Correspondence

CORRESPONDENCE To the Editors First fruit of reflection You have done the church in this country an enormous service by printing Archbishop John R. Quinn's address, "The Exercise of the Primacy"...

...But in all this, the unsung hero is Pope John Paul II...
...The writer is the former bishop of Pueblo...
...John J. O'Sullivan: "Parishioners think they know better than their priests...
...In practice it sometimes appears that a bishop is the mere legate of the pope, whereas in truth a bishop has legitimate authority in his own right, and joins with the other members of the College of Bishops with the pope as its head for the care of the universal church...
...He was buried in a tiny white coffin next to his grandparents and great-grandparents...
...Archbishop Quinn's lecture is a penetrating and nuanced analysis of the Petrine ministry in the church in the context of the "new situation" of our times...
...I felt that perhaps our hope of having a large family was dying with Gerard...
...The implication might be drawn that such criticism is justified only when invited...
...the primacy is essential to the church and to her efforts toward Christian unity...
...Why does Archbishop Quinn raise it only now...
...women are using the approved version without difficut-ly, though some feminists have griped, often in a ludicrous manner, revealing their own biases and silly pretentions rather than anything substantial...
...Is there no other U.S...
...Where are the homes...
...We have been blessed with five more children, all healthy (No...
...The author portrays public housing tenants as jobless, dysfunctional households who can, with help, move from dependency on public largesse to self-sufficiency...
...I join him in those sentiments...
...Mary Ellen Burns's concern should be addressed to Henry G. Cisneros, secretary of Housing and Urban Development (which is scheduled to demolish 100,000 vacant or "distressed" housing units...
...The writer replies: My article was not about the pros and cons of public housing...
...Never once did we consider abortion...
...As a tenant attorney in New York, I have represented working parents as well as families on public assistance, all residing in New York City Housing Authority apartments...
...An answer to prayers We readers owe thanks to Commonweal for publishing the full text of Archbishop Quinn's Oxford lecture, one of the most important statements on church reform in modern times....It is doubtful that we will ever have a better chance to understand the difficulty faced by our sepa-(Continued on page 28) (Continued from page 4) rated brethren when they contemplate Christian unity in the context of a Catholic church in which so many important decisions are made in secret by a nameless, faceless Roman curia...
...Although the explosive rise in homelessness has led to a disproportionate number of jobless single-parent households in public housing, the program was not created exclusively for "the poorest of the urban poor," but also for working families and elderly and/or disabled persons who could not find adequate housing in the private sector...
...JOHN sheehan Tampa, Fla...
...An echo is heard You have served the church well in publishing the full text of the remarkable lecture given by Archbishop John R. Quinn...
...My husband, a pediatric neurologist, and I, a pediatric nurse, married when we were 37 and 30 respectively...
...Next, Archbishop Quinn admits that "one can only advance the need for new forms [of the exercise of primacy] if the past or current forms are evaluated as inadequate...
...Our obstetrician suggested an amniocentesis to learn whether our son had Trisomy 18, since abdominal defects this large are frequently associated with Trisomy 18...
...But is it not an episcopal and theological responsibility, whether invited or not, to critique papal and curial procedures whenever these procedures create an obstacle to church teaching and unity...
...I read the text of the lecture in the context of my participation in every session of the Second Vatican Council...
...But credibility demands consistency...
...bishop with the guts to speak out...
...ROBERT R. BEUTZ Rosemount, Minn...
...It's really my major contact with the outside world (well, you and the BBC...
...Another Oxford man is also relevant: Charles Gore, bishop of Oxford from 1911 to 1918 and a respected scholar...
...If he did not have Trisomy 18, we would begin to research our son's need for abdominal surgery and to find the best pediatric surgeon available to us...
...I'm sending copies of Mary Douglas's "A Modest Proposal" [June 14] to two other friends...
...It is, in the truest sense of an overused phrase, beyond praise...
...Archbishop Quinn is an answer to our prayers for steps toward making closer union possible...
...Filling bishops' chairs with conservative men...
...The procedure brought the diagnosis we feared, so that the second half of the pregnancy was emotionally very painful...
...all these groups remain part of public housing's constituency...
...Given the decline in real wages for many American workers and the continuing inability of the private sector to provide housing that is "decent, safe, and sanitary"-and affordable for all Americans-the diminution of the public housing stock is cause for mourning, not rejoicing...
...After all, he is the bearer of the 2,000-year-old Petrine ministry...
...jay miller Waterford, Mich...
...The archbishop also cites the failure of the church to address urgent concerns of the People of God, among them the shortage of priests, the celibacy of the clergy, the role of women in the church, the ordination of women...
...It works...
...Making public admissions of and apologies for past mistakes by the church...
...Among them is the need to put a true collegiality into practice, the bond of union of bishops as members of a collegiate body together with the pope...
...At last an American bishop of stature speaks out in a thoughtful dissertation about needed reforms of the curia and for restoration of the principles of colle-giality and subsidiarity, so long ignored in Rome and so glaringly avoided in The Catechism of the Catholic Church...
...The priest who had married us ten months earlier was there to baptize him...
...MOST REV...
...Most U.S...
...One can only guess what occupies bishops' thoughts...
...Perhaps the notorious towers of the Chicago Housing Authority have made it a landlord of last resort...
...Powerful stuff...
...He has spoken with rich theological insight and no little courage...
...Gerard's lungs and heart were weak and his vital signs slowed until he died forty-five minutes after we met him...
...Archbishop Quinn states his personal reverence and admiration for the pope and his commitment to the pope and to papal primacy...
...New York, N.Y...
...Time will tell...
...bishops have shown the poorest of judgments in many matters: in introducing the new liturgy to American Catholics, in approving the 1970 New American Bible translation of the New Testament (replaced completely in 1987), in ignoring sexual issues in and out of marriage, in losing $30 million in an ill-conceived television network, in tolerating, until the Vatican intervened, Charles Curran's major dissent from Catholic moral teaching...
...In itself, the ban is a trifling matter, and I mention it in no spirit of personal pique...
...Among these issues needing further dialogue and discussion can be found many that some of us bishops had listed as urgent in a document submitted to a committee studying the restructuring of the [U.S.] National Conference of Catholic Bishops...
...Priests think they know better than their bishops...
...We prayed that our beloved child would be born alive and live for at least a brief time...
...Given the political realities of church life today, such a talk could have been delivered only by one of the handful of "maverick" prelates (in which case it would have lacked credibility) or by a retired bishop...
...Pass it on I'd like to suggest a means of expanding the readership of Commonweal...
...From a far park bench What a pleasure it was to get your issue of April 19, and the page of letters in the issue of May 17...
...It took much courage and humility for him to open this Pandora's box (can of worms...
...San Rafael Calif...
...I suppose the Holy Father wanted suggestions via Commonweal...
...Quinn's championing of feminist language is as errant as these examples and deserves to be refuted and ignored...
...The writer is staff attorney in the legal services office of Covenant House...
...Both you and the archbishop deserve warm appreciation...
...The beautiful pictures we took of him are among our most cherished possessions...
...My husband and I learned via a routine sonogram halfway through our first pregnancy that our baby had a large abdominal defect...
...And hearing from you now brings cheer to my heart (on this park bench in the Aegean...
...Notre Dame, Ind...
...It is John Paul II who humbly asks for help from non-Catholic Christians to "engage in a patient and fraternal dialogue" on ways of exercising the primacy, so that "we may seek-together, of course, a service of love recognized by all concerned...
...john jay hughes Saint Louis, Mo...
...If this is true of bishops, is it not equally true of theologians and others...
...MARY ELLEN BURNS, A.S.C.J...
...Thirty years have passed...
...I think of you all often, remembering the old days...
...From the editors: You too...
...Cynics will speculate that it will make the Holy See more reluctant to grant early retirement to archbishops...
...MARGARET SHERIDAN Chevy Chase, Md...
...A crafty pope...
...Marciniak, states that "the supply of affordable housing units falls well short of the demand-by about 4.7 million units...
...Quinn's decades of loyal service, and the cogency of his arguments, suggest that such cynics are wrong...
...The veto was wrong In a letter you published [Correspondence, June 14] one of the women who appeared at a press conference supporting President Bill Clinton's veto of legislation that would have banned partial-birth abortions explained her support of the president in terms of her personal experience...
...In New York State, the market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is 271 percent of the poverty-level total income for a family of three...
...Publishing Archbishop Quinn's speech was helpful, but nothing in it surprised me, because I believe that John Paul II means what he says about Christian unity at the beginning of the third millennium...
...and has the most to lose...
...RICHARD A. McCORMICK, S.J...
...Now that Archbishop Quinn no longer has to keep the eccle-sial engine running, he has time to reflect...
...But bothersome questions still dog the messenger...
...Where are the other bishops...
...His address is a fruit of this reflection, hopefully not yet the full harvest...
...John Garvey's column on Walter M. Miller, Jr...
...Pope John Paul II is now the third successor of John XXIII, who initiated the council...
...As I noted, applaud the message but press the messenger...
...JEROME WOLBERT Chicago, III...
...Third, Archbishop Quinn has challenged not a specific decision of the Holy See, but the very "way in which these decisions are reached and implemented...
...That is not the case everywhere...
...See, for example, the statement of 431 members of the Catholic Theological Society of America, "Do Not Extinguish the Spirit," Origins, December 27,1990...
...If Archbishop Quinn were still an active ordinary, would he not have to exclude himself for speaking out as he did at Oxford...
...My husband and I were drawn very close as we comforted each other...
...Finally, Archbishop Quinn rightly states that "raising such questions [contraception, ordination of women, general absolution, priestly celibacy] respectfully and honestly is in reality an expression of both faith and loyalty...
...Keep up the good work...
...In fact it is the event that I am most proud of in my life...
...But U.S...
...Consider: If the pope expects to change the way of being pope, without weakening papal primacy, would he not prepare the way by: Publication of a universal catechism...
...This has not been successful...
...bob lax Patmos Editors' note: The writer refers to James Uebbing's April 19 article, "The Poet [Robert Lax] Who Fell off the Map...
...Archbishop Quinn goes out of his way to insist that his critique of the papal and curial modus operandi is a response to the pope's request for dialogue on how the Petrine primacy can be exercised in a manner "open to a new situation...
...gino dalpiaz, c.s...
...Does it have anything to do with his retired status...
...Our children have internalized our love and respect for Gerard, for all babies, and for persons with disabilities...
...The neonatologist told us what to expect about Gerard's condition, and we let him know that we didn't want our child to undergo any painful procedures...
...Clinton shamelessly used five women and their families to support his veto of the bill...
...That it comes from an American bishop is reason for legitimate national pride...
...He was placed on my chest after the neonatologist examined him, and we then held him and gently talked to him...
...there is not a trace of arrogance or condescension in his words...
...Every August 2 we celebrate Gerard's birthday and his brief but important life with a birthday cake, a visit to his grave, and a trip to Chucky Cheese's ("because," our kids are convinced, "Gerard would love it...
...It is depressing that bishops like Quinn are so weak-minded as to accept such posturing...
...Another needed reform mentioned in the address regards the Synod of Bishops, established by Vatican II to give the bishops of the world the responsibility, together with the pope, of implementing the council's teachings throughout the world, limiting the power of the Roman curia...
...Stone Park, III The view from below The notation in the table of contents describing Archbishop Quinn's article-"John Paul II has asked for suggestions for reform of the papal ministry-an archbishop responds"-reminded me (even before I read the article) of a saying by my late pastor, Msgr...
...Ordinarily Commonweal gets here by dolphin-post (the January 26 issue arrived July 10...
...I raise them with the same love and respect that obviously pervade Archbishop Quinn's lecture...
...President Clinton's claim-"They rip your body to shreds and you could never have another baby, even though the baby you were carrying couldn't live"-is patently false...
...I am also convinced that Mr...
...and Soliciting speeches like Quinn's lecture at Oxford...
...The pope is pleading on his knees, for goodness' sake...
...I focused, rather, on the importance of finding better ways to mainstream the urban poor who receive a public or private subsidy, a topic I am ready to discuss...
...At the funeral home three days later we were able to hold him again...
...A Canticle for Leibowitz," April 5] has garnered you another subscriber...
...Yet, as archbishop of San Francisco, Quinn would not allow such questions to be raised...
...He banned me (and others, including a fellow bishop) from lecturing in the Vatican II program at Saint Patrick's Seminary (Menlo Park) for questioning far less radical matters, for example, the intrinsically evil character of contraception...
...he carries it in a fragile vase...
...I believe many more women and their families would choose to give birth to their fatally ill babies and love and care for them for as long as their short meaningful lives might endure if they were fully informed that they could let their babies live rather than aborting them...
...We were delighted to conceive one month after our marriage...
...Robert e. manley Cincinnati, Ohio A heroic pope...
...Clearly, some public-housing families need the support services Marciniak celebrates, but we need to keep in mind the ongoing shortage of affordable housing that public housing was created to address...
...CHARLES A. BUSWELL Pueblo, Colo...
...Applause & questions Archbishop John R. Quinn's address, as published in your pages, deserves loud and sustained applause...
...ROBERT M. ROWDEN, M.D...
...Making doctrinal statements more conservative than really necessary to protect the essentials of faith...
...The archbishop has made the council come alive for me, and no doubt for many others...
...Thanks very much for doing it and sending it...
...In my reading there came to mind a phrase often repeated during the council: "Ecclesia semper re-formanda": The church is always in need of reformation...
...This is surely a much more radical challenge than questioning any particular decision...
...An unsound complaint Archbishop Quinn's complaint against the Vatican for rejecting the feminist-language translation of The Catechism of the Catholic Church is unjustified...
...My hope is that since there is no medical reason to undergo a partial-birth abortion, each woman will listen to her heart and follow her strong wish to protect and love her child until death comes naturally...
...We have never had any regrets about carrying Gerard to term, giving birth to him, and loving him until he died naturally...
...6 weighed in at 11.5 pounds, leading the hospital staff to marvel at how easily I delivered her...
...A loyal reader who recognizes that a particular article may be of interest to a friend will serve the cause by sending a copy of the piece to the friend, along with subscription information (for example, the insert folded into each copy...
...This inadequacy has been obvious to many for (Continued on page 4) C O R R E S P O N D E N C E (Continued from page 2) many years...
...We prayed that we would have a large family and knew that we had a limited number of childbearing years...
...Ed Marciniak's article ["More than a Roof: Promising Moves in Public Housing," June 1] seems to be based on the assumption that our economy provides enough jobs to make it possible for everyone to afford private-sector housing...
...Gore resigned his see in 1919, saying in explanation, "Episcopacy is just carrying on...
...James McMahon, who performed the partial-birth abortions on all five of the women surrounding President Clinton at his press conference, would have targeted our son Gerard because he had Trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality incompatible with more than a few hours or weeks of life outside the uterus...
...ED MARCINIAK...
...The reforms offered by the archbishop flow from the teachings of Vatican II...
...We had a supportive obstetrician, and at each visit we also met with the OB clinical nurse specialist...
...The report issued by HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, cited by Mr...
...CORRESPONDENCE To the Editors First fruit of reflection You have done the church in this country an enormous service by printing Archbishop John R. Quinn's address, "The Exercise of the Primacy" [July 12...
...At forty weeks our OB decided that he would induce labor, since Gerard had had the benefit of full-term development and had the best chance of living at least briefly...
...The specific reforms Quinn suggests are both possible and practical...
...Let's hear an echo Hooray for Archbishop Quinn...
...She helped us with our grief, and helped us plan for Gerard's birth and death...
...Speaking in Oxford, Quinn several times cited Newman to good effect...
...On the eve of the second day of induction, Gerard was delivered alive...
...Out of my own personal experience, I am convinced that women and their families are tragically misled when they are informed that partial-birth abortion is their only option...

Vol. 123 • August 1996 • No. 14


 
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