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home : opinions : opinions   May 26, 2016

4/24/2013 9:15:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Discrepancies exist between Catholic leaders' responses

I’d like to address two articles written by Catholic leaders replying to Karen Rahoi’s article about the second commandment being removed from the Catholic Catechism. The first was by Father Thomas Shaw and the more recent by Brian R. Corrigan. I noticed these gentlemen were not in harmony in their responses. Fr. Shaw wrote: “She is ‘shocked’ to discover that the list of the 10 Commandments in a Catholic Catechism ‘are quite different from the ones found in God’s Word.’ She focuses on the so-called Commandment against graven images. Historically, the form of the Commandments that she deplores was first proposed by St. Augustine in the 4th century. It also, incidentally, was accepted by Martin Luther in the 16th century, and is the form that most Lutherans today follow. So for well over 1,500 years of Christian history, that is how Christians understood this passage, so it has a very legitimate pedigree.”
Essentially, he agreed with Ms. Rahoi that the commandment was removed but feels this historical change was legitimate.
Brian Corrigan wrote: “I find it interesting that Ms. Rahoi says she was ‘shocked’ to find the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) had a discrepancy, in that it omitted the verses from Exodus which state that ‘You shall not make for yourself a graven image…’ That’s funny. In my copy of the CCC on page 496, under the section titled, ‘The Ten Commandments’ it very clearly there! Did she really look at the Decalogue in the CCC? ... Her whole argument against the Catholic Church and its Catechism crumbles when one simply takes the time to look and see the words right there in all their scriptural glory.”
Thus, he countered Ms. Rahoi by saying the commandment wasn’t removed, which is contrary to Fr. Shaw’s response. Which one is right? These two leaders apparently disagree with each other. If they’re both correct, this is confusion.
Fr. Shaw concluded that Karen Rahoi has done a “disservice” to Scripture. How can pointing people to what God’s Word actually says be a disservice? I believe God is pleased when we take Him at His Word, with a humble, prayerful attitude. Christ, our Example, quoted Scripture during His temptation: “...It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” — Luke 4:4. Then in Luke 11:28 He pronounced “...blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
Victoria Havlat,

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Article comment by: Kepha

Father Shaw is correct. Catholics number the commandments so that the First includes the prohibition against worshipping an image of some heavenly, earthly, or sea-dwelling creator. Please note, the prohibition is not against making an image but against making it and bowing down and worshipping the image. Also, Fr. Shaw does not say that the commandment was removed only that the words in question are not listed as a separate commandment.

Mr. Corrigan is correct. The words of Ex.20:3-6 (or Deut. 5:8-9) are in the Catechism. They are there because they are part of the First Commandment. This text is not ignored by Catholics but is simply included in the commandment to 'have no other gods before' the one true God.

Fr. Shaw and Mr. Corrigan are not at all in disagreement though I can see how you could be confused. I do hope I have clarified the situation for you.

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