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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Serve Catholic Unity by Facing Problems

November 29, 2003

Re "Catholics Will See Changes in Observance of Mass," Nov. 22: It is perplexing that the Catholic Church plans to encourage visibly "expressing the unity" by having people stand after receiving Holy Communion. I was taught (circa 1960s) that Mass was said in Latin so that we would find a familiar setting in whatever country we might visit. Then with Vatican II it was changed to the vernacular (language of the people) so that we could participate better. Yet even an English-spoken Mass in the Los Angeles Archdiocese may have parts sung or read in another language, leaving someone like me feeling left out, as I only speak English and cannot join in. I do understand that in our rich variety of blended cultures others may feel excluded when attending an English Mass. And this may be why the Latin Mass lasted so many centuries. It promoted unity.

It is a shame that the church does not focus on its more serious problems, such as the molestation abuses or correcting the inconsistent theological teachings being promoted by its uneducated lay people. Standing after receiving Holy Communion is just a pretense of unity, a hypocritical show of piety. I will be kneeling and praying that someday I will find a parish where I do feel part of the community. And I will be doing my praying at a church where I do not have to pay a parking fee if I just want to run in and light a candle.

Susan K. Zalusky

Oxnard

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