Dear Writers and Editors of Veritatis Praeco
Editor’s Note: This letter was received in response to the first issue of Veritatis Praeco. An abbreviated reply is included in the second issue, and a full response will be posted here as soon as it is completed.
I have several questions and comments regarding your recent newsletter. The first of which is a complaint. Why was I not afforded the opportunity to read through the newsletter first-hand? I did not receive a copy of your enlightening document. Was I considered unworthy or was I simply overlooked? Surely the editors of such a fine journal would consider it imperative to provide such discussions of truth to all members of society regardless of creed, gender, or color. Does the fact I was absented your mailing list betray some bias on your part? Was there an ulterior motive involved in providing copies to those who did receive the journal? Do you truly aspire to spread truth or do you merely wish to receive approbation and confirmation of your views from an intellectual minority?
My second observation ties in with my first. If you wish to enlighten a community, surely you should contact all its members. Since you have not, I fear I must lay the charge of gnosticism (not the religious view, but of the possession of esoteric knowledge) at your door. Do the editors and writers of Veritatis Praeco believe they are the sole holders of “truth” and understanding regarding Catholic education and worship? Is there an underground society I should join in order to receive the fullness of truth (which apparently I need Veritatis Praeco’s help finding and without which I am lost amid the sunken and crippled intellectual wreckage which drifts through the morass of modern relativist society)?
Furthermore, as an advocate for all things good and true, I take offense at the inclusion of G.K. Chesterton’s comment in your “Logos” section on page 10. I appreciate Chesterton’s sentiment as I have read his writings and I understand his objection to women in the workplace. However, I find it to be out of context in your journal and an example of a biased and unbalanced discussion against women’s equality and opportunity. A full appreciation of the many talents and gifts which women have is vital to the protection and true understanding of femininity. All women should not be banned from the workplace or sequestered to the seclusion of the home simply because they are women. Neither so should all men be forced into the business world to wear a suit and tie and work long meaningless hours as an actuary (no offense intended to the noble profession) or paper-pusher simply because it is the role society has designated for the male. The great advantage of the modern age is that all persons are free to pursue whatever course God may call them too–be it as homemaker, office clerk, CEO, blacksmith, or entrepreneur.
God does not call all women to be mothers just as all men are not called to be fathers. True, women are biologically and spiritually “programmed”, if you will, for motherhood–but that natural role can be fulfilled in as many different ways as there are vocations and callings. To be celibate and or a virgin does not circumvent the natural design of a woman, it merely shifts its focus from natural born children to spiritual children or to adopted children (as with a daycare worker or social worker). The feminine predisposition toward motherhood is much like the masculine propensity to “provide and protect.” Clearly, the modern man does not hunt and forage every day and protect his family and land by killing those who trespass on it. They work in various positions for an hourly, daily, or yearly wage in order to provide and they protect by providing the basic needs to their families–food, clothing, shelter, etc. They work in the government to enact laws which will ensure their and their families’ safety. Some will say this does not “fulfill” the so-called natural determination of the man to protect and provide. Some would even say that the modern cycle undermines masculinity to such an extent that the modern man no longer acts as a man–he is emasculated, undone, becomes self-serving rather than self-sacrificing, and lapses to a subservient position to the female. Just as the act of that unfortunate Garden incident undermined the proper roles of man and woman by woman’s weakness and man’s failure to lead, so the modern man continues to fall far short of his originally intended nature.
As a member of the Southern Catholic community, I question your motives in providing the Veritatis journal. I do not understand why the students of the college would benefit from your discussions as the College is a well-formed and well-educated whole, directed toward following the principles and precept of the Catholic Church, which provides an environment which best encourages and induces good spiritual, mental, and social formation. No doubt it has flaws, as any human institution does. However, in the grand scheme it appears to be a well-run, well-furnished educational institution which is capable of attracting and retaining a diverse student population which is, by and large, composed of studious matriculants. The inner workings of the College administration are just that, the inner workings of the administration. Without being present at every board meeting and staff meeting, can we accurately judge the success or failure of the administration to correctly safeguard and support the mission of the College? As far as I know, no one person on this campus has the right to make a judgment about how well or how poorly the staff perform their duties. Such a judgment would require first-hand knowledge of meetings and operations far beyond the reach of any student or professor or other professional on-campus. The complexity of the administrative structure is such that most decisions pass through several departments and before many eyes before they are finalized. What end does repeatedly vocalizing criticism of certain departments or decisions acheive? We change nothing, solve nothing, gain nothing beyond the gradual poisoning of our own souls through the violence and cursing of our mouths (See James 3 and James 4:11 regarding speaking ill of our brothers and sisters). Rather, we should pray, keep watch, and be active (not passive as it appears you are being by publishing an anonymous journal) in finding a positive solution to the percieved ills. Such would Our Lord urge us to do (Matthew 26:41).
Furthermore, if you are, indeed, also members of the college community, where did you find the time to create this journal? I am sure such writing, editing, and typesetting were time-consuming and exhausting. Could you possibly be able to fulfill your own duties and educational requirements, in addition to your spiritual lives and social activities, to the best of your ability while expending such effort into this diversion? How can you justify the expense of time, effort, and money for printing costs when you clearly must sacrifice some aspect of your own college education to do so while writing about the woes of the recession and the wise use of resources? What do you gain by it? Self-gratification? Inflated egos? Since your recipient audience is so severely limited, I can only assume that you intend to exalt your own pedantic opinions, deride and attack other opinions which may be of equal value but of which you do not approve because they are not your own, and to create a gnostic clique which merely reinforces its own narrow-minded judgments through the limited reading of a few select authors which express similar or identical views?
(You will, of course, take no offense at my own use of pseudonym since I use it to express true and proclaim wisdom without personality etc… etc… etc.)