Recently, in our weekly Catholic paper, the Herald, a very amusing and disturbing letter was published. I myself was pondering writing a reply when suddenly, in this week's edition of the Herald, a rather well thought out and well crafted reply was actually published. I am shocked of course, that a letter, logical as it may be, defending an orthodox Church teaching was published. Here, I wish to share the letter that started it all and the response, from the aptly named 'Trent', which I think sufficiently and succinctly covers all the bases.
At it's heart, I think, is the summary that if there really is only One God, as we profess in the Creed each Sunday, then there can be no other gods or deities or what have you. I am saddened to see that this simple piece of logic is very unpopular in the local Church. Such is the dictatorship of relativism.
The letter than began it: http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/True-God-versus-Fake-God-11074-11-1.html
True God versus Fake GodPublished on: March 17, 2012 at 13:25 PMDear Editor,
Religious Educators in the Catholic Church especially in Seremban, must be more sensitive that Malaysia is a melting pot of race, religion and creed, hence the theme 1Malaysia.
The problem with the religious education system in the Catholic church today is that people who run the system do not see the world as a boundary-less place where religion is a personal choice and sometimes shared in different ways, especially in a multi-cultural society with more and more mixed marriages.
Unfortunately, not many couples are as ‘lucky’ as these educators, where both parents are Catholics.
These educators must know that in many circumstances, a lot of give and take happens in the household when one partner is a Catholic and the other is not.
It’s time we accept that there is a need for us to ensure the right people are interacting and imparting our children with the right norms and beliefs of our religion. No religion in this world is partial to any other and God is for all. Worship is in many forms manifested by each belief’s practices. Little knowledge can be dangerous and we seem to have these shallow “teachers” guiding some very impressionable minds.
Voluntary services by unqualified people should not be encouraged because they need to learn that there are many situations out there where the Catholic partner sometimes struggles to bring the children up as Catholics.
Making general statements that Jesus is the only true God in the world for a 9 year old child whose father is not a Catholic can be detrimental to the family dynamics.
There are better ways to make these children understand that there are many religions in the world and because we are Catholics, we accept without question the fact that Jesus is God, but there are many other beliefs and it is wrong to label other people’s faith as fake.
My parents taught me to respect every single religion in the world. There are many members in my family who entered into mixed marriages and we have never had a problem with accepting how the other worshipped God.
My deepest wish is for the Catholic Church to have qualified people teaching our children about the faith.
The letter than ended it: http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/There-is-only-one-God-and-salvation-comes-through-Christ-11218-11-1.html
There is only one God and salvation comes through ChristPublished on: March 30, 2012 at 17:11 PMDear Editor,
I read with great sadness the letter titled True God versus Fake God.The Holy Father’s address on the Dictatorship of Relativism immediately came to mind, because the writer sees religion not as revealed, objective truth, but merely ‘a personal choice’. It saddens me that the writer was not properly formed in her faith since simple truths such as the Church’s teaching of Christ as the sole Saviour of mankind and the fact that for Christians, Jesus Christ is indeed the ‘only True God’ can be construed as being ‘detrimental to the family dynamics’. Somehow, it escapes many Catholics that if there is indeed only One God, as we profess in the Creed each Sunday, then there can be no others.The wisdom of the Church in discouraging mixed marriages is once again shown when the writer speaks of the absence of absolute truth in such marriages, where each parent is free to believe in their own fairy tale as long as it makes them feel good and family peace is preserved.The struggles of the Catholic partner in mixed marriages to ‘bring the children up as Catholics’ as they promised in their marriage vows (together with fidelity to their spouse to the moment of death) really should serve as an eye opener to those who are serious about their faith and who are considering a mixed marriage.
I am sad, that in this same relativistic world, where black can be white and white can be black simultaneously, where there can be only One God and yet other deities too, poor catechists who try to impart the Catholic faith are labelled as ‘insensitive’.
In our time, to teach the Catholic faith on the Church’s own understanding is ‘wrong’ because people’s feelings can get hurt. That makes me weep. If the 9-year-old child can understand that Jesus is God, the way, the truth and the life, then all other deities and ways must be false shows the intelligence of children who are the great hope of the Church and the future. It also speaks volumes about the failure of catechesis in our local Church that such simple truths cannot be grasped by adults, but are now considered insensitive and should be discarded.
The courageous catechists who continue to teach the faith should be applauded and encouraged for their thankless task. In God’s time, it is my fondest hope that these children will rekindle the spark of faith in their parents and the wider Catholic Church in Malaysia.