Father Dietzen’s first response (CR, Jan. 21) misses a very important point. The question was whether a person who had an affair for many years had a lesser sin because he was impotent. The response addressed that issue, but missed the more important issue, fornication or adultery.
Because the item does not mention if the person was married (although an affair hints at marriage), the person could have been committing fornication or adultery, both of which are severely condemned by the Bible, impotence being of minor importance.
I have e-mailed Father Dietzen about his not using the Bible as the ultimate foundation for his answers when it is the ultimate foundation. At other times the church has the teaching authority to be the final authority for Catholics when matters are not discussed in the Bible. The ultimate authority for all Christians, Catholic or Protestant, is the Bible, as it gives us the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, for whom Christians are named.