To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY John Lilly
Thanks for the Reminder
I loved Mark Shea’s article, “Why I Love My Country” (Aug.
5), also his article on “Patriotism as a Sacramental” (Aug. 12). I am making a
copy and forwarding to my friends.
Thank you for pointing out things that we forget if we are
not reminded, and tying the love of our country to our patroness, Mary. I loved
the hymn at the end.
New Reality in Christ
Regarding “Patriotism as a Sacramental” (Aug. 12):
Mark misses a fundamental point about what has happened in
Christ that cannot make patriotism ever a “sacramental.” Because we have been
baptized into Christ, their is neither Greek nor Jew, Scythian or barbarian;
together we are God’s new people, a holy nation and royal priesthood and
together we form one body in Christ (see Galatians 3:28, 1 Peter 2:9-10, Romans
The Church is in Christ like a sacrament, a sign and means
of intimate union with God and the unity of the whole human race (Lumen Gentium
That is, it is the sacrament that subverts patriotism and
reveals the nation as human division that has to be overcome in Christ. The
nation is not the same as human culture, which is perfected in Christ.
People should respect what is good in their culture and
nation and contribute to its flourishing. But keep an eye on the new reality in
So I must strongly disagree with Mark Shea on this point
Thank you very much for the article “Faith Fight in the
Pharmacy” (July 1) about Snyder’s Pharmacy in Great Falls, Mont. Their-faith
based decision to not dispense birth control has caused quite a controversy.
Please help keep us informed on the legislation to force pharmacies to sell
This is such an important topic now, given the way the
mainstream media twist the truth. How can birth control be considered health
care especially in light of the recent Mayo Clinic study showing a 44% increase
in risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer in women who took the pill for four
years prior to the birth of their first child.
It seems that more pharmacists should refuse to dispense
such a dangerous drug.
As a new subscriber, I just wanted to let you know I am
delighted with my first two issues. I was especially happy to read about Opus
Bono Sacerdotii in the article, “Helping Accused Priests Is His Calling” (July
15); the only information missing was how to contribute.
But I found the information on the Internet and will be
making a contribution soon.
I am also grateful for the informative article on Voice of
the Faithful, which confirmed my suspicions.
Keep up the good work!
Alexis L. Mazzocco,
Oak Hill, Virginia
I am very interested in finding out if the organization
“America needs Fatima” is a cult. I have been sending money each month as a
child of Mary but I have recently read information on the Internet that says it
is a cult.
Also, what about Father Gruner, who has been asking
people to fill out forms asking the Pope to release the rest of the third
secret of Fatima and also that the consecration of Russia has not taken place.
I am quite upset about this as I have great devotion to the Holy Mother and I
don’t know if I should be a part of this. Could you clarify this for me? God
San Antonio, Texas
Father Nicolas Gruner has been suspended as a priest and operates in defiance
of his bishop and the Holy See, spreading misinformation about Pope John Paul
II. Unfortunately, the materials he disseminates are deceptive and misleading,
often making it difficult to tell that they are from him. The Register regrets
to inform readers that we carried one of his advertisements, titled “America
Needs Fatima” in our June 24 issue.
The Vatican publicly confirmed in 2001 that Father Gruner
has been suspended as a priest. The Congregation for Clergy on Sept. 12 said
the suspension of Gruner, head of the Fatima Center in Fort Erie, Ontario, and
of The Fatima Crusader Magazine, was “confirmed by a definitive sentence of the
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature.” The Canadian priest was suspended
by the Diocese of Avellino, Italy, where he was ordained in 1976.
In light of Father Gruner’s suspension, the congregation
said, “The activities of the Rev. Gruner, including the above-mentioned
conference, do not enjoy the approval of the legitimate ecclesiastical
Father Gruner insists that the Holy Father never performed
the consecration of Russia that was requested by Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John
Paul II, Vatican officials and Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last
surviving Fatima visionary, all affirmed that the consecration was performed
March 25, 1984.
What Was, Still Is
Regarding “What the Church Is” (July 22):
Father Raymond de Souza gave an excellent summation of the
recent Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document. The effect of the
document was immediate. Blog sites were rife with discussion and chat rooms
filled with excited and sometimes rancorous dialogue.
A pitcher of cold water would be ineffective to cool such
Atheists and agnostics were filled with fervent concern for
the sensibilities of non-Catholic believers. An enormous energy was being
expanded over that in which they do not believe!
The document quoted Paul VI in the promulgation of Lumen
Gentium in 1964: “What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What
the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple
terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now
clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over,
is now put together in one clear formulation.”
So these questions and answers are not new. Even the
clarifications have a history. It is time to revisit the clear language of
Dominus Iesus. The latest Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document
has also generated comment of the “wringing of hands” variety. However, once
the temperature of concerned feverish brows has gone down a new era of reasoned
discourse will emerge.
It is important for catechetical, ecumenical and
evangelization efforts that the Catholic Church does not lie or be deceptive.
What we believe we must say, what we say we must act upon. The average
believer, Catholic or non-Catholic, has more common sense than the bloggers,
chat roomers, fretting theologians and dissenters.
Believers will engage in a new partnership to make the world
a better place in which to live. Years from now, the others suddenly will
discover this hopeful trend that we will have begun.
For the future, those of us who see great hope in the
document will have become compassionate and patient with those who have
anxieties. This future belongs to that Church that was established by Jesus
Christ and has Peter as its foundation.
Deacon John P. Coffey
Brooklyn, New York
John XXIII’s Truth
Regarding “New Hopes for the Old Mass” (July 22):
Summorum Pontificum instructs a parish priest to accept
the requests of a “stable group of faithful” to celebrate the 1962 Missal.
However, it does not say that a pastor must wait until this happens.
Many young people do not attend Mass. If the Mass of John
XXIII were celebrated, perhaps some would come out of curiosity. Once the
experience its richness and beauty, they might come again and again.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Tom McFeeley’s article, “Stupak’s Struggle,” (Aug. 26)
contained an error that may upset some of your readers.
His sentence, “‘We’re back in the majority,’ said Rep. Bart
Stupak of Wisconsin, the Democratic co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life
Caucus,” is unfortunate because Mr. Stupak represents the first district of
Michigan, its Upper Peninsula. A map will show you that there are strong
geographical reasons for upper Michigan and Wisconsin to be seen as a unit, but
historically and politically the “UP” is part of Michigan.
Yoopers resent being seen as poor relations, or no-relations
by the much more affluent Lower Peninsula. They smart at national weather maps
that show Michigan as the “mitten” without its other peninsula. They bristle at
the suggestion that they are not “really” a part of Michigan.
And now we have our Representative hijacked! I don’t know
how you will ever explain this, but am keen to see it.
I enjoyed your article.
David R. King
Editor’s note: The
article also located Rep. Mike McIntyre in the wrong state. He is from North
Carolina. We regret the errors, and fixed them in the online version of the
Defending Webster Young
Could it be that all the letters the Register received
regarding Webster Young’s commentary “On Vatican II and the Music of the
People” (Aug. 12), and other columns by Webster Young on the sad state of music
at Mass, were critical?
I find that hard to believe. Aside from opinions on what
makes music “good” or “bad,” music we hear and sing at Mass is a part of the
liturgy and, as such, its purpose is to help form us in prayer. Man is not
meant to form the liturgy according to his likes. We are meant to form
ourselves to God’s likes.
The Mass is supposed to be as close as we can get to heaven
While I wouldn’t be surprised if the angels are at this
moment singing Gregorian chant or Panis Angelicus to God in heaven, I’m quite
certain they’re not singing “On Eagle’s Wings.”
Whose Snobberry Is It?
Contrary to Mark Jameson’s opinion (“No More Snobbery,
Please,” Letters, Aug. 26), it is not Webster Young’s snobbery that is the
problem but rather the snobbery of those music directors who feel the Mass is
their personal concert.
In one parish I attended in New Jersey, the musical prelude
to the Sanctus routinely drowned out the priest’s final three lines in the
preface of the Eucharistic Prayer. Our current parish’s music director seems to
believe the organ is beautiful decoration rather than an instrument.
Don’t assume that we churchgoing masses are incapable of
singing, much less appreciating, anything beyond a folk guitar strumming 4/4
Don’t assert that somehow inspiration from the Holy Spirit
endows musical directors with ecclesiastic infallibility.
The truth of the matter is that too often music directors
are the ones incapable of appreciating anything other than what they enjoy on
the radio and they hold their opinion as if it were founded in canon law.
Besides, it would take a very capable individual to make pop music sound
reverential, something that is lacking all too often in Mass.
William C. Reitemeyer
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas