Letters to the Editor: Dec. 22, 2013

djournal-letters-editorMyths about Orthodoxy muddle true teaching

My my my! Pope Francis certainly is making a stir isn’t he!? Eyebrows are raised and people are listening. Or are they?

Sadly, some people wrongly associate Orthodoxy with a group of people who are right wing, red and terrible mean.

Orthodoxy, simple stated comes from the Greek meaning “correct teaching,” The total deposit of faith in which Catholics should strive to uphold.

I believe in it because; 1) It is a gift entrusted to our Pontiff to aid us in sanctification. 2) we live in a culture dominated by relativism, and since I am weak, need clarity in teaching, not band aid theology. 3) Because the Bible repeatedly warns us of false Prophets who will seek to deceive.

Some assumptions being drawn about Francis are amusing. But also sadly brings to light that many are still fighting a stale 50 (or 100) year old theological war stemming from the Second Vatican Council. Splintering relationships, stunting evangelical zeal and reducing the healing power of the Spirit to nostalgic sound bites.

It’s not about Capitalism, Socialism or Marxism but Kingdom. Christ’s Church is mystical not worldly. Frances seeks to heal through love not divide by politics.

After all, isn’t unity the thing true leaders promote?

After some turmoil tied to old rivalries, Herb Brooks challenged his players to a different brand of hockey. Maybe we should embrace that concept and stop acting like players from Minnesota and Boston.

Orthodoxy? I may never be strong enough to live it fully. But long live Pope Frances, guardian of truth and loving father who invites all to the Feast. It beats cafeteria food I am sure!

Dave Palladino

Tupelo

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Faith informs political perspective of parishoner

Does my faith shape my politics, or do my politics shape my faith?

I, for one, firmly believe that my faith informs my political perspective. Political life is, after all, naturally inferior to spiritual life: in the long run, the majority of my time will not be spent as an American citizen but as a subject of Christ’s kingdom.

The fact that politics are inferior, however, does not make them irrelevant. The Church deals in divine law; the political state, in natural law. Pope Francis’s critique of the capitalist system is not political, but spiritual. He says in Evangelii Gaudium that “[j]ust as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”

Capitalism is the best system available to us. Is it flawed? Yes. Do we have a moral obligation to aid those who are hurt by its shortcomings? Yes. But does this mean that the government has a right to impose morality via legislation? The answer is an emphatic ‘no.’

Pope Francis is addressing us as children of God. He seeks to re-establish a Church that transcends political orientation and economic systems. He is not a capitalist or a socialist. He is not a liberal or conservative. He is the father of the Roman Catholic Church. He seeks the salvation of souls, not the redistribution of wealth.

Sarah Albers

Parishioner of St. James Catholic Church, Tupelo