November 1997

Good Tree, Good Fruits

Congratulations for an excellent editorial (Jul.-Aug.) in defense of Pope John Paul II’s decision to allow Catholics to worship according to the Tridentine Latin Rite, a decision which ran the risk of irritating liturgical “progressives” such as Archbishop Weakland. I would like to point out another area that illustrates the failure of the liturgical renewal: vocations. In dioceses and religious orders that encourage cafeteria Catholicism, vocations have dried up — bringing forth the ideologically self-serving cries for the “necessity” of priestesses and married priests. In contrast, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, which celebrate the Tridentine Rite exclusively, have a much different problem: Their seminaries are too small to handle all the qualified men who wish to enter!

The abundance of good vocations enjoyed by traditional orders loyal to the Magisterium deeply pains the “progressives,” since it exposes the lie that there aren’t enough men willing to serve the Church as priests, and demonstrates that the liturgical “renewal” as practiced in places such as the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Saginaw is not needed and serves no useful purpose in the life of the Church.

Gary Gerken
Chula Vista, California




O’Malley Converted?

You at the NOR are perhaps doing more good for Holy Mother Church than you know. I realized this when I saw in your letters column (Jul.-Aug.) something from Fr. William J. O’Malley at the Fordham Jesuit Community, who, having read Marian Crowe’s article “Why the Younger Generation May Be Lost to the Church” (June), commended her for urging a return to apologetics.

Curiously, on October 2, 1991, at a workshop for catechists in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, O’Malley promoted dissent against the Church’s Magisterium. I know, for I was there, and soon thereafter jotted down his remarks. Considering his bitter invective against Rome (gritting his teeth, he pronounced Ratzinger with emphasis on RAT), one might have thought O’Malley’s teaching to be infallible. He made proclamations such as these: (1) Prohibition of contraceptive birth control is not a doctrine of the Church; (2) We must make up our own minds, the Church cannot do it for us; and (3) We have demythologized Hell.

Regarding the last-mentioned pronouncement, Crowe, in her NOR article, denounced the “demythologization” of Catholic doctrines. Perhaps, then, reading the NOR has converted Fr. O’Malley! If so, it would be nice if he would publicly recant his earlier teachings and books.

Martin Lobert
Ellicott City, Maryland




Strong Stance

Thank you for supporting Bishop Bruskewitz over the past year! And thank you for your September issue — especially the articles by Sr. Lyons and Fr. Schmitmeyer. I now have a much better understanding of the nitty-gritty of Catholic life.

It’s so encouraging to see the NOR’s strong stance on behalf of orthodoxy, authentic liturgy, and the prolife cause. Christ made it clear that there are absolutes, and that they must be taught clearly and without equivocation. Can anyone imagine Christ saying, “Well, if it’s not popular or if many disagree with me, then omit what I said or reword it so it’s more palatable”?

Let’s make it a point to remind our priests to include prayers for the unborn, who cannot pray for themselves, in the prayer petitions following the sermon.

Kathryn Wells
Carmel, California






The NOR is the only Catholic periodical I am currently reading because the NOR gives me hope — especially your editorials and certain letters to the editor. I have allowed my subscriptions to all other Catholic magazines and newspapers expire.

For quite some time now I’ve been convinced that converts to Catholicism — many of whom are gathered around the NOR — will save our Church from herself.

Dorothy Burdoin
Dublin, California




Puzzled

Ten years ago I happily returned to the Catholic Church. During the long interim I was away, I was introduced to the Bible in a Protestant church and discovered Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But now I’m amazed to keep hearing that the Catholic Church regards the Bible as a secondary matter and Tradition as primary. Would someone kindly explain to me what Tradition is, and why it is primary (if indeed it is)?

Moreover, I am worried to hear that the Catholic Church has been considering declaring Mary as Co-Redemptrix, which sounds like idolatry. My Bible says that “there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”

Mary Raper
Tucson, Arizona



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