Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Myrian Marquez is truly an insightful columnist. Ever since she began writing her column for the Orlando Sentinel a few months ago, I have looked forward to her occasional musings.

Her column Sunday was especially insightful. It dealt with the latest controversy in the Roman Catholic Church in America, as several bishops have threatened or actually instructed their priests to withhold Communion from political candidates or officials whose positions are contrary to the Church's teachings. Most notably, this affects the soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, who is of the Catholic faith and could be the first Catholic president since John F. Kennedy. Check out this wonderful piece of work from Ms. Marquez, who also is editor of the Sentinel's Spanish edition.

Seems as though one of our local residents had the same ideas the previous week, and sent it as a letter to the editor at the Lakeland Ledger. EDITOR'S NOTE: The Ledger finally printed her letter today (Friday, 28 May)! She gave me permission to reprint it prior to it being printed:

Thomas Wenski's column epitomizes everything that is wrong with the Catholic church. First of all, there is no such thing as "pro-abortion". The correct term is pro-choice, because that is exactly what it is: a choice. No one is dragging women by the hair into clinics to force them to terminate a pregnancy, but we've certainly seen pro-"lifers" trying to prevent women from making their own decisions. Seems the word life in that term only applies to the fetus, and not to the woman carrying it.

Secondly, the Catholic church has a lot of work to do on itself before it purports to know what is good for anyone. This whole communion issue is a partisan witch hunt designed to make Democrats look bad. During the last governor's election in Michigan, pro-"life" Catholics actually picketed outside of churches on Sundays to bring attention to the fact that Jennifer Granholm is a Catholic and pro-choice. Luckily, their strong arm tactics did not work--she won handily. Let's not forget, the people in charge of this witch hunt belong to the same organization that turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children that went on for many years. Not only a blind eye, but they created a safety net for abusive priests, many of whom never were or never will be punished.

Thirdly, I know a great number of Catholics that are sterilized, using birth control, had children out of wedlock, etc, that attend church every Sunday and take communion. Are they going to start handing out a questionnaire about your personal life before they distribute the Eucharist? They may be surprised to find that no one, no matter what political coat they wear, is really "able" to partake in this ritual.

Lastly, let us not forget that one of the Ten Commandments plainly states: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Wenski fails to mention that the church should be denying communion to Jeb Bush as well if they are going to play this game fairly. The hypocrisy of the Catholic church is staggering.

If the point of religion and the act of going to church is designed to bring one closer to holiness, as Wenski says, why deny someone's closeness to god simply because they aren't perfect? I wasn't aware that perfection was a prerequisite to enter a church. I thought the church accepted anyone, anytime, for any reason. Apparently, there is no sanctuary for one who does not live up to the church's standards, or follow every one of their rules, all of the time.

You just can't have your wafer and eat it, too!


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