Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Lori, like the rest of the church, wants to pretend Vatican II didn't happen

Archbishop William E. Lori's article on the Second Vatican Council ("Not a break but a continuum," Aug. 18) fails to mention Pope John XXIII who convened the council. Instead Mr. Lori refers to Pope Paul II. According to Archbishop Lori, Pope Paul II reports the council as "historically a thing of the past, but spiritually still in being."

In fact the church has been trying to put the "spirit" of that gathering behind them ever since the death of John XXIII. The Second Vatican Council was not just a meeting of bishops, as reported in the article, but included laity and women of the church. (My father was a participant in two separate sessions, one on world peace and the other on families. )

The Second Vatican Council was held in a spirit of new "revelation," a movement toward universal wholeness, catholicity. At last, people were recognizing that God did not stop speaking to creation with the last of the prophets and with the written words of those who remembered Jesus and His teachings. Pope John XXII was acknowledging God's word in creation. It was a time when the work of Einstein, Bohr, Pauli, Heisenberg and others were shedding light on what the mystics had been telling us for centuries, and the main teachings of Jesus: "we are one in spirit."

Words of John XXIII :

"It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have ... were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead."


"Peace on Earth — which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after — can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order."

The theologians of the time Teilhard de Cardin and Karl Rahner were sharing amazing and joyous ways that science was revealing our intimate relationship with God and all of creation. Instead of welcoming this intimacy, and recognizing, as John XXIII says, that everyone in creation is equal, the church quickly tried to put the flame back in the box.

The Church has left us to stumble our way to the evolutionary love and union the God of Love created for us.

I find this very sad. What incredible missed opportunity. Thanks to writers and philosophers like Diamund O'Marchu, Ilia Delio, Richard Rohr, Matthew Fox, DePak Chopra, Henri Noueen, Judy Cannato, and many others there is a community of belief and of "catholicity." A God of Love is a God of Unity.

As John XXIII, who seems to be forgotten by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, said in his encyclical Pacem en Terris: "may Christ inflame the desires of all men to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them."

Barbara Risacher, Joppa

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Electronic cigarettes merit FDA oversight

    Electronic cigarettes merit FDA oversight

    Youth use of e-cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014, and they are now used by kids more than regular cigarettes. But now the House Appropriations Committee — of which Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger is a member — is considering grandfathering in e-cigarettes, little cigars and other products at...

  • Our Soviet-style culture purge

    Our Soviet-style culture purge

    Our country appears to be in the midst of a cultural purge worthy of the old Soviet Union where one could go to the library to look for a bio of a recently-declared "non-person" in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia only to find some cut out pages. Using the deaths of those nine innocent victims in...

  • Officer getting off too lightly

    Officer getting off too lightly

    With regard to police brutality, it's the top officials in Baltimore who have to set policy and do their jobs. The Sun reports Officer Michael McSpadden has been sued five times for alleged brutality or misconduct ("Baltimore officer will not face charges for hitting handcuffed suspect," June 30).

  • Confederate statues are part of our history

    Confederate statues are part of our history

    Politicians never cease to amaze me by their total lack of historical perspective and insight. The controversy over the monuments to Confederate soldiers in Baltimore has to take the prize for pure and utter stupidity ("Status of Confederate statues to be reviewed in Baltimore," June 30).

  • Traitorous Confederates deserve a mention

    Traitorous Confederates deserve a mention

    As an individual who is interested in the history of our country, I cannot help but be perplexed about the debate over Confederate flags and memorials ("Status of Confederate statues to be reviewed in Baltimore," June 30). The point of the matter is that Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall...

  • Did hospitals really save $100 million?

    Did hospitals really save $100 million?

    Maybe the $100 million in so-called savings by hospitals in Maryland does not tell the entire story ("Better care for less," July 1).