As a Catholic, I strongly disapprove of the recent decision of Bishops Michael Burbidge and Peter Jugis to withdraw from the N.C. Council of Churches (“Catholics bow out from a rare bond,” Sept. 29 Ned Barnett column).
I believe that this action of the bishops does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of N.C. Catholics, and it is at odds with recent statements from Pope Francis urging a more out-reaching church. An action like this offers further evidence that our hierarchy is more driven to defend flawed, manmade doctrines, such as the encyclical Humanae Vitae that prohibits contraception, than to diffuse God’s love among all people. Moreover, this behavior further diminishes the credibility of our bishops as spiritual leaders.
It would be good for Catholic lay leaders to unite and to offer to send a representative to serve on the N.C. Council of Churches, as a voice of the Catholic majority in N.C. After all, we are the church, and we should not have our voices muted by the bishops. By joining our neighbors from different religious traditions in the quest for social justice, we can all work together more effectively for the betterment of our world.
Tom Zimmerman, Raleigh