I was shocked that you chose to print Paul W. Rosenthal’s truly appalling essay in Sunday’s editorial section (“Voting your faith in 2012: Social justice, abortion and apples,” Nov. 4). Such hateful internecine savagery is best left to the confines of ecclesiastical walls – or, better yet, to the confessional. And while the complete fusion of church and state may not be historically un-Catholic, it is certainly un-American.
In my freshman year theology class at Holy Cross College, the Jesuit priests taught us that the meaning of a biblical precept, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” was this: If any person presumes to judge the soul of another, he risks incurring the wrath of a jealous God, Who has reserved that prerogative unto Himself alone. If I were the true, authentic Catholic Mr. Rosenthal advertises himself to be, I do not think I would run that risk. I do not think I would call other Catholics “fake”; I think I would just be content to be true and authentic myself and let God be God.
Perhaps the best advice for Mr. Rosenthal comes from the play Becket, by the French playwright Jean Anouilh, in a line spoken to an English nobleman by the soon-to-be martyred archbishop and saint Thomas à Becket. Roughly translated, it reads something like this: “Put your sword back into its scabbard, my lord, before you impale your immortal soul upon it.”
Joseph J. O’Connell