Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Letter to the Editor

(From the June 9, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed, and include a phone number for verification; names can be withheld upon request. Please limit letters to 500 words. Remember to be charitable.

Mail letters to:

Inland Register
P.O. Box 48
Spokane, WA 99210-0048

Fax: (509) 358-7302
Phone: (509) 358-7340

Changing the approach


I would like to comment on the letter from Greg Fazzari in the recent (5/19/05) Inland Register.

He states that our culture is in decline and I’ll not deny that. He seems to suggest, however, that the Church has the answers to that decline, and I would agree to that, but only if the Church changes its approach.

For the last 50 years the Church has been listened to less and less. It is often said that John Paul II was the most loved pope in history, and the least obeyed. I am afraid that the old “Pray, Pay and Obey” philosophy is only for those who lack the ability or desire to think for themselves. I would point out that Vatican II made a point of the primacy of conscience. To obey that in which we do not believe is hypocrisy and could even be detrimental to our salvation if what we obey is wrong. The Church has often been wrong in the past and may even be wrong again.

(Fazzari) also seems to equate the teaching of the Church with the word of God totally. If we take celibacy as an example, we can see that Christ said nothing about it. In fact, the rule of celibacy was a voluntary practice for the first 300 years of Christianity and was only affirmed at the Council of Trent in the 1500s. It is a law of the Church, not of God.

Another prominent example is that of the trial of Galileo in 1633, in which he was arrested, forced to recant his teachings that the Earth revolved about the Sun, and imprisoned for life. It was not until 1992 that the Church admitted that its theological advisors had been wrong and closed the Galileo case.

Incidentally, the Church never admitted it was wrong.

No, let’s rebuild our society on the word of God and not the word of the Church, unless it coincides with the word of God. And the Church must convince us of that coincidence if we are to believe.

Richard Clark, Spokane

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