Letters to the Editor

Faith misunderstood

Frank Matthew’s recent article “Go, Francis go,” on Tuesday, Oct. 14, superbly illustrates why the extraordinary synod on the family is so timely.

Like many Catholics, and in spite of his professed Catholic upbringing, Matthews is almost completely misinformed on the actual teachings of the church.

He seems not to know that all of the sins he mentioned can be repented of and forgiven. But, just as with murder, the sinner must have remorse and intend not to continue the sinful behavior.

Jesus himself told us that divorce and remarriage is equivalent to adultery. If a couple enters into this kind of arrangement not knowing the Lord’s teaching, and builds a life together, then they are in a very difficult situation.

Pope Francis seems to be searching for ways to lovingly reach out to such couples, while remaining faithful to God’s commands. All of us sinners would do well to emulate his concern rather than Matthew’s cynicism.

— Michael Arth, Southlake

May I urge Frank Matthews to study in depth (and it’s deep) the Catholic faith, to correct some of his erroneous ideas, expressed in his article.

His “take” on sin and forgiveness leaves the impression that heinous crimes are easily forgiven, but remarriage after divorce, without annulment of the first, and the use of birth control, are unforgivable.

Christ, through His sacrament of reconciliation in the Church, forgives a repentant person’s sins, but does require the intention of refraining from that sin in the future.

Regarding the old rule of meatless Fridays (plus adult fasting during Lent, etc.), it was just that: a rule of practice. As such, it could be changed. Its purpose was to encourage penance, self-denial and sacrifice.

God’s laws concern the sanctity of life, marriage, our relation to Him and to one another. We are asked to be obedient.

Our do-as-you-want culture today would benefit from a return to the basics.

— Carolyn Allen, Benbrook