Print Edition: Feb. 22, 2015
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BY Jim Cosgrove
Where Vocations Flourish
The “Third Continental Congress On Vocations to the Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life” (“Summit Draft Ignores Successes in Vocations,” Jan. 6-12) should be the subject of the sincere prayer of every faithful Catholic — indeed, every concerned Christian. After all, we are enjoined by the Lord himself to pray for workers for the harvest!
I think your article is exactly right — we need to honestly assess the real situation in order to better focus our prayer for the Church and her mission. There simply is no vocations crisis. There may be a distribution problem, but there is no crisis. Let me explain.
In those dioceses where the faith is being lived, proclaimed, demonstrated; where the clergy are living lives of sacrificial love and heroic virtue; where the lay faithful are remaining faithful and families are truly demonstrating what it means to live as a domestic church; where consecrated religious are filled with the joy that emanates from living the evangelical counsels; where the wisdom of the magisterium (the teaching office) is being received as a sure guide and not opposed with a party spirit — in places like this, the seminaries are filled to the brim.
In places like this, old religious communities are being renewed and new ones are being birthed. Deacons are finding a place of service as an order of clergy moving from the altar and ambo into the world. There, spring is breaking out already! In these dioceses, the sacred liturgy is being offered with dignity and reverence, drawing the faithful like the magnet of beauty and the invitation to communion that it is; piety, old and new, is flourishing.
There, new associations and movements birthed by the Holy Spirit are springing up in response to the call to the “new evangelization.” Authentic efforts at Christian cooperation are flourishing. Christians of other communities and confessions are growing in deeper respect for the beauty of the Catholic faith. In fact, many of our brethren are knocking at the door, seeking full communion with the Church to which they are already joined by baptism.
If you do not see it, open your eyes and look around. See the new associations and movements that Pope John Paul calls the “signs of spring.” Some have their own seminaries and they are full. They are dynamically influencing culture with the values informed by faith and leading the renewal of the Church from which they were birthed and to which they are unquestionably faithful.
“Vocations” are a fruit. When the Catholic Church is alive with the Gospel and when dynamically orthodox faith is preached, demonstrated and lived; when people are catechized into the beauty and full splendor of truth that is the Catholic faith and live it with joy — it is there that the fruit falls from the trees and the faithful are fed.
DEACON KEITH A. FOURNIER Arlington, Virginia
The writer is founder of Common Good.
Regarding the letter titled “Harmless Harry,” written by a 14-year-old named Will Gross (Dec. 16-22):
Will stood up for Harry Potter, but condemned the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. He said, “Where violence is glamorized and glorified and made to look honorable” with regards to Redwall.
This is not really true! All the characters in Redwall are appalled at unnecessary violence and only fight when they have to! Isn't it noble to fight for peace and one's country? They don't go off and fight for the sake of fighting. Violence is not good when done for no reason, but sometimes it is necessary.
King Arthur was a hero, and he fought, and so did Robin Hood and Ivanhoe. In the Redwall books, only the bad guys believe in magic, and the good guys are courageous and honorable. In Redwall one of the main objectives is peace. I don't know what book Will read, but I know one thing, everyone I know who has read the Redwall books has not had the same impression as Will Gross.
Here is a poem that is in one of his short books that expresses Mr. Jacques’ intentions:
When others run I stand and fight,
Alone for what I know is right,
Repelling wrong and villainy,
Ready and true I vow to be,
I stand for family and friend,
On my word they may depend,
Respect for young and old I give,
So long as I shall live,
Courage grows with honesty,
Old fears are conquered constantly,
Defending peace I hold so dear,
Ever faithful find me here.
(The Warrior's Code, included with the “Build Your Own Redwall Abbey” kit)
LEAH D’ETTORE, AGE 11 Brampton, Ontario
Let Redwall Ring
This is in reference to the letter titled “Harmless Harry” in your Dec.16-22 issue.
As for Harry Potter, I have never read the books, and furthermore, I feel no desire to do so. However, I was very upset to read the way Brian Jacque's Redwall books were criticized in the article. It was said that in the books, “violence is glamorized and glorified and made to look honorable.”
First of all, I would like to point out that the heroes and heroines are only protecting their loved ones, or trying to stop a spreading evil. These evil characters are completely evil, and try to destroy all things that are good. On the other hand, the good creatures of Redwall are gentle and peaceful, and only rise up in defense against the attacks of evil.
It is never violence being glorified or made to look glamorous, for the gentle Redwallers hate violence. It is in the defense of one's country that force is promoted in the defeating of evil. Martin the Warrior earned his title because he was the courageous protector of Redwall when it was first being built. He followed the warrior's code, a code that sought to protect the defenseless, and to fight evil in an honorable fashion, instead of stooping down to its level.
It would not be a great stretch to compare the heroic action of Redwall's characters to the brave action of Marines, Green Berets and other Special Forces in Afghanistan. In both situations we see evil, and those who try to stop it!
ELIZABETH BARTON, AGE 13 Brampton, Ontario
Your Family Matters column regarding misbehaving children is encouraging; however, the commands for a quiet minute without direction is ambiguous as far as the child is concerned (“Time Out,” Jan. 6-12).
Temper is learned from the parents or whomever is responsible for the children's conduct. Just spend a few hours in a store and you will witness the threats and assaults on children by mothers and grandmothers that [require] correcting a situation that should have never been created.
Every parent should take responsibility as a parent. A “no-brainer” “time-out” procedure only [causes] the child's resentment to smolder and come out during the next confrontation. Furthermore, the solutions in your column seem to exclude the male parent and, without his authority, the child will continue to challenge the parent and push the envelope of misbehavior to a point where she will have no control whatsoever.
I think the old-fashioned mother/father, basic, family core-concept is the only solution to help our children to develop into teenagers and adults who respect moral authority that will contribute to the higher quality of life as citizens and productive members of society.
I do not intend to criticize your article. This only an opinion of a father of seven children, grandfather of 13 and great-grandfather of eight.
JIM VONDRAS Florissant, Missouri
BY Jim Cosgrove
Praise of Our Penitent Pope
Pope John Paul II stood up before the world and did what very few in high places would do: ask forgiveness for crimes committed against Jews and others now and long before his time. Can you imagine even after this profound act of humility someone could say, “He didn't go far enough?”
Apparently they assumed he was going to take the blame for Adolph Hitler's crimes even though it took the compound efforts of the free world to defeat him. The Pope could have asked: Now, who among you will do likewise and take the blame for all the wrongs committed against Catholics for the last two thousand years? But he's content to leave that up to the One who reads hearts and will be the final judge of us all.
[The Pope], like the One he represents, taught a profound lesson of humility and courage. In imitation of Jesus, he took on the faults of all Catholics. But, as with the enemies of Christ, they wanted blood.
I'm quite sure the Lord is well pleased with our Pope. He stands head and shoulders above men of the world. No doubt he'll be remembered long after those who find deficiencies in this profound act fade away from the pages of history.
Jim Ziegler Georgetown, Texas
Many Things About Mary
I enjoyed David Gordon's column “There's Something About Mary” (March 19-25). However, I would like to point out an error. In speaking of the Annunciation, Mr. Gordon stated that Mary “was skeptical of what the angel promised, asking ‘How shall this be?’” Mary was not skeptical. If she had been, something similar to what happened to Zachary when he expressed doubt would probably have occurred. On the contrary, Mary's faith in God's power was complete. Her only question concerned what she was to do. After all, she had vowed virginity. Did God want her to repudiate her vow? No doubt she was willing to do that if God so willed.
However, the angel made it clear she would remain a virgin. She need only agree and God would do the rest. Her response was unhesitating: “Be it done unto me according to thy word.”
Mary Irving Port St. Lucie, Florida
I am writing about the headline of the March 19-25 column by David Gordon — “There's Something About Mary.” When I first noticed it, I expected to read about the movie There's Something About Mary, which is a vulgar, adolescent film that seeks to regularize and make humorous perversity and immorality.
Imagine my shock in realizing that the column was about the Blessed Mother! To link the two by using the title of such a disgusting film is a serious sacrilege. Our dear Blessed Mother is known by so many beautiful titles — Mystical Rose, Throne of wisdom and many others. Furthermore, as our Lady is known to be an example of purity, modesty and obedience to God, the comparison to a movie filled with tawdriness and obscenity is vastly disappointing.
Mary Alexander Norton, Massachusetts
In the March 26-April 1 issue, you ran a three-quarter page rambling tribute to the arrogance and narcissism of Ayn Rand written by Donald DeMarco. Seemingly questioning the resurgence of her popularity, he himself devotes much too much space trying to make us understand her philosophy. Her absence of warmth or love for her fellow human beings, her selfish attitudes and life glorified in her writings is not something I expect to read about in the Register.
There is no redeeming value to her life or her writings, so why tell us about them? Or pretend to wonder why people are reading about her while writing about her? The place where Ms. Rand rests in eternity is surely her just reward for such a selfish life. The only warmth surrounding her has come posthumously.
Surely, there are more worthy authors to be written about. Mr. DeMarco's piece just serves to keep her name in the public eye longer than it deserves to be.
Lorraine Mutschler Scottsdale, Arizona
No Catholic Stands Alone
“What do Catholic Apologies Mean to Jews?” (March 12-18) was very thought-provoking. In describing the Holocaust, Rabbi Leon Klenicki said, “It showed the diabolic possibilities of the human being without control.” Father Peter Stravinskas called the 20th century the most horrible of centuries and said it is important to highlight the lesson that “when man tries to go without God, these are exactly the things that one should expect.”
One of the Jewish commentators said on television that, if Pope John Paul II were Pope during the time of the Holocaust, there would not have been a Holocaust.
Perhaps, if history taught us anything, it is that [a] pope cannot do it alone. We know that Pope Pius XII did speak out and did all in his power to prevent the Holocaust, and who should know better than Pope John Paul II of this leadership?
From the many Catholics who were killed during the Holocaust, we know that his words were heard. What we do not know is how much support he had from the members of the Catholic Church and leaders of the other faiths. Today we see that all our modern day popes have been condemning the “culture of death” at least since 1968, and violence is worse than at any time in history, not the least of which is the 40 million babies killed by surgical abortion. Let us all join in the prayer shared by Rabbi Klenicki so that “The Lord will reign for ever and ever.” Amen.
Bernie and Elaine McHale Greensboro, North Carolina
Brian McGuire's report on the activities of the International Commission on English and the Liturgy (ICEL) was informative and welcome (“Liturgical Translations Face Vatican Overhaul,” Jan. 23-29).
The purpose of liturgy, as I understand it, is to afford the faithful the means of jointly expressing their love for God in union with their faithful.
The constant tinkering with and changing of the liturgy has left those of us in the pews thoroughly confused and amazed.
Confused for obvious reasons and amazed that those in command would tamper with something that has been so successful and rewarding. The folly of the past 30 years can be substantiated by checking [declining] Mass-attendance figures.
Rome has apparently finally realized that, if control is loosened and authority not expressed and enforced, we shall encounter situations like the resistance by the Catholic college presidents to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the drop in Mass attendance and 45 minutes per week for confessions.
We love the Church and shall follow its dictates, but if there is confusion amongst the leaders, what can you expect from the rank and file? The activities of the ICEL remind me of the man whose house is on fire and, instead of training his garden hose on the burning house, he decides instead to water his garden.
John M. Flynn, Jr.
The Register Welcomes Letters
Mention which item you're responding to by headline and issue date. Please include your name, hometown and phone number.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Ungrateful Aid Recipients
In your Feb. 27-Mar. 4 edition, you published an editorial criticizing the lack of response by the United States or the United Nations to the atrocities against Christians and other minorities that are taking place in Sudan (“Walk the Talk in Sudan”). In light of brothers and sisters in Christ being raped, killed and enslaved, your criticism is justified; however, the lack of response is at least understandable if you read an article in the very next issue: “NATO and U.N. Forces Blamed for Violence” (March 5-11).
The NATO and U.N. forces in Yugoslavia are a group of men and women far from their homes and vastly outnumbered by factions that have been fighting viciously for the last millennium. You might think that blaming the continuing violence in that country on these men and women would be absurd. Yet the same pattern of pleas for intervention, followed by accusations of malice or incompetence, has haunted every involvement of the United States, United Nations or NATO in troubled regions of the world.
I have no doubt that U.N. and NATO forces make errors in judgment, that they fail to live up to their highest ideals as peacekeepers, or that there are individual soldiers who are insensitive to human suffering. Like all the descendants of Adam and Eve, the members of the U.N. and NATO forces are imperfect. Furthermore, these imperfect people (and the imperfect citizens of their home countries who finance their efforts) find it difficult to continue being enthusiastic helpers when they are continually subjected to this humiliating pattern of invitation and rejection.
If those who plea for intervention in Sudan really want aid, they need to indicate that they will be merciful in their judgment of the imperfect efforts of those who help.
John H. Fogarty Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Keyes Is Key
George W. Bush is being bashed by the media for speaking at Bob Jones University, which has expressed anti-Catholic views and racial prejudice (“Election 2000 Heats Up,” March 5-11). Doesn't it seem odd that the media conveniently omits the fact that Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who is both Catholic and black, also spoke at Bob Jones University on the same occasion?
Keyes delivered a polite, but powerful speech. He pointed out that the school's religious bigotry and racism are contrary to the Declaration of Independence and the principles set down by our founding fathers. Alan Keyes is the only candidate who radiates leadership and courage.
Stephen J. Conway Banning, California
BY Jim Cosgrove
Up With Abstinence
I find it troubling to hear about the American Medical Association rejecting the teaching of abstinence in our schools (“AMA Rejects Abstinence,” Dec. 26-Jan. 1). I am the founder and president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, which exists to promote abstinence until marriage as the standard for adolescents and young adults. All across the nation, the message of abstinence until marriage is gaining an exciting reception. The fact is that “safe sex” is a deadly game and saved sex until marriage is a healthy choice. We back abstinence education 100% and are excited for young people who are making commitments to remain sexually pure until marriage.
Leslee J. Unruh
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
That professional athletes want to engage in prayer is one thing, but I find it ironic that these athletes, many of whom are multimillionaires, are so public with their prayer, yet live a lifestyle in contradiction to the life of poverty that Jesus lived (“God, Business and the Super Bowl,” Feb. 20-26).
My question is this: The Church teaches that Catholics, by the fruit of their labors, or just plain good fortune, are permitted to own private property — but what does the Church have to say about the superfluous wealth of [some] Roman Catholics?
Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. If Jesus asked, “Would you rather win a Super Bowl or go to heaven?,” one would be wise to answer, “I want to be with you, as this world is nothing and your Kingdom is everything.”
El Segundo, California
We Have Sinned
I can't even begin to express my disappointment with your paper.
Friday when I received the paper and saw the article on the election and a picture of the presidential candidates Bush and McCain excluding a picture of Keyes (also a candidate) my heart was pierced. This is something I have begun to expect from the secular media, but not the Register. I depend on the Register to give me a well-rounded picture of the national news with perhaps a Christian outlook.
Well, I called the paper immediately to complain and was told that Keyes was sick and unable to comment so they didn't include his picture because it would look funny to have a picture with no comments. I disagree. Would you have excluded Bush or McCain if one of them were unable to comment?
On such an important day as Super Tuesday where so many people have their primary elections, this issue should have included pictures of all the candidates. As I read the article I was even more convinced of this, because the subject of most of the article was anti-Catholicism. The picture with a statement that Keyes was sick and unable to comment would have been much more complete and responsible, and included a very important candidate who upholds the Christian, Catholic view on the issues of this election.
I understand the secular media not including Keyes because of his views on abortion and the moral crisis of this country, but for the Register to omit Keyes is unforgivable — should I even consider using “anti-Catholic”? I feel very disappointed and as one of your most outspoken supporters I feel, for now, less desire to promote and support your paper.
Signed, “Cheerleader who has put down her pompoms.”
La Palma, California
Editor's Note:Ouch! The writer makes an excellent argument which would have caused us to rethink our coverage. We only ask, in the spirit of the March 12 Jubilee Day of Forgiveness, that readers accept our mea culpa for this omission.
Kill or Be Killed?
The headline in your paper read “Journalist Calls the Church a Key to Ending Death Penalty” (Feb. 13-19). The article does admit that even the final edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church allows that the death penalty may be just in some cases (after all, that's what the Bible says: see Exodus 21:14, Luke 23:39-43 and Romans 13:4). But that doesn't bother the journalist in question, Alan Berlow [author of Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge], because he isn't Catholic and his only interest in the Church is how he can use it to further his political agenda.
If he succeeds in convincing Catholics that the Church bans all executions, that might drive them away from the Church. After all, while crusaders like him have apparently failed to come up with a single innocent man who was executed, plenty of innocent people have been killed by convicted killers.
That's why the Code of Canon Law warns us that the laity have “freedom in secular affairs” and so, when speaking about politics, “they are to heed the teaching of the Church proposed by the magisterium, but they must be on guard, in questions of opinion, against proposing their own view as the teaching of the Church” (Canon 227).
The article “Bishops Publish Rules for Complaints About Theologians” (Feb. 20-26) was very enlightening. According to the rules, anyone can make a claim against a theologian. The complaint is sent to a bishop, who forwards it to his experts. The experts then report back to the bishop, who then makes a decision against the theologian. The theologian then must accept the bishop's decision or be disciplined.
Where, in these procedures, does the theologian have the chance to defend him- or herself before the bishop's decision? We've heard about taxation without representation; this is condemnation without representation! Out of the clear blue sky a theologian can receive a letter stating, “You've just been silenced,” signed by the bishop. The Catholic Church sure knows how to resurface its witch-hunt policy in the modern age.
Editor's note: The Australian rules for “trustful dialogue” between bishops and theologians are hardly a “witch-hunt” policy, both because the Church always gives theologians ample opportunity to defend themselves, and because the promotion of bad doctrine is a very real — and, unfortunately, common — problem.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Practice Vigilant Purchasing
I was surprised that the article “Helping Beat the High Cost of Education” (Jan. 23-29) included [encouragement to do business with] such companies as Target Corp. and General Mills. General Mills has been giving to Planned Parenthood for years and just recently limited their funding to “educational” funds for Planned Parenthood. So instead of actually using the money to perform abortions, they use it to educate our youth about how to obtain “services” without parental consent. Target's parent company, Dayton Hudson, has been a generous supporter of Planned Parenthood for years. While Target may promote community efforts, their sales also support abortions.
We as Catholics must exercise prudence in our spending. Parents and educators must form our youth first by example. We will not support those that deny the dignity of every human being from conception to natural death. “Evil can only exist when good people do nothing.”
Please make an extended effort to not allow articles that may mislead your subscribers and unintentionally promote the “culture of death.”
Kris Kanalen Sugar Hill, Georgia
Marriage's True Goal
In his generally excellent essay “The Defense of Marriage Begins at Home” (Jan. 30-Feb. 5), columnist Benjamin D. Wiker makes the unqualified assertion that the “capacity for procreation” is the “true goal” of marriage, adding that “f you remove it, then marriage itself will soon crumble.”
Even granting that Mr. Wiker was not condemning marriages rendered infertile through some natural defect or old age, but referring to marriage intentionally made infecund through contraception or sterilization, some confusion arises with regard to the order of the ends of marriage, and the fundamental reasons for the impossibility of same-sex marriage.
It would be just as easy to identify the “true goal” of marriage within Familiaris Consortio's definition of conjugal love as a “deeply personal unity” that aims at “total mutual self-giving.” This unique, exclusive, complete state of avowed self-gift between a man and a woman aims at an imitation of the perfect love, knowledge and unity of the Father and the Son. It is a good and an end in itself.
As the love between the Father and the Son does not remain static and self-contained but generates a third person, so too does conjugal love achieve a more perfect and complete imitation by producing offspring, who become both immortal product and temporal enrichment of that love. Frustrating conjugal love's ordering to procreation ruptures the union of persons and violates its connection to the divine model, doing violence not just to the procreative end of marriage but to the unitive as well.
A marriage in which conjugal love cannot bear the fruit of a new person does not lose all significance. Husband and wife still enjoy the good of unity and self-giving. In fact, their love can still image the fecundity of Trinitarian love, radiating “a fruitfulness of charity of hospitality, and of sacrifice” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1654). In either case, the personal union is at the core of marriage; fruitfulness confirms, strengthens and completes it. A conjugal relationship where procreation is naturally impossible retains marriage's meaning; a fertile coupling without total self-giving does not.
Thus the homosexual couple finds an obstacle to marriage deeper than the inability to procreate (indeed, this argument becomes less and less persuasive to the public ear with every advance in reproductive technology). In fact, they suffer a fundamental personal incompatibility. The natural personal complementarity of man and woman (expressed corporeally by the complementary sexual organs, natural drives, etc.) that admits of conjugal love is utterly lacking in a same-sex couple, and can only be approximated by substitutes: close friendship, sexual attraction, mutual support or dependence, or some combination thereof.
Todd M. Aglialoro Office of Family Life Diocese of Peoria, Illinois
BY Jim Cosgrove
Please let your readers with mental and/or emotional illness know that the Indepth column “Pick Your Elixir: Plato or Prozac” (Register, Oct. 3-9) was targeting only those who abuse medications to avoid all pain. The essay, written by philosophy professor Donald DeMarco, accomplished its goal mercilessly, never differentiating between abusers and those who have no choice but to take medication if they are to function.
Many devout, virtuous, desperately suffering and dignified Catholics must take their serotonin-reup-take-inhibitors or other medications for treatment of emotional and/or mental illness just as other Catholics must take medication for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and on and on. One of the multitudinous crosses they, unlike the others, bear is that the term “mental illness” is often inaccurately applied. Mental illness is a physical [infirmity] borne of structural differences in the brain and/or electrical and chemical processing problems; these produce symptoms that range from inner suffering to thought disturbances to unusual behaviors to trouble in relating to other people.
By the grace of God, my husband manages to get up and go 12-hour days (six days a week, most weeks!), suffering. This morning, I wept when he left for work because, last night, after reading this article, he turned his face to the wall and asked, “Why do they have to persecute the poor, suffering, depressed people?” He is a wonderful Catholic witness in his workplace, a holy man, a contemplative in the world-liest of worlds. He is a wonderful husband. He is the holy priest of our household. He takes Calan SR, Allegra, and Prozac.
Name withheld by request
Editor's Note: The commentary looked at the philosophical principles underlying our culture, where mood-altering medications are dispensed so readily to so many. In no way was it intended as a criticism of individuals with genuine medical needs. In the future, should we revisit this subject, your input will inform our sensitivity to the issues you raise.
Which Cardenal Jesuit?
In his otherwise excellent review of George Weigel's Witness to Hope, Raymond J. de Souza makes a factual error for which Weigel is not responsible. He states that the “Jesuit priest Ernesto Cardenal lied about what the Pope said to him at the Managua airport.” I do not know whether Ernesto Cardenal lied or not, but I am certain that he is not, and never was a Jesuit priest. Ernesto's brother Fernando Cardenal was and is a Jesuit.
Father Avery Dulles, SJ
Fordham University The Bronx, New York
I beg to differ with Rich McPherson (quoted in “ ‘ Bad Words’ in the U.S. Leave Few Speechless,”Register, Sept. 19-25) regarding the sinfulness of using four-letter words. The norm for Christian morality is not just a set of commandments, but Jesus himself, as Pope John Paul II said in Veritatis Splendor. This is not to say we must all do what Jesus did, but we may not do what Jesus would never do. The day Jesus Christ would speak a foul word would be a cold day in… Gehenna.
Father Thomas G. Morrow
St. Catherine Laboure Church
Ex Corde Ecclesiae
One practical means of dissolving the current block between U.S. bishops and the Catholic colleges and universities is to set up regional theological accrediting boards to certify theology teachers to receive mandates to teach or to judge complaints against a teacher's orthodox teaching. Members of these accrediting agencies would be appointed by bishops and universities of a given region. The board's judgment would have to be ratified by the individual bishop of the diocese concerned. Appeal of a negative judgment would be made to a doctrinal commission of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and further to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith..
This system has both universities and the bishops sharing responsibility for orthodoxy of Catholic theology and encourages their cooperation. Alocal bishop's theological ignorance or bias is overcome and the universities’ misguided individualism curtailed.
Father Jerome Treacy, SJ
Abortion and Contraception
Your [Sept. 13-25] issue (“Bill Gates to Hear from Pro-Lifers”) quoted American Life League president Judie Brown saying Bill Gates “who has the best of intentions … may have been misled by pro-choice groups” with regard to his foundation's donations.
I am positively certain that William and Melinda Gates and their staffs have not been misled at all and that their position is clearly well-informed and well-motivated to aid with donations the suffering countries and populations which press on existing resources in such a way as to create mass misery!
Let me once again put to you the same question:… How in the world does contraception increase the incidence of abortion?
Population control reduces misery and the well known figure of 20,000 child/infant deaths per day in the Third World countries attests to the fact that these miserable little creatures never should have been born, period. Hence: population control and contraception.
A. Douglas Russell
Editor's Note: The Supreme Court explained the correlation between abortion and contraception in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey: “In some critical respects, abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. … For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”
Alan Guttmacher recognized the correlation as early as 1968, and Planned Parenthood statistician Dr. Christopher Tietze wrote in a 1981 book, “Ahigh correlation between abortion experience and contraceptive experience can be expected … Women who have practiced contraception are more likely to have had abortions than those who have not.” The evidence of the correlation was included in a 1978 Abortion Rights Action League debater's handbook.
Here's a good illustration of the correlation: Contraception became readily available in the 1960s and widely used in the 1970s in America. If contraception prevents it, abortion should have all but disappeared by now. But there are a reported 1.5 million abortions a year.
Finally, that there is more than enough food for everybody in the world is not in dispute. And the Register simply disagrees with your assessment of Third World populations. We believe that no one, of any race or income level, is a “miserable creature” that “ought not have been born.”
Saint Pius XII?
Regarding Pope Pius XII (“He was no ‘Hitler's Pope,’ Pius XII Experts Contend,” Sept. 19):
1) the Israeli government planted 800,000 trees in a forest near Jerusalem to commemorate the 800,000 Jews they estimated Pope Pius XII saved from Hitler;
2) the chief Rabbi of Rome became a Catholic and took Eugenio, the first name of Pius XII, as his Christian name because he was so impressed with the work the Pontiff did in saving Jews from the Nazis;
3) Dr. Jeno Levai, an eminent Jewish historian, said that during the 1930's Cardinal [Eugenio] Pacelli, while serving as Vatican secretary of state, lodged no less than 60 protests on behalf of the Jews, and as Pius XII “did more than anyone else to halt the crime (the Holocaust) and alleviate its consequences.”
Regarding John Cornwell [author of Hitler's Pope]:
1) in a previous book, Thief in the Night (1989), he ridiculed Pius XII as “an emaciated, large-eyed demigod.” He described the Pontiff as “somebody totally remote from experience”;
2) in The Hiding Places of God (1991), Mr. Cornwell wrote of his experience in the Catholic seminary he attended, “I took delight in attempting to undermine the beliefs of my fellow seminarians with what I regarded as clever arguments; I quarreled with the lecturers in class and flagrantly ignored the rules of the house.” He declared that human beings are “morally, psychologically, and materially better off without a belief in God.”
John Naughton Silver Spring, Md.
BY Jim Cosgrove
Jewish Respect for Pope Pius XII
Thank you for Bob Holton's insightful article on the controversy surrounding John's Cornwell's malicious book Hitler's Pope ("He Was No ‘Hitler's Pope,’ Pius XII Experts Contend,” Sept. 19-25). What was disappointing and troubling, though, was Rabbi Leon Klenicki's charge, without support for his thesis, that Pope Pius XII somehow “chose” Nazism over Communism. Because of the type of organization he works for, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, Rabbi Klenicki should be even more sensitive to making unfounded charges, particularly against the leader of the Catholic Church. The Anti-Defamation League has, sadly, strayed from its commendable and accurate defense of Pius XII in years past, when Dr. Joseph Lichten refuted the defamatory work of a literary predecessor of Cornwell's, Rolf Hochuth, who wrote The Deputy in the 1960s.
Besides Lichten's Pius XII and the Holocaust: A Question of Judgment, I charitably suggest that Rabbi Klenicki and his colleagues read or reread the works of other respected Jewish scholars like Jeno Levai (Pius XII Was Not Silent, London: Sands & Co., 1968), who gave testimony at the trials of various Nazi war criminals, and Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide, author of Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn, 1967).
Thomas J. Nash Steubenville, Ohio
Shakespeare's True Faith
The Sept. 5-11 Register reported on an international gathering of scholars that examined the question of whether or not Shakespeare was a Catholic ("Shakespeare Scholars Say The Bard Was … Catholic? “). In 1945 John Henry de Groot, a Presbyterian minister, published his Columbia Ph.D. thesis, “The Shakespeares and ‘The Old Faith,’”in which he gave the still most systematic and massive evidence on behalf of Shakespeare's having been a Catholic. This book was recently reprinted by Real View Books with a most enlightening postscript by Stanley L. Jaki, which shows, among other things, the stunning extent to which de Groot's scholarly book has been ignored and this holds true, also, of some Catholic Shakespeare scholars.
Dr. Krzysztof Rapcewicz Astoria, New York
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