Let’s unify, not criticize


After reading The Catholic Messenger the past several weeks with its barrage of criticism, I felt as though Dr. Keith Soko was being put on trial for some crime. Isn’t the church big enough for different approaches, with opinions shared by members of both the “old” style and “new” style church?

I am a member of an extended family and of a family of in-laws who watch EWTN and seem to be enriched by its programming. I also have friends and family who lived before and after Vatican II and struggle with the church’s hierarchical, clerical and slow-to-change traditions. What these two groups have in common is their passion for the Catholic Church not only to survive, but prosper into the next century.

Dr. Soko represents a large number of faithful Catholics who see a need for all Catholics to move beyond past visions of what makes one Catholic to a present vision of what makes one Catholic. We all make up the community of faith who share its traditions and rich history. We all believe the church needs to stay united. Without the vision of both the past and the present, the church will certainly divide and fail. The church needs the members of my family, and it needs people like Dr. Soko for the Catholic Church to grow as a community of faith.

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S., he declined an invitation to be interviewed on EWTN. I’m sure that wasn’t because he dislikes EWTN, but it does suggest that he doesn’t consider it the only way to reach all Catholics. I believe he also realizes that a united Catholic Church will stand and a divided Catholic Church will fall. Let’s all strive to contribute to the unity of the one church rather than criticize each other.


Jim Harder


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