Regarding Michelle Sumpter's letter Nov. 25 and her criticism of the Catholic Church as hypocritical when it encourages members to refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they engage in lifestyles that contradict church doctrine: Pope Benedict said last month at a gathering of top Catholic theologians, "Speaking just to find applause or to tell people what they want to hear ... is like prostitution. Don't look for applause, but look to obey the truth."
The catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Anyone who desires to receive Christ in eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance." Catholics, not Catholic clergy, are behaving hypocritically if they disregard this rule and continue to receive communion.
Ms. Sumpter's logic that any church leaders who have sinned cannot guide their members on how to live a holy and moral life is not rational. Scandals in churches of all stripes are an infinitesimal part of every church community. Christians should not focus on what divides us to more ably meet the challenge and threat of radical Islam and absolutist theocracy.
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