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Misinterpretations

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cecilia Prinster’s column, “Lay Down Your Stones” (April 8), is misleading in its use of the Vatican II constitution “Gaudium et Spes” (GS). The Alumni Association president cites the constitution’s condemnation of “whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body and mind, subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit” (No. 26). She notes that President Obama supports this teaching.

However, her citation does not include the first part of that samesentence, which reads, “Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction…” The Vatican Council puts the “life issues” first. Later, that same document bluntly states, “from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care, while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes” (No. 51).

We should expect our elected officials to oppose “unspeakable crimes” as their highest priority, even as they tend also to Guantanamo.

Adrian Reimers

faculty

Philosophy

April 8