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Churches divided

November 02, 2009

Re "Courting Anglicans," Editorial, Oct. 24

The Times was right to place Roman Catholicism's courting of estranged Anglicans within the broader wedding of conservative religion and intolerance.

As a child, my church taught me about the "curse of Eve" that shaped my young mind about women; the "curse of Onan" that affected my psycho-sexual development; the "curse of the Jews" that nourished the prevailing anti-Semitism; the "curse of Ham" that condemned African Americans to perpetual servitude; and the "curse of Sodom" that fed overt social disgust of homosexuals.

I later learned through wise teachers and scholars that Jesus and the Bible never taught such things.

How long will the Christian church provide aid to the "cursing" of people who happen to be different?

Douglas J. Miller

Santa Barbara

The writer is a Baptist minister.

::

So now two sets of people feel free to betray principles that have been deeply held for centuries.

Anglicans are repudiating the fundamental achievements of the Reformation in eschewing superstition and authoritarian religion in order to stick to a few doctrines of dubious validity.

Roman Catholics are tossing aside the rule that all priests should embrace celibacy as basic to their vocation -- ignoring the suffering the rule has caused to many priests who have nevertheless put their trust in the wisdom of the church.

The future of faith could hardly look more rocky.

Rory Johnston

Hollywood

::

The Times' editorial addresses only one side of a very complex issue.

There are many disaffected Anglicans, including myself, who are leaving or considering leaving for reasons having nothing to do with the issues of gays and lesbians in the church or women's ordination.

I might mention, for instance, the disaster of ordaining clergy who deny the divinity of Christ, or the serving of Communion to those who are not baptized, which goes against liturgy and tradition.

I might also mention the Episcopal Church's virulent policy of lawsuits against those dioceses and congregations that have aligned themselves with more traditional Anglican provinces.

Alice Dick

Beverly Hills

::

You seem to be of the mind-set that the Catholic Church can and should change its stance on issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women. As a practicing Catholic, I beg to differ.

The church's teachings on these things are matters of doctrine; they have been defined once and for all. This is distinct from matters of discipline, which can and are changed (such as the rules regarding fasting and abstinence from meat).

As the Catholic Church holds homosexual acts to be inherently disordered (because they cannot achieve what sex is intended for, namely, reproduction), it never can change its position.

This is what is meant by the infallibility of official church teaching -- it can't change.

Unfortunately, not many people believe in objective truth anymore, which is why so many of them are demanding what is impossible -- namely, that the church "change its mind."

Elizabeth French

Santa Paula

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