I would like to commend Tracey Adams on her fine Open Forum letter headlined "Disappointed" in the April 22 edition of the Gazette.
She was responding to Dawn Cribbs criticism of the Catholic faith and the honor that has been shown to the late Pope John Paul II and our present Pope Benedict XVI.
Unlike Tracey, I am a convert to the Catholic faith. Having lived as both a Protestant and Catholic I feel I am able to understand some of what Dawn is saying, as in the past I may have shared some of her views.
That we have a Pope, the liturgical worship, calling a priest Father, that our priests are required to remain celibate, a devotion to Mary, the need for confession to a priest and repentance are just a few of the things that I realize Protestants have a hard time understanding. From the outside looking in so did I and for a time, even after I entered the church, I still struggled with some of them.
However, with prayer and study I have fallen in love with, and feel blessed to be part of, the Church that Christ established while on this earth-with all of it's teachings and sacraments.
Reading Dawn's article brought to mind a quote from Bishop Fulton Sheen, which says, "There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church."
Please, unless you have studied the Catholic faith and understand the "biblical" reasons for our beliefs and why we worship the way we do, don't judge us. If you believe we are a misguided church, please go to a priest or a Catholic who practices their faith and ask them why we do what we do.
I am excited about the election of our new Pope. I pray he will continue to guide us in the Truth and not "modernize" the church as some have hoped a new Pope would. The role of the Pope is to continue the teachings of Jesus Christ through His church as established while He was on this earth, not to go with the wishes of those people who want to change what Christ started. May God bless Pope Benedict XVI and all the Popes before him for faithfully carrying on the office assigned to Peter. What a sacrifice they make to shepherd Jesus' flock. (John 21:15-17)
May all of us, as Christians, show respect for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, respecting each other's Christian beliefs and form of worship, and may we pray that each of us reaches our heavenly home.