VOX CLAMANTIS: Beyond Tolerance

by Francis Belanger | 11/12/09 11:00pm

To the Editor:

Emily Baxter's recent column on Pope Benedict and the Anglicans ("The Right Reasons," Nov. 11), though thoughtful and well intended, amounts to what Flannery O'Connor called a "stomachful of liberal religion." Yes Christians are called to be inclusive and accepting, but we also stand up for the basic categories of right and wrong. When my favorite theologian Stephen Colbert was interviewing a clergyman who was likewise castigating the Catholic Church in the name of tolerance, Colbert stymied the man with the simple question, "But what about sin?" It is rather Orwellian that, in the course of a decade or two, a type of behavior that was once universally viewed as unethical and debased is now hailed, under threat of public reprobation, as a basic human right equal to marriage. Yes God loves everyone without exception, but Christians believe that He sent His Son into the world so that we may be redeemed, not merely affirmed.

With regard to women's Ordination, it is no one's right to be ordained, any more than it is anyone's right to be saved by Christ. Priesthood is a free and unmerited gift from God. Mother Teresa, possibly the most influential Catholic man or woman of the last 100 years was opposed to women's ordination; and her Order, the Missionaries of Charity, is growing and flourishing in its apostolate of love and inclusiveness towards the poorest of the poor. Being a follower of Jesus means more than worshiping at the altar of tolerance.

**Rev. Francis Belanger, O.P. '89

Associate Chaplain, Aquinas HouseDartmouth CollegeHanover, N.H.*

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