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Re the pope's desire to strike a "new balance" between compassion and dogma, justice and mercy:
In a recent interview with Rome's La Civilta Catholica ("Pope criticizes church emphasis on abortion, gays," Tribune, Sept. 19), Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must not be "obsessed" by issues like abortion, homosexuality and contraception. However, I have not seen any evidence of such an obsession.
I can't recall the last time I heard a church sermon denouncing such controversial moral issues. In fact, at the local level of church life, dogma has been a wasteland since Vatican II. One of the results has been the pedophile scandal. Hence I am puzzled by Pope Francis' desire to de-emphasize dogma in favor of striking a "new balance" that completely favors compassion and mercy over orthodox teaching and justice.
The pope's recent off-the-cuff comments something that is rapidly and unfortunately becoming his trademark are apt to mislead many and further lead to the dissemination of moral relativism.
The church must remain vocal in promoting the truth on the most pressing issues of the day. Indeed, there has been a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for 50 years. This has been due the overwhelming fear among priests of talking about topics that are "politically incorrect." In contrast the Bible exhorts the church to "Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching" (2 Tim 4:2).
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada