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Church 'Squanders' Its Moral Capital

August 25, 1994

Father Gregory Coiro accurately portrayed the position of the Catholic Church when he condemned the civil marriage of Jennifer, 17, and Caesar Espinoza, 25, ("They Say Love Conquers All--Will It Now?" Aug. 8).

"It's totally ludicrous to teach the sanctimony of the sacrament of matrimony and then have a Catholic young person thumbing her nose at the sacrament."

What is the message of the archdiocese in this case? Answer: The rules and principles of the church will be absolutely defended despite their impact upon the faithful.

Once again, the church is bogged down in legalism rather than considering greater values such as love, commitment and faith.

When religion is at its best it provides a supportive community, has an alive morality and adds meaning to people's lives--and many spiritual communities even within the Catholic Church continue to do this.

However, in cases like the Espinozas', the church is squandering its moral capital in issues that obscure the essential message of the Gospels.

By the way, how old was Mary when she was betrothed to Joseph? Oh, well, another young person who thumbed her nose at the sacraments.

MAURICE HAMINGTON

Assistant professor & women's

studies coordinator

Mount St. Mary's College

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