To the editors:

Robert McClory’s article [“The Divine Right,” May 6] on the gathering force of Catholic conservatism portrayed well the thoughts and feelings of the smug and self-righteous conservative Catholics. They won’t be satisfied with being the only ones who are miserable in their outlook on life so they continue their crusade to make life miserable for others too.

I still remember those good ole days of knowing who was going to Hell and who wasn’t. God was always waiting around the corner, just waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting soul for breaking a minor infraction of the Divine Law. God had a bad temper back then and Mary was kept busy trying to hold back his wrath.

The only problem for these self-righteous ones is that Jesus was a pretty poor example of what it meant to be religious. He was always getting into hot water for breaking rules like picking corn on the Sabbath and he often upset the religious conservatives of the day by associating with prostitutes, despised tax collectors, and other unsavory types. I do recall, though, Jesus getting quite upset with the religious conservatives for being so concerned about following the Law and not showing love and compassion to those around them. He mumbled something about the Law being made for the people, and not vice versa.

The authenticists have completely ignored Scripture that points out that God has written the Law in our hearts and denying that is denying a part of ourselves. They want to hold on to the illusion that their idea of Truth is unchanging, but if they study Church history, they will soon see that the Church has always been made up of the hierarchy and lay people, and that “we” have always been on a journey to uncover the “Truth” and that there has never been a time when we had rested on our laurels, basking in the glorious rays of Truth, finally all ours.

I do disagree with McClory on one point, however. The Catholic Church will have to change more quickly than he imagines. A losing battle is being fought because there are just too many educated people around now who are no longer willing to let others do the thinking for them. Besides, the authenticists of this age will die out, just like the authenticists of other ages died out, only to be replaced by another batch of them.

James Cappleman