Page 7, 28th June 2002

28th June 2002
Page 7
Page 7, 28th June 2002 — From Miss R Y Sir, In company with Fr Robert Copsey I was also disturbed by Fr Rolheiser's article.

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From Miss R Y Sir, In company with Fr Robert Copsey I was also disturbed by Fr Rolheiser's article.

What is at stake here is something wider than Fr Rolheiser's apparent failure to distinguish between truths which are "of faith" and those which are of lesser import (although still to be adhered to by Church discipline). It seems that Fr Rolheiser has consciously or unconsciously taken on the current popular and politically correct idea that any truth is merely a matter of human opinion.

Isn't it rather important to remember that it was Pontius Pilate who said, cynically, "Truth – what is that?" and that it was Our Lord who called Himself "the Truth"? It is noticeable that Jesus never called Himself "Love", although St John did so often, and perhaps this was because Jesus knew that "love" can be so easily misinterpreted on a human level. If "love" does not include love of truth, and of 'The Truth" revealed in the person of Jesus and subsequently through the Church He founded, then it is not really love. Our martyrs over the centuries have been witnesses to this true love, sacrificing their lives not for "the truth as they see it", but the truth as revealed by Jesus Christ and His Church. They have also often witnessed to what should be obvious, which is that a true Christian should be able to live in peace even with those with whom he disagrees. Unity in every detail of opinion (as distinct from unity in Church teaching) is not a condition for Christian love, but rather for a totalitarian state.

Fr Rolheiser also implies that nobody, or very few, can claim to know the truth without committing a sin of pride. That is a common criticism of the Catholic position (usually called "arrogance" by those who wish to criticise us) and has its source in the inability to understand that for a Catholic, truth is received, not something one has discovered for oneself so that one can take credit for it. The solution to this misunderstanding is most certainly not to disown the truth, but to explain its source. We must not fall into the trap of throwing away the baby with the bath water, something which has happened all too often in our efforts not to cause offence.

Might I suggest that should the as it so easily can, the proper place to deal with that is in the confessional, and any of the faithful who have taken to heart the Holy Father's recent exhortation to more frequent confession would not make the practice for long without discovering their own self-righteousness or "pride of being right" if it was indeed there. And what better preparation for the Eucharist than that?

Yours faithfully, RUTH YENDELL Exeter, Devon.

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