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POPE, CARDINAL BELIEVE WHAT CHURCH TEACHES

The sentiments expressed by Paula Voell in her Sept. 17 column are understandable but unjustified. I am sure they were well-intentioned, but may I respectfully suggest that she misunderstands the position of the Catholic Church?

Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger are in agreement, and state what the Catholic Church has always believed and taught. Look at the Nicean Creed and the Athanasian Creed from the earliest centuries. Look at the writings of the ancient Fathers of the Church. All are united in stating that the church founded by Christ is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. These are the four marks of the true church, and it has always been taught that some kind of membership in this church is necessary for salvation.

I have met regularly with a group of Protestant ministers for more than 20 years. They know that I believe this. I know that they disagree with the Catholic position. Yet I admire them greatly and love them for their sincerity and goodness. It would do no good for true ecumenism to gloss over our differences.

REV. JAMES E. HARAN

Cattaraugus

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