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Misunderstanding over 'Come As You Are' (letter)

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 Contents - Dec 2004AD2000 December 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Religious literacy: why not a national inquiry? - Michael Gilchrist
US and Australian election results: the cultural revolution challenged - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Gone fishing: Catholic Earthcare Australia adopts discredited Green agenda - Pat Byrne
Administration: Cardinal Pell: Church administrators must put Christ's mission first - Cardinal George Pell
English language: Will Rome ensure the completion of an improved Mass translation? - William Oddie
Liturgy: Redemptionis Sacramentum on the liturgical rights of the faithful - CDF
New Evangelisation: Rebuilding a lost Faith - Fr John Walter
Archbishop Fulton Sheen: 25th anniversary - Martin Tobin
Society: American surveys show advantages of sexual abstinence education
Letters: Orthodoxy succeeds (letter) - Fr Adrian Head
Letters: Seminary reforms (letter) - Fr Peter Thompson CM
Letters: Election result (letter) - Maureen Federico
Letters: Liturgical development (letter) - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Letters: Catholic youth (letter) - Robert Denahy
Letters: Graham Greene a Catholic? (letter) - Malcolm Mackinnon
Letters: Mass translation (letter) - Leo McManus
Letters: 'Fem-speak' (letter) - C.V.Phillips
Letters: Misunderstanding over 'Come As You Are' (letter) - Peter Hannigan
Letters: Call to holiness (letter) - Mark Calleja
Letters: Abortion (letter) - Maryse Usher
Letters: Nihilism (letter) - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Poetry: The Salami Treatment - Bruce Dawe
Books: Decoding Da Vinci, by Amy Welborn - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: Theology of the Church, by Cardinal Charles Journet - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Making Sense of Private Revelations, by Fr Paul Newton - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Books: Architects of the Culture of Death, by Donald DeMarco and Benjamin Wiker - Jodie Brown (reviewer)
Books: Inspiring Christmas Gifts
Reflection: Today is born to us a Saviour of the world - Pope John Paul II

It does appear that I could owe an apology to Cathy Cleary (July AD2000) who may have shared with Brigid McKenna (October AD2000) a misunderstanding, possibly the result of my use of the word "writer" in the second paragraph of my letter (August AD2000), and included in the quote given by the latter correspondent.

The "writer" I referred to is the author of the song Come As You Are. It was Bruce Dawe's parody of this song (May AD2000) that provoked Cathy Cleary's protest - a protest that I, and another correspondent in the same issue, thought to be misdirected.

Hence there was never any intention on my part to comment on the Cleary family, within which there surely is clear, admirable parental witness to Christ and His Church on behalf of the children and grandchildren.

However, the caution I raised in this matter remains. Neither Cathy Cleary nor Brigid McKenna addresses the matter of real concern about Come As You Are, the fact that it is theologically unsound and tainted with the Pelagian heresy. This is an aspect of the song that Gina Voskulen (August AD2000) also refers to in her letter.

It can be very tempting to take the ad hominem approach ("obsessive" or "judgmental") and perhaps avoid making an informed analysis of the material under discussion. What is so often relied on then is the "warm inner glow", the mere emotional response that has so bedevilled Protestant Christianity, in its multiplicity of forms, since the time of Luther in the 16th century.

Adamstown Heights, NSW

[Editor: This subject is now closed.]

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 11 (December 2004 - January 2005), p. 15

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