Letters • March 8, 2021


Questions CV’s support of bishops

The Catholic Virginian is pushing faithful Catholics further and further away from the principles of the Catholic Church. This is evidenced in many of your articles to include those on abortion. The most recent being “Bishop warns against ‘weaponization of Eucharist’“ (Catholic Virginian, Feb. 8). Let’s not hurt the feelings of those who choose to ignore the teachings of the Church, but let’s reward them by giving them holy Communion!

There are three “non-negotiables” in the Church: 1. Abortion, 2. Sanctity of marriage, and 3. Freedom to practice our faith.

The CV has let down devoted Catholics on all three accounts. With that being said, I have to congratulate you on publishing the article from Catholic News Service on the following page. Mark Pattison gets it right with “Biden doesn’t define Catholic doctrine.” He does not agree, nor would devout Catholics agree, with the bishops who condone President Biden’s receiving Communion. Biden professes to be a Catholic, and yet, he doesn’t support any of the Church’s “non-negotiables.”

How can The CV support the bishops? – Theresa Koren, Midlothian

Editor’s note: “Biden doesn’t define Catholic doctrine” was from Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann. It was reported by Mark Pattison.

Disagrees with letter writers

Regarding letters in the Jan. 25 Catholic Virginian:

Dr. Mario Mazzarella: Perhaps you did not see the blizzard of letters condemning AG Barr for resuming federal executions because the recent revision to the Catechism is not an infallible teaching, and Catholics may still choose to accept the death penalty as an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

A priest or bishop would not be justified in denying communion to a Catholic whom he knows to be in favor of the death penalty. Such is not the case for the immorality of abortion, which is an infallible teaching of the ordinary magisterium.

Daniel Moran: I know people who are pro-abortion. Referring to someone as pro-abortion is neither calumny nor hate speech. They specifically and proudly identify as pro-abortion. “Prochoice” is false speech and a clever attempt to disguise what abortion really is.

Their opposition to the enforcement of religious beliefs by the government is wholly irrelevant. We have a moral obligation to develop and enforce laws in accordance with the natural law, i.e., prohibitions against murder, rape, theft, etc. These laws are a matter of justice and not an example of the government imposing religious beliefs on its citizens.

President Biden’s Jan. 28 presidential action, “Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at home and Abroad,” made it clear that he is promoting and actively contributing to the murder of unborn children around the world.

Biden is the one inciting violence — violence against the unborn. He has been excommunicated latae sententiae. It’s now the responsibility of a bishop to excommunicate him ferendae sententia. – John B. Schamel III, Fredericksburg

Editor’s note: According to Msgr. R. Francis Muench, a canon lawyer and judicial vicar of the Diocese of Richmond, “The canonical issue about the bishop declaring a sentence (ferendae sententiae), a matter already evident in law itself (latae sententiae), is not required in canon law (cc. 1314- 1318). Second, the one who would impose this, even if it were done, would be the offender’s own ordinary, not merely any bishop who takes it in his head. Finally, whether Mr. Biden is in fact excommunicated is hotly debated, as the procurement of abortion must be actually accomplished (effectu secuto) by the offender. The law as presently written does not have any clause about remote causation.”

Question for letter writers

All right, Joe Biden is wrong on abortion. I agree. So please tell me for whom I should have voted for president of the United States in November 2020. That is what I really want to know from all the letter writers critical of President Biden. – Michael Danehy, Newport News

Supports the president

While reading the letters to the editor (Catholic Virginian, Feb. 8), I noticed that six of the seven letters were either directly or indirectly focused on abortion. It seems to me that Catholic politicians and, more specifically, President Joe Biden, are judged by many Catholics solely by their stance on abortion.

I am so tired of this. I know abortion is an important issue, but it is not the only issue. (See Pope Francis Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate,” paragraph 101). I read a while ago something that stayed with me. The ultimate right to life issue may not be abortion, but rather creation care because if we destroy this planet, there will be no life on earth.

President Biden is working to make changes in environmental regulations that will care for our planet and God’s creation. Many of his policies follow Catholic Social Teaching. He is welcoming refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing violence and persecution. He is working to provide aid to the poor and vulnerable through a COVID relief bill.

President Biden is a compassionate and sane man. He speaks of the importance of his Catholic faith and how it has sustained him throughout his life. As a Catholic, I feel proud to support him and the many initiatives he is taking for our common good. – Pat Marlowe, Roanoke

Science must be ‘in friendship’ with faith

In the guest commentary, “Pope is right; vaccination is ‘ethical choice’” (Catholic Virginian, Feb. 22), Dr. Carol Burger’s assessment on ethics was one dimensional. With a background in tumor immunology, she shares that “much time, expertise and money” has led researchers to “seriously reduce the infectivity of this virus and to save countless lives”; however, her commentary avoids mention of not only God, but it also fails to address that according to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s “Note on the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines,” the course of research and production for vaccines against COVID-19 “employed cell lines drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century.”

Within the same document, the CDF also states this “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” The conclusion stresses it is “morally imperative” for the pharmaceutical industry to develop effective, safe, as well as ethically acceptable vaccinations, which are also “accessible to the poorest countries in a manner that is not costly for them.”

In an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (2006), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated, “Science cannot replace philosophy and revelation.”

The Second Vatican Council along with our last three pontiffs have been consistent in publicly acknowledging the benefits gained by scientific advances, but the Church has also stressed that science must be “in friendship” with faith and that they cannot oppose each other.

For efforts for the common good to be truly fruitful, sustainable and sanctifying, all that is transcendent in the eyes of Church teaching, as well as the dignity of the pre-born and already living, must be discussed, included and upheld. – Jiza Zito, Williamsburg

Editor’s note: The chairmen of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees — Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities — addressed this matter last December. Their statement is here: https://www.usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines.

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