Christmas Break

I dare say [many Christians] don't have a problem missing a Sunday service when it is convenient for them, but God forbid that ministry leaders get a break—and on Christmas, no less! ["Megachurches Cancel Christmas," posted December 5]

Serving in my local church every weekend on top of working a full-time job, I welcomed the news that we would not be having a Sunday service. If anyone feels slighted by not having a church service on Christmas Sunday, [they can] go someplace where they will. And if they really want to be religious, why not spend the day at their local mission or soup kitchen—I am sure they could use the help.

Alvin Bass
Wilson, North Carolina

Sacraments for Homosexuals

Unfortunately, Anne Rice's statement about "Christian gays and their right to worship and receive the sacraments" ["Interview with a Penitent," posted Dec. 1] is misleading, implying that gays are somehow hindered from worshiping as Catholics. In fact, no one is ever barred from attending Catholic mass. Anne Rice's gay son certainly has the right to receive the sacrament of penance (confession) and is encouraged to do so.

However, other sacraments, most notable Communion, are not to be received in the state of mortal sin. Practicing homosexuals are committing a grave sin if they are aware of the church's teaching about the gay lifestyle and consent to the sin anyway. [To deny them Communion] is in no way a lack of love. Instead, it is an act of loving kindness for the Catholic church to deny those who are openly committing grave sins, as it attempts to awaken the faithful to their unhappy condition, bring them back into the state of grace through sacramental confession, and keep them from committing the additional mortal ...

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