2010-01-01 / Letters

Not Aware Of Bishop’s Duties

This letter is in reply to Mr. Richard J. Veneziano’s “Changes in Catholic Church.” Dear Mr. Veneziano,

It is obvious you are not aware of the duties a Bishop has as a member of the Roman Catholic Church. As the Bishop of Providence, Bishop Thomas Tobin has a duty to “teach, sanctify and govern” which means that he must (1) oversee preaching of Gospel and Catholic education in all its forms; (2) oversee and provide for the administration of the sacraments; and (3) legislate, administer and act as judge for canon-law matters within his diocese.

He serves as the “chief Shepherd” (spiritual leader) of the diocese and has responsibility for the pastoral care of all Catholics living within his ecclesiastical and ritual jurisdiction. With that being said, Bishop Tobin was just doing his job forbidding Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights.

Read on, the problem of religion and politics defines another set of issues. Church and state deals with the relationship of institutions that are independent of each other. Religion and politics has to do with two spheres of activities in the life of the same person.

Citizens who be long to religious groups are also mem bers of the secular society, and this dual association generates complications. Religious beliefs have moral and social implications, and it is appropriate for people of faith to express these through their activities as citizens in the political realm. However, they do not have secular validity merely because they are thought by their exponents to be religiously authorized. They must be argued for in appropriate social and political terms in harmony with national values.

Mr. Veneziano, having over 12 years of Catholic school education you advertise that you did not pay attention or do your homework when the subject of Religion was taught. I suggest you study what really took place in 1964, the first Sunday of Advent where deeply felt, in and beyond the pews.

Perhaps if you researched and reported correct facts in your letter, which appeared in December 4, 2009 issue of The Wave there would not be decline in attendance at Mass, or decline in vocations, and lastly wonderful Catholic Schools would not be forced to close.

DONNA MARIE DOHERTY

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