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The Papal Chase

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To the editors:

The conclusion to the highly biased article on "The Divine Right" [May 6] and last week's supporting letter [May 27] spotlight the critical issue in the Roman Catholic Church in this country--papal authority.

Those who start out by vilifying the so-called integralists or traditionalists or arch-conservatives seem always to end by attacking the hierarchical structure of the Church itself and its authoritarian pope.

They pretend to limit their dissent to "non-infallible" and disciplinary matters, while doing their subtle best to redefine all official teaching to suit their whimsical egos.

The tragic split in Christendom called the Protestant Reformation revolved around many matters not yet solemnly defined at that time. But the burning, underlying, all-pervasive issue was the pope's authority.

The striking difference between then and now is that Protestants were honest and straightforward enough to rebel openly, while the present day dissenters prefer to undermine and subvert from within.

The Divine Right exists only as a reaction to the radical dissenters. When the latter finally make their inevitable choice, the former will no longer have to risk ridicule and hostility, for the Church will once again speak with one voice.

What is taking so long?

John C. Prendiville

Oak Park

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