To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY John Lilly
Sister Stang’s Sacrifice
am e-mailing you regarding “Three Suspects Arrested in Murder of Sister Stang” (March 6-12).
am 20 years old. Sister Dorothy Stang was my great
aunt. I had the privilege of meeting her on several different occasions when
she came to the States for family reunions.
finding out about her tragic death from my grandma (Sister Stang
was my grandma’s sister), I also learned so many beautiful details about her life
— the poverty in which she lived so she could better serve her people — no
electricity, no running water, and she slept in a hammock.
the next few weeks,
I carefully read the National Catholic Register, hoping that maybe an article
would be posted about the heroic life that she lived in the Amazon jungle. But
no such article ever came. I want to thank you though for posting an article
about the suspects being named, but I must admit, it’s her life and all the
amazing work that she did that is so interesting and motivating. She is such an
inspiration of living one’s life to the fullest for our mission, never stopping
or hesitating to take her hand off the plow.
you for taking the time to read my e-mail, and thank you also for updating me
about the men who murdered my great aunt Dorothy.
Peter Singer keeps referring to some “Catholic
theologians” in order to back up his sick reasoning. I would like to know to
whom he is referring (“Life or Death: A Conversation with Peter Singer,” Feb.
We should do everything possible to ensure that these
“theologians” are not teaching or being taught in Catholic seminaries and
universities. Indeed, I strongly believe that the Holy See should accredit all
theologians and Catholic universities and seminaries.
This accreditation should be sought by the appropriate
parties at regular intervals, and given only after careful examination of their
teaching. In this way, all Catholics could readily know who is teaching the
Catholic faith and where one might go to obtain proper doctrine.
Also: When considering someone who is “suffering
greatly,” has “no hope of recovery,” has “no capacity to make an informed
judgment,” and has left “no statement of wishes or intentions,” he states: “[A]ny human person would say we shouldn’t keep this patient
Not only is Mr. Singer denying the personhood of the
patient, but also of anyone who says the patient should be kept alive.
This man is too arrogant for words. Cursed is a society
that takes such a one seriously and follows his lead. Shame on Princeton for
giving this man a prestigious position.
St. Joseph and Holy Trinity
Aztec, New Mexico
Trouble at Notre Dame
Regarding “Bishop Finds Notre Dame Events Revolting”
(Feb. 27-March 5):
Without a doubt, many Catholic universities and colleges
have lost their Catholic character. The article on Notre Dame’s “Queer Film
Festival” shows that secularization abounds there, contravening what Catholic
education should teach.
Holy Mother Church does teach, very clearly and explicitly,
that we should be tolerant and have compassion for [all] individuals.
However, the Church does not teach that such tolerance and compassion
extend to acceptance of “intrinsically disordered” homosexual behavior.
Clearly, the Notre Dame festival was a clear call for
acceptance of GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transsexual) behavior. Not only a call
for acceptance, it was a celebration, an embracing, a revelry, an
The administration at Notre Dame is disgusting in its
rationalization of such an event by citing a need for students to
“encounter the secular American culture.” As if in today’s multi-communications
world, it is possible to “cloister” students from reality.
Clothes to the Edge
“Can the Law Tell People What to Wear?” by Benjamin Wiker (Commentary & Opinion, Feb. 20-26) addresses an
ongoing problem regarding the lack of respect for the true presence of Jesus in
What puzzles me is the silence from our Church leaders to
educate their flock and instill in them the respect owed not only to the great
gift God has left with us, but the respect owed their neighbor. It is sad to
see parents who not only permit their children to wear immodest clothing, but
the mothers themselves outfit in similar apparel.
I was wondering whether those who can sew, knit or
crochet would mind making “tummy blankets,” just a simple rectangle that could
be available in a basket at the entrance of each Church. They would be large
enough to cover [exposed parts] and would serve those who insist on wearing the
low-slung pants and far-too-tight shirts. They can flaunt whatever it is they
think they have to show, but upon entering God’s house they could modestly
enter to pray. Can’t you just see the possibilities?
Or, maybe, it would just be simpler for everyone to
remember where they are and what they are doing.
Thousand Oaks, California
The Suffering Pope
Regarding “He’s Suffering for Us” (Editorial, Feb.
Just a wee note to congratulate you on a fine reflection
on the present suffering of the Holy Father. Certainly he is an ongoing
inspiration for us all and, perhaps, particularly those of us who were small
children when he began his pontificate.
Gill Goulding ibvm
of Systematic Theology
University of Toronto
Regarding “More Than a Game” Jan. 30-Feb. 5:
Now that the Academy Awards have been distributed and Million Dollar Baby picked up a bushel
of them, allow me to give you my review of the film. I am not a professional
reviewer. This is merely one man’s opinion.
I begin by admitting that the movie is one of the best
cinematic products I have ever seen. The last 30 minutes of the film were
mesmerizing. There was no way the viewer could refrain from being drawn
into the action on the screen. From the standpoint of cinematic accomplishment,
Million Dollar Baby deserved every
ounce of its Oscar glory. But …
By this time you’ve read enough of the reviews to know
that Baby is a boxing story, but an
unusual one, in that the boxer happens to be female. It is also a love story
between the young woman and her aging manager, played by Clint Eastwood. There
is absolutely nothing sexually suggestive in the entire film, which is probably
why it was given a PG-13 rating. There is some brutality, as one would expect
in a film about boxing.
Viewing the movie from a Catholic standpoint, I was
disappointed in the portrayal of the priest. Some of his language was offensive
and his personality was icy, at best, as he dealt with the “Catholic” Clint
Eastwood, one of his parishioners. Most of the conversation between them
involved Clint questioning (ridiculing?) some of the Church’s doctrines — the
Trinity, the Immaculate Conception, and so on.
But these shortcomings are minor compared to the happenings
in the last 10 minutes of the film, which concludes with a scene of euthanasia
being accomplished by the manager. The scene is done so convincingly — and so
lovingly — that, unless one has the firmest of convictions of the evil of
euthanasia, one could easily come away with the belief that the perpetrator was
justified in the
It grieves me that the director or the author of the book
on which the movie was loosely based chose to conclude this story as he did. If
those final 10 minutes were to be withdrawn and replaced with a scene wherein
the victim dies with dignity or is rendered capable of living a fruitful life in
spite of the great handicap, as many are doing today, what a beautiful,
touching movie it would have been.
What a means of evangelization for truth those 10
minutes could have been. But, as it is, we are left with nothing but a
senseless taking of a life, authored by a supposedly “Catholic” manager
whose warped concept of love led him to enter an arena reserved to God.
St. Mary Catholic Church
Jennifer Roback Morse is right,
of course, about the great damage that can be wreaked by false allegations of
sexual abuse (“The True Cost of False Witness,” Commentary & Opinion, Feb.
13-19). So, too, Michael Gallagher’s letter “The Sting of Slander” (Feb.
27-Mar. 5), relaying his catastrophic story of false allegations outside of
divorce and custody proceedings. His concern for falsely accused priests is
right on the mark. The bottom line is, any
lie is going to do some kind of damage to somebody, somewhere.
With that in mind, I am compelled to reveal to you a
monstrous hidden cost of false accusations of sexual abuse, one that in my
experience is destroying many more lives than are the false accusations
themselves. If one spends time following family-law court these days, it is
clear that the heyday of false accusations in divorce cases is over. And, while
the false accusers themselves tragically have escaped with very little
punishment at all, you must know that family-law courts are now exacting a
severe penalty for the past decade of false accusations — and it is being
exacted from good parents and innocent children who are making truthful accusations of sexual abuse.
A family-law attorney would tell you that now, after
dealing with years of false allegations, family-law judges simply loathe any
claim of sexual abuse, thinking it’s usually just two parents squabbling. The
tragic result is that, unless there is physical evidence, even most truthful
accusations of sexual abuse are received with immediate skepticism and are
practically assumed false until proven true.
How catastrophic: When an oppressed, intimidated, abused
child finally works up the courage to speak out about the abuse, he is told by
the adults to “prove it!” — rather than the abuser being required to prove his