Dear Editor:

In an article printed in the March 30 issue of the Times News, Miss Claire Castagnera continued for a second week in a row her diatribe against the Catholic Church and its newly-elected Pope, Francis. What was new that week was that her Father, Jim, joined her in writing the article entitled "Pope Francis must provide Obamacare for the Catholic soul." What was not new and not unexpected was that they simply rehashed the hackneyed attacks of the progressive secularists and did so with customary hostility and arrogrance.

There can be no denying the fact that there have been Catholic leaders and lay folk down through the ages right up to the present who have been guilty of egregious errors and grave sins. No one better than a faithful Catholic struggling with temptations and their personal weaknesses is aware of the failures of the Church to live according to the calling and mission entrusted to it by its Founder, Jesus Christ. As our commitment to Christ grows deeper and stronger so does the realization of our sinfulness and the need to seek forgiveness and strength in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Only a self-deceiving fool would claim that their following of Christ was impeccable and only a naive or pernicious person would expect the Catholic Church to be flawless in all its members and in all its works. Its members are still on the way to complete redemption. Even though it is our firm Catholic belief that the Holy Spirit teaches, guides and protects the Church and preserves it always in its integrity as the Church established by Jesus Christ, there is nonetheless the constant need for it to be reformed and renewed according to the authentic and perennial teachings and values of the Gospel and the growing understanding of them provided by the Spirit throughout the ages. In this sense, the Church is true to its radical nature only and when it responds to the summons of Christ and not to the transitory and conflicting values of the present age.

Therein lies my chief problem with Miss Castagnera and her Father and those who think like them. They want the Church to transform itself and to reinvent itself according to the likes and dislikes expressed in the public square. In this way of thinking, as long as the Church is in step with mainstream thinking and desires and modifies its preaching and formulates its codes of morality to accomodate them, it will be vibrant, relevant and authentic. By doing so, however, the Church is reduced to being a mouthpiece for the contemporary culture and not for Jesus Christ.

There are those who would say that the only good Catholic Church is a politically correct Catholic Church.

James Gmitter

jamcar1@verizon.net [1]

Lehighton