Editorial on Sotomayor, faith merits response


Re: Mr. Wessling’s article on Ms. Sotomayor and practicing Catholics, I would like Mr. Wessling to clarify three things.

First, why does he confuse rational facts with “opinion” with regard to the idea of “practicing Catholics”? Myriad polls over the years, including those by Pew, Gallup and Reuters have made judgments based on results of polls comparing beliefs of faith and the practice of religion, differentiating between those who attend Mass regularly and even during the week with those who rarely go to Mass. These facts may be found on the Internet easily.

Second, why does Mr. Wessling confuse the idea of the Catholic Church, which is universal, united, apostolic, one and holy, with subsidiary cultural practices? The Catholic Church transcends individual cultural differences, which is part of its identity. For this he may want to check out the definition of the “church” in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and such documents as “Lumen Gentium” from Vatican II, as well as recent encyclicals of the late Pope John Paul II and our present Pope Benedict XVI on ecclesiology. I find Mr. Wessling’s argument lacking in these points.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that Mr. Wessling is perhaps a bit insulting in expecting less from one culture regarding the practices of religion than other cultures. This idea seems to be an insult to both the Hispanic community and Ms. Sotomayor. Why should one culture have different standards of religious practice than another culture? Tying culture with Mass attendance is ridiculous and not a “Catholic” idea. We are all the same under Christ.


M.A. Dean

Maryville, Mo.

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