Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor on YouCat
Our priest gave all the children in the older religious education class at our a YouCat to be used in class. Overall, it seems pretty user-friendly. However, one wonders why they authors felt the need to use quotes from secular/non-Catholic sources, when there are SO many excellent quotes from the Saints, etc. As adults who have a decent grasp of the Faith, you & I know that plenty of secular/non-Catholic people/sources can proclaim the truth (because if anything is good & true, it comes from God) -- but my concern would be a young person who is led to believe that if truth can be found equally elsewhere, then they may believe that the Church holds no special place of importance in promoting or professing the truth.
Additionally, another concern I do have with the YouCat now that I have seen it is that some things seem to be placed in odd places in the YouCat (for example, in the beginning section of the YouCat where there is the discussion of creation, heaven, hell, angels, the soul, the equality of man & creation of male & female...it suddenly jumps to the topic of "people who feel they are homosexual" -- which I think properly belongs in the section about sexual morality, marriage & procreation -- & the topic of homosexuality is addressed later, but why was it in that other section?). It seems that one could be led to believe that, if the topic of homosexuality is in the section that talks about creation, one might be led to believe that God creates people with a same sex attraction, therefore acting upon it is not sinful, etc. Also, some moral teachings appear to be presented in a somewhat ambiguous manner, which could be confusing to those who are not properly catechized from the get-go -- some of these issues really need to be presented in stronger terms.
And those line-drawing, cartoonish figures in the YouCat -- not only do they seem silly (this is supposed to be for teens & young adults) & distracting -- the drawings where the topics of prostitution & pornography are border on being inappropriate. I'm not a fan of Christopher West's take on the Theology of the Body (which I think differs greatly in many ways from Pope John Paul II's original writings on the topic of the TOB) -- & I think that some of the YouCat material that covers human sexuality tends towards West's brand of the TOB (you may recall that West recently went on sabbatical to rethink some of his approach to the TOB after being criticized for some things he has said & ideas he has promoted). That is a whole different topic that I won't get into now.
Letter on Today’s Culture
Today, as we reflect on the words of our Pope, we also remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” This is what we are seeing in America. A complete removal and in some case reversal of the moral truths we have known for millennia to promote and provide for the social good!
Truths are such because they have stood the test of time and have proved to be right in all contexts, but even in the church there has been a calling of good evil and evil good. If Churches across America leave behind the moral high ground in order to be inclusive and tolerant, the human situation will not improving.
We, the Church, have a role to play in preventing the reversal of moral truths in America. In order to counter the cultural currents at work in this nation, the Church must not reflect the sinful world. The Church must rise above the status-quo, accepted, tolerated. We cannot look like the world. We must be the light, the good, the sweet.
We join with Pope Benedict XVI in calling upon the American Church to rise up and realize the grave threats our moral witness is facing! The Pope expressed that now more than ever, “…we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Church endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.”
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