Column strayed from purpose
A guest column by the Rev. Jeff Kaplan, published Nov. 10 on the Religion page, has prompted quite a response here in the community.
KaplanÂ’s column was on the topic of transubstantiation, a key belief in the Roman Catholic faith.
In the column, Kaplan cited a source that indicated the majority of lay Catholics do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Â“this is my bodyÂ” and Â“this is my bloodÂ” statements made by Jesus Christ as he celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples. Kaplan went on to say that Jesus was using figurative speech to make a point: That through communion, those taking part can obtain the same type of spiritual life that bread and wine offer a personÂ’s physical life.
ThatÂ’s KaplanÂ’s interpretation of the Bible, but not the interpretation IÂ’ve heard this past week from local Catholics in person, on the phone and through various letters to the editor, some of which have already been published and some that are awaiting verification before being published.
While itÂ’s true that Kaplan has a right to express his views freely and openly under the guidelines set forth by the Founders in the Constitution, and while itÂ’s also true this newspaper and all others in this great country are free to publish without government intervention or censorship, itÂ’s equally true that thereÂ’s a time and a place for everything.
The Religion page is not the place for this type of speech, and by that I mean speech from one religious leader who challenges the beliefs of another religion. The Recorder leaves open a place on the Religion page for area pastors to share their thoughts on faith. Our intention is to offer a forum where pastors can share their particular version of the Good Word with a broader audience than they may see during weekly church services.
For the most part, we trust that our pastors will not stray from this purpose and Â— until last week Â— did not review submitted columns from local religious leaders with a high degree is scrutiny.
ThatÂ’s now changed.
KaplanÂ’s column, in its published form, was better suited to the Opinion page rather than the Religion page. It went beyond being informative and strayed into the realm of being critical of the faith of others.
HeÂ’s entitled to his views on the subject. WeÂ’re entitled to share those views with others. The forum, though, was not the appropriate one.
IÂ’m of the opinion that Kaplan meant no slight in his attempt to share his views on the subject of transubstantiation. Local Catholics were, however, offended.
ItÂ’s interesting to note that the majority of those taking the time to respond in writing, including the column by David Cox of St. AnneÂ’s Parish, found on todayÂ’s Religion page, are taking the high road and simply stating what they, as practicing Catholics, believe.
The RecorderÂ’s managing editor, Jordan Righi, met this week with the Rev. Scott Daugherty on this topic. I think weÂ’re all in agreement that while KaplanÂ’s column was not the most appropriate for the Religion page, it has served to being a heightened awareness Â— especially among practicing Catholics Â— of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and its importance to the faith.
That can only be good.