus or not?
Edward Kroll, Jr.
Don't Blame Us
You guys at Catholic Answers have changed my entire spiritual life. You have shown me the priceless treasures of our great Catholic faith. I am sure the Lord is quite pleased with all of your dedication to his remnant Church on Earth.
Lake View Terrace, California
Recently I talked to my pastor about you guys from Catholic Answers and the parish seminars you offer. He told me he "might have a catalogue of theirs around," and he added, "But, you know, they're all getting a little old now."
He has the same impression of you guys I did at first--apologetics is synonymous with bifocals and arthritis. I informed him otherwise. (By the way, he's 41.)
Name withheld by request
Editor’s reply: What, he's 41? How sad! Let's pray for the poor, decrepit, doddering invalid--he's as old as I am and six years older than the average staffer here!
The Bishop's Wife Writes
I was delighted to receive your catalogue. We will support you to the best of our ability. The Bishop and I are "separated brethren"--once Episcopalians, now that the Episcopal Church has departed utterly from Christian moorings. It is our belief we are called to defend the Catholic faith within our own tradition. At this point the only viable ecumenism is the deep and difficult one which requires we fight together for the faith while upholding the integrity of each tradition. We join with our Eastern friends and with you in the defense of the "faith once delivered to the saints."
New Port Richey, Florida