The Roman Catholic Church seems to exercise questionable judgment in when they choose to speak up about social issues. Recently the Vatican issued a document essentially ordering legislators to vote against any bills to allow gay marriages. While I understand that this is the position of the Catholic Church – and they have a right to make this position known – I take umbrage at both the document itself as well as their regular attempts to force their beliefs on a sovereign nation that is founded on the idea of separation between church and state. The document from the Vatican stated that “allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions [gays and lesbians] would actually mean doing violence to these children” because the environment “is not conducive to their full human development.” I would be interested to know what they base this claim on. I doubt it’s any sort of scientific study, and last I checked, the Bible doesn’t discuss gay adoption at any point. Even some priests don’t believe the assertion of violence is warranted. The regularity with which this occurs is galling. On Jan. 4, La Crosse, Wisconsin Bishop Raymond L. Burke issued a decree stating that legislators who support abortion rights or euthanasia should not appear for communion and should be turned away if they do appear. Perhaps the Vatican doesn’t understand that our elected representatives aren’t elected to represent themselves or the Catholic Church, but to represent their constituents, not all of whom are Catholic. Luckily, not all of the Catholic leadership thinks in such a domineering, disrespectful and heavy-handed manner. Over 30 priests from Rochester signed a letter that is similar to one that Chicago clergy signed and mailed last December. They believe that the language of the document was inappropriate and hurtful. In the end, how the Catholic Church chooses to approach and treat its gay and lesbian component is their decision. What is unacceptable is its attempts to force Catholics engaged in secular work to disregard their mandate and responsibility to the people who elected them in favor of enforcing the policies of the Catholic Church. I suppose the only way to respond in kind to this behavior would be to order all U.S.-born Catholic clergy to support our national domestic and social policy or risk having their citizenship revoked. Of course, we won’t do that – we have far more respect for both our own citizens and their ability to make and hold their own opinion than to do that sort of thing. Paris can be reached at

Rochester is not a dying city

A city cannot be dying if there are so many people who are pumping it with life.

Letter to the Editor: accusations of plagiarism against University professor

The pattern of plagiarism and misrepresentation does not suggest simply making a careless omission of a reference or two.

Sophomore Major Declaration Day: A time of celebration or distress?

Attention sophomores: Have you declared your major yet? UR students declare their major during their sophomore year. Before declaration, sophomores…