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Fallacy of the Illicit Minor

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To the editors:

I commend your excellent research and accurate reporting in your article, "Is Nothing Sacred?" [June 9]. As I know most of the people whom you interviewed, I would like to respond, mainly for the benefit of non-Episcopalians.

Jim Rosenthal's comments (p. 36) display both fallacious reasoning and inaccuracies. Every introductory logic course teaches categorical syllogistic reasoning and speaks of the "fallacy of the illicit minor," which means that no term may have a greater distribution or extension in the conclusion than it had in the premise. Hence, it is fallacious to jump from the example of one particular parish (presented very accurately by their clergy and Mr. Jamieson) to saying that nothing "creative is being done in traditional parishes."

Mr. Rosenthal is a parishioner at Church of the Ascension, a traditional parish (where I am also a member). Ascension is involved in CYCLE (Community Youth Creative Learning Experience), a meeting of the Anglican Musicians Conference, partnership with the CHA in helping rehab vacant apartments in Cabrini-Green, an AIDS support group, ministry at Illinois Masonic's Warren Barr Pavilion, CCHV (Central Chicago Housing Venture), meetings of AA, Al-Anon, OA and a food pantry. This is in addition to various inhouse opportunities which are spiritual and educational.

As for Mr. Rosenthal receiving so few requests for the 1928 service or Rite I of the 1979 BCP, people in the diocese desiring such services also know where to make such requests and would have no need of contacting the diocesan communications officer.

If Mr. Rosenthal and the Reverend Chilton Knudsen (p. 36 and p. 34, respectively) are both truly interested in maintaining relations with Rome, I would direct them to a report in The Mail on Sunday which contends that Pope John Paul II sees little point in continuing the 30-year quest for reconciliation between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches since the admission of women priests has now been followed by the advent of the first woman bishop within Anglicanism. Also I would direct them to the Resolutions recently passed by the ECM Synod in Ft. Worth, Texas, showing concern for consensus within catholic tradition and orthodoxy on all major issues of faith.

Maria S. Becker

W. Pratt

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