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Catholicism vs. nationalism

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I believe Jay Rowley (“Sheen doesn’t deserve Laetare Medal,” March 17) is confusing two areas of an American Catholic’s life: nationalism and Catholicism.

The war in Iraq was called unjust by the Vatican under John Paul II, and Benedict XVI reiterated a call for the end of the war on Sunday. Is the end of this war not the major goal of Not In My Name and ANSWER? Sheen may not be acting in ways that seem supportive to the United States, but that may be because supporting U.S. policy may not be the most Catholic thing to do.

At the beginning of Mass on Sunday we heard of the day when everyone thought that the militant Messiah had come, riding into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. But later that same Mass we heard this Messiah say, “for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

I commend Notre Dame for choosing Martin Sheen as a recipient of the Laetere Medal for his inspiring story of rediscovering his faith, his voice against “the sword” and in support of the weak and poor. And perhaps it is in spite of the fact that he doesn’t place the same importance on all three parts of our motto, but I’m guessing not.

Matt Rissler

grad student

off campus