Ministry, not judgment | AspenTimes.com
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Ministry, not judgment

Dear Editor:We are writing to let the people of Aspen know that we strongly disagree with the recent statements of the priest at St. Mary Catholic Church.The local Catholic priest is one that makes the easy argument: He will preach on topics that cost him nothing. Abortion, stem-cell research, same-sex marriage are all discussed with a narrow mind, a judgmental heart and angry words. He believes that Bush’s policies are more Catholic than John Kerry’s. Somehow, protecting the environment, health care, our schools, and making the world a unified and safe place for all religions isn’t Catholic important for Father O’Brien. But, O’Brien (and Archbishop Chaput) goes even further to believe that in voting for Kerry, you have committed a grave sin, primarily due to Bush’s stance against abortion. What O’Brien fails to realize is that by taking such a narrow view on a range of complex topics, he is guilty of both bad politics and bad religion, and he may even cause the opposite of what he hopes to achieve. For example, Bush’s economic policies are not designed to help the working poor and destitute. In addition, the Republican party is hardly the party of minorities. Yet statistics show that the majority of women having abortions are from low-income households, many of whom are minorities. Therefore, it is possible that a Bush presidency could actually increase the number of abortions being performed. Since there is strong disagreement in the country on abortion, the practice is not going to be banned. Thus, (if one were a single-issue voter) the moral obligation of those who view abortion as wrong is to vote for the candidate whose policies they believe will cause the fewest abortions to occur. Whether that was Bush or Kerry is for the individual to decide, not the local priest. This not only our opinion as practicing Catholics, but also the opinion of prominent thinkers in the Catholic church, as well. We are regular visitors to Aspen, spending over a month a year here. We were married in St. Mary Church and we feel it is our church, as well. We hope that in the future, the local church staff will remember ministering to the people is more important than standing in judgment of them.Nicholas and Kathryn RizzoGilbert, Ariz.


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