Ultimate Jewish Mother
I congratulate Linda Dickey for her article, Growing Up Jewish & Becoming Catholic (March), and for her reception into the Church. And I rejoice that one of her stronger motives was an attraction to Mary, that ultimate Jewish mother, who surely spotted her child and carefully led her home. What a great story!
The Perfect Candidate
I wish those people (e.g., Arthur Dutky, in his April letter) who are yelling for priestesses in the Holy Roman Catholic Church, created by our dear Lord almost 2,000 years ago, would explain why He did not ordain his most immaculate Mother she and He were the two most perfect human beings ever.
A Saving Vanguard
I am saddened that so many cradle Catholics (e.g., James Tanner see his April letter) are giving way to apostasy. However, I am overjoyed that so many non-Catholics are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. It is former Protestants who are saving the Catholic Church in her present crisis.
Rev. Joseph W. Vandeberg
St. Alexius Church
West Union, Minnesota
In responding to Fr. Raymond Gawronskis article supporting Catholic teaching opposing womens ordination (Jan.-Feb.), Arthur Dutky ends his rebuttal letter (April) with the sad taunt, Cmon, gals, attack! Really, Mr. Dutky! According to my understanding of many passages from the New Testament, such an invitation to divisiveness hardly seems characteristic of a Christian.
Collingswood, New Jersey
Hey, Guy, Heres Your Attack!
In the April issue, two males, Arthur Dutky and James Tanner, wrote letters attempting to defend women everywhere by condemning the Catholic Churchs stand on the all-male priesthood. This letter may not be what Dutky had in mind when he urged, Cmon, gals, attack! But attack we will.
We are two Generation X women. One of us (Leila) is a cradle Catholic; the other (Kim) converted to Catholicism precisely because the Church stands firm on her teachings, including her 20-centuries-old understanding of the priesthood.
Lest anyone write us off as having a pathological need to be subjugated, let it be known that we are university-educated women who believe passionately in critical thinking and truth-seeking. To that end, we have spent the past year and a half writing a hard-hitting column for Arizonas largest newspaper. Weve been called a lot of things, but weak isnt one of them.
In addition, Kim was a feminist for six years, working as a social worker and Gestalt therapist in battered womens shelters. She is aware of all the feminist arguments against the Church, and even bought into them during her feminist years. Yes, we are strong women strong enough to investigate, understand, and defend Church teaching regarding womens ordination.
If Tanner doesnt believe that the Catholic Church has the right and authority to speak infallibly on issues of faith and morals, then he was absolutely right to leave the Church for Episcopalianism, and we applaud him for his integrity in doing so. But now that hes gone, it would be nice if he would kindly leave our beloved Catholic Church alone. There are plenty of true evils in this world on which he could focus his energy.
And as Kim was an Episcopalian before her conversion, we often comment that dissenting Catholics, as we assume Dutky to be, would find a nice home in the Episcopal Church. To borrow a phrase from the Episcopalians themselves: The Episcopal Church welcomes you!
So, thanks for coming to our defense, gentlemen, but protection from Christs holy Church is not something these two women need.
Leila Miller and Kim Manning
On Second Thought
Your Editor is a better man than I. Although I stand by my views (letter, April) against Raymond Gawronskis views (article, Jan.-Feb.) about women and ordination, I never expected the NOR actually to print my mad ravings (or respond with an Editors Note). The reason I drifted toward Anglicanism when I deserted Rome was because Rome no longer represented what I felt and believed as a Christian. But I knew I could not drift far from what I grew up with since the dogma and rituals of the Catholic Church still gave, and give, me comfort, and they are essentially the core of Christianity, as I define it. I still contribute to such Catholic causes as the National Shrine of St. Jude and the Sacred Heart Missions in Mississippi, so I can get what the Anglicans dont provide such things as Mass cards and Novenas for deceased relatives, and the like.
So, contrary to my April letter, do not cancel my NOR subscription when it expires. I need the humility the NOR staff has taught me.
Long Beach, California
More Second Thoughts
Thank you so much for Monica Millers basically positive review of my book, The Glory to Be Revealed in You (April). I had to blush, though, about my unfortunate use of inclusive language in reference to the Trinity, which the reviewer rightly criticizes. Just prior to my conversion to Catholicism in 1992, I completed a masters of divinity degree at a Protestant seminary. It would be fair to say that there are many aspects of my education there that cried out to Heaven for revision. Alas, the process takes time. If my book is reprinted for a second edition, you may rest assured that I will use the correct language, as revealed by Scripture and Tradition, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Kristen West McGuire
A Lutherans View of the Mystery of Catholicism
The Real Presence is an essential teaching of the Catholic faith that cannot be changed. For us Protestants things are different. No Real Presence there. We get a piece of waffle which may be transformed to the body of Christ, if we believe it. In Dale Vrees review of the reissue of James Hitchcocks The Recovery of the Sacred (March), I read: A recent survey showed that two out of three Catholics dont believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I, a Lutheran, stopped right there, for two memories came to my mind.
First, when I was a teenager in Hungary, one day I was walking home and met a Catholic friend. I noticed right away that he was radiant. He almost walked on air. His eyes were aglow with an inner light. Soon I found out why: He had received Communion. That was the first time I observed the mystery of the Catholic faith. I never saw a similar transformation among Lutheran worshipers.
The second memory was of an event that took place 20 years later, at the First Communion of my daughter (who is Catholic). She left the altar almost laughing. I was shocked. She was smiling happy beyond my comprehension. I scolded her, You should behave yourself on such a serious occasion. To my wonderment, she responded: I am not laughing, Dad; I am happy I have Jesus Christ in me.
Then I understood the doctrine of the Real Presence.
What can we Protestants do when we have a bad, bad day, when we are in a bad mood, and are taking the sacrament? We have to convince ourselves that we believe in it. But a Catholic, even if he has a bad day, need only receive the body of Christ. That Hungarian Catholic boy had had a bad day, but he received encouragement and consolation, for he received Christ as a gift.
Many times Ive seen Presbyterians and Lutherans, myself included, participating in the sacrament, but Ive never seen or felt such transformation as I witnessed in the above two cases.
The Hypocrisy of Homosexuals
Apropos of Arthur Delaneys article (May) on sex education, particularly on the homosexual agenda in sex education: Many homosexuals have a pathological attitude toward the opposite sex. A lesbian has admitted, The older I get the angrier I get. Especially with men. Ive gotten to the point where I hate men (see Martha Barron Barrett, Invisible Lives, 1989, p. 248). That anti-male attitude is common among lesbians, as this next quote, also from a lesbian, shows: Because a general disenchantment with and suspicion of all males was central to lesbian-feminist doctrine, the gay man was naturally seen as being no less an enemy than any other human with a penis, and lesbian-feminists could make no lasting coalition with gay men in a gay revolution (see Lillian Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, 1991, p. 212).
Here are similar words from a homosexual man: There is disinterest [by] gay men in womens issues and hostility [by] gay women to much of the gay male movement (see Dennis Altman, The Homosexualization of America, the Americanization of the Homosexual, 1982, p. 222). And in the same vein: There has been a marked deterioration in the relationships between gay women and gay men (see ibid., p. 221).
According to another homosexual man: Sexism between men and women was rampant in the early 1970s in the gay community (see Eric Marcus, Making History, 1992, p. 265). The Chicago Tribune, a pro-gay-rights newspaper, has noted that sexism persists among homosexuals and lesbians cite instances of discrimination from male homosexuals (Feb. 7, 1993, p. 16). Prof. Martin Duberman, an admitted homosexual, has acknowledged that sexism is rampant in the gay male (see his About Time, 1986, p. 336).
A big clue helping to explain all that sexism among homosexuals is contained in these words from a homosexual author: Undoubtedly for many homosexuals there is something threatening in the idea of intimacy with the other sex (see Altman, op. cit., p. 222). If homosexuals allow themselves to have warm feelings for the opposite gender, they might begin to doubt their homosexual identities; thus many homosexuals develop negative feelings for the opposite gender. This heterophobia helps account for the sexism found among homosexuals.
Another kind of discrimination practiced by homosexuals is discrimination against heterosexuals. In the theater, fashion, [and] much of the cultural and intellectual world, it actually helps to be a homosexual, with the discrimination going the other way [against heterosexuals] (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 13, 1986, p. 13).
This homosexual prejudice against heterosexuals is due in part to homosexuals believing they are superior to heterosexuals. Duberman admits that classism (i.e., elitism, a sense of superiority) is found in many homosexuals (see Duberman, loc. cit.).
On top of these prejudices, Altman admits there is a quite considerable presence of racism in the gay world (see Altman, op. cit., p. 221) and that white homosexuals are as likely to be racist as their heterosexual counterparts (see ibid., p. 222). Duberman agrees, mentioning the endemic racism in our [homosexual] community (see Duberman, op. cit., p. 337). A black lesbian found that the gay and lesbian community was much further behind than the straight community when it came to basic civil rights [for blacks] . When black people showed up at [gay] meetings or social gatherings, they would get the cold shoulder. Nobody would ever talk to them. The insensitivities were really bad. And there were racial comments all the time (see Marcus, op. cit., pp. 442, 443).
For homosexuals to harbor so much bigotry, while complaining incessantly about being discriminated against, is inexcusable and the height of hypocrisy. For homosexuals to disunify and divide the populace along sexual and racial lines is contemptible. To sum up the above quotes, there is a strong tendency for homosexuals to be for various complex psychological reasons sexist and racist bigots given to discrimination and mental illness (heterophobia).
Downers Grove, Illinois