A Joyful Catholic’s Letter to Bishop Tobin.

I stumbled upon this quite unintentionally at “The Joyful Catholic“,  a site I had not previously known.  I think she gets right to the point.  (The “Joyful” Catholic in stark contrast to the usual stereotype, but is entirely consistent with the theology of James Alison, who stresses the “God of delight”.)  Go across, and browse through some of his other writing.

Open letter to Bishop Thomas Tobin

If you had been the priest instructing me during my conversion to the Church, which happened before you were born, I would still be a Protestant. At that time I learned that being a Catholic was committing oneself to Christ and his teachings. It meant devoting one’s life to love of God and love of all others. Joining the Church would entitle me to receive the Eucharist and benefit from the other Sacraments.

In your letter to Congressman Patrick Kennedy, you imply that when one becomes a Catholic, this person relinquishes freedom of thought and action. As demanded by the four most prominent dictators of the last century, all must conform to the dictates of authority.  Back then, citizens who did not commit to ordered thinking, talking and acting were considered traitors. Your requirement for membership in the Church calls for mandated conscience. And in your opinion, Catholic laypeople should be like robots, which nod in unison when Church leaders press the button. I have never studied theology, but I doubt if that is what Christ had in mind when he initiated the Church.

You would like for Catholics to act as do pawn Congresspersons who vote as instructed by their Party, regarding of what they think of the merits of pending legislature. Although this is effective in cramming through legislation, I don’t think it should have a role in our Catholic religion.

I pray for you.


When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, the whole group of   disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for the miracles they had seen.

Luke 19:37


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