Letter to the Editor: October 17, 2014

I was saddened by the article “Pope’s leadership suggests modernized church” Sept. 26, written by Scott Johnson ’18. Johnson claims that the Church is still “living in the 10th century” by upholding its stance on artificial contraception and premarital sex, and that it had better “reevaluate” if it wants to survive and ensure its pew membership.

As a Catholic myself which I assume Johnson is not, I wish to clarify these common misconceptions. Yes, the Pope is initiating some much-needed changes, but Scott claims that if Francis slackens the Church’s stronghold on premarital sex and contraception, it will not undermine the core values of the Church. This is simply not true.

The Catholic Church has always faithfully upheld its doctrine on sexuality because marriage and the family are the basic structures for all of society. Dissolve the family, and there is no stability in our culture or our faith: children are slaughtered in the womb, single mothers abound, and fathers bed-hop with no sense of commitment. We have already seen these tragedies ravage our world, and the Church offers the only real solution by requiring men and women to take responsibility for their sexuality rather than using sex solely for selfish personal gain, as artificial birth control and cohabitation promote.

The number of practicing Catholics may be falling, but it is not, and never has been, the Church’s goal to be popular. The Church’s mission is to bring souls to heaven, and these “rules” about sex are not to suppress and control us, but to help us become responsible human beings who want what is best for one another. Catholic membership is not falling because the Church is backwards and irrelevant, but rather because most people don’t have the cojones to be a faithful follower of Christ. Yes, Jesus had mercy on prostitutes and tax collectors as Pope Francis does today but he also required them to leave their sinful ways and follow Him. The Catholic Church today is no different.

Also, Catholics are only against artificial birth control. Natural birth control, aka Natural Family Planning, is widely practiced by those who don’t want to have 15 kids or “protect” themselves with pieces of latex and harmful drugs. And according to a US News story from July 2013, a study conducted by the Family Research Council found that Catholics have better sex lives than any other demographic group; you can read the article at www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/17/devout-catholics-have-better-sex.

Please check your facts if you ever write about the Catholic Church in the future.

Anna Priore ’16 priorea@stolaf.edu is from Kenyon, Minn. She majors in English with a concentration in biomedical studies.

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Student journalism is a very important platform for opinions