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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Secrecy in the Catholic Church

Religions should be open

I would like to respond to the recent article “Holy See’s litany of secrets” [News, Feb. 15]. I have often wondered why religions need to have any secrets at all, and this article really made me scratch my head.

Here are some quotes from the story: “The secrecy is institutionalized from weighty matters to the most trivial aspects of Vatican life” and “every Vatican employee and official takes an oath of secrecy when they assume their job.” Why?

There is a statement in the article which I suppose is meant to justify secrecy: “The Vatican justifies itself by arguing that its officials are holders of the divine truth, unaccountable to worldly laws.” How arrogant can you get?

I don’t mean to pick on just Catholicism because there are probably plenty of other religions that have their secret documents, their secret oaths, their secret mysteries and lots of other secrets. Why can’t a religion just come right out and say what it stands for and what it believes so that we mortals can figure out if we buy into it? The usual reason to keep secrets is because you are doing something that you aren’t particularly proud of. Are there legitimate reasons for a religion to have secrets? Please enlighten me.

–Paul Cooke, Normandy Park

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