Letters – May 1, 2023


Modern culture diverging from truth

I am writing concerning the “Be compassionate, yet firm” (Catholic Virginian, March 20). Thank you for your comprehensive coverage of Mary Hasson’s presentations on gender ideology.

I attended one of those presentations and found it to be among the best talks I have ever heard on any subject. It seems to me the gender-ideology issue is only one aspect of the larger problem of our Western culture diverging ever more rapidly from objective truth.

This is perhaps best represented by an excerpt from the 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: “At the heart of liberty is the right to de- fine one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

That, of course, is simply not true. But it represents the position of the most influential elements of our secular society.

Mary Rice Hasson’s presentation was excellent, but only a small percentage of our Catholic faithful attended. At Sunday Mass we need to hear more from the pulpit about how to address the problems that result from the assault on truth. – Tom Strassburg, Earlysville

Young, single Catholics need to connect

As a young adult Catholic (millennial) struggling in the dating world to find another Catholic with the same values, I enjoyed reading the article titled “Dating crisis fuels freefall of Catholic marriages” (Catholic Virginian, March 6). I agreed with all of it — every aspect from each person in the article. For a long time, I thought I was the only one struggling to meet other young adult Catholics.

So, what is a solution which could lead to a rise in Catholic marriages? Here are a few ideas: maybe a diocese could host a Single Young Adult Retreat with different religious topics like prayer, the meaning of Mass, etc. and activities like cooking class, taking a tour of a local area (to help us meet people with the same interests. Maybe even a class on how to get over the fear of socializing (LOL)).

I would like to see parishes connect more with each other. My home parish is in the suburbs (I absolutely love my home parish), but I think I’m the only young single adult that attends almost year-round. So, I started going to other parishes to seek and find other young adults.

How about a Catholic league for a sport? At least some kind of young adult activities that can last a few weeks instead of a day or just a weekend.

More parishes could offer more men’s and women’s groups for the younger generations, e.g., Bible study, and religious groups where we have different topics on our faith.

I wish there could be one app on which all parishes could post their events; that would be nice! – Katie Lemza, Midlothian

Gun ownership not in Gospel

I disagree with the author of Feb. 20’s Letter to the Editor, who stated that through Luke, God is giving a nod of approval for gun ownership. I disagree on historical and theological bases.

Remember that the Gospels were written between 20 and 50 years after Jesus’ death. It was several hundred years later that the Gospels we read today were accept- ed as, well, gospel.

Originally the Gospels were written in Greek, a language Jesus himself never spoke. Over centuries they have been translated into many languages. In the art of translation, the translator must first determine what the original text and context
is portraying, and then select the closest equivalent in the second language. This is a subjective process.

Luke is the only author to cite these words from Jesus. John, Mark, and Matthew do not, nor do the Gospel of Thomas or the Q source documents.

Theologically, Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God had already arrived. He advised his followers to live each day in the Kingdom.

When confronted in the Garden of Gethsemane by a crowd armed with swords and clubs, one of Jesus’ group drew his sword and committed a violent act. Jesus did not advise Peter to lock and load his AR 15. Rather he told Peter to put away his sword because violence is not part of the Kingdom of God.

If Luke 22:36 is a call to gun ownership, is Luke 24:38 (“So they said, ‘Look, Lord, here are two swords.’ Then he told them, ‘It is enough.’”) a call that owning two guns is all that is allowed? – George Shaboltnik, Midlothian

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