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'Great Matters of Law Leave Children in Lurch'

November 30, 1985

Peter A. O'Reilly's article (Editorial Pages, Nov. 10), "Great Matters of Law Leave Children in Lurch," says that "the genius of American law is to be found in not always arguing from general principles but in being able (and indeed willing) to be responsive to experience."

Thus he wants us to stop being finicky about church/state separation, and to give parochial school children remedial education at public expense.

The Supreme Court ruling was that this was an aid to the Catholic religion and is thereby unconstitutional. Father O'Reilly speaks as a representative of the clergy of that religion.

He should take notice that what he would find desirable in the secular order is seriously lacking in the church for which he speaks. Recently, a group of priests and nuns placed an advertisement in the New York Times that said, in essence, "let the church be responsive to experience" in the matter of abortion.

He knows how the church, from the Pope down, responded: "There shall be no wavering from our general principle!"

For O'Reilly, our principles are expendable; his are not. Such parochialism!


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