St. Gianna’s Witness
Thank you to Ed Waldron for the "Lives of the Saints" featuring St. Gianna Molla (Culture of Life, Jan. 26 issue). We of the Society of St. Gianna are happy to announce that the celebration of the 10th anniversary of her canonization will take place on May 16 in Warminster, Pa.
St. Gianna is the only female physician ever canonized and was the last saint canonized by Pope John Paul II (who himself will be canonized the day prior to Gianna’s feast day). Her title is "Mother of a Family."
God bless you.
Joe Cunningham, founder
Society of St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Misinformed on Ukraine
Pertinent to "The Issue of Ukraine and Crimea Is Complex" (March 21, NCRegister.com), Victor Gaetan’s interview with Joseph Pearce:
If there ever was an event that exemplified a people’s "hunger and thirst for righteousness," it was the "revolution" of the Kiev Maidan: More than a million Ukrainians gathered to demand an ethical and just government and society. Unlike other protests and upheavals, this "revolution" was a spiritual one: daily prayers and Christian service, on and off stage; complete absence of obscenity, hatefulness and distasteful slogans; no vandalizing, drunkenness or debauchery; Catholic and Orthodox priests hearing confessions; city residents donating food, clothes, blankets, firewood and medicine; and, on the peripheries, young men and women with helmets and wooden shields erecting and manning 12-foot barricades of ice, tires, wood and steel for protection from the armored ranks of an abusive, predatory and corrupt regime controlled by Vladimir Putin.
They stood there 24/7, in the freezing cold, for nearly four months — at first, peacefully and, later, in bitter combat with brutal security forces, paid thugs and snipers. More than 100 people were killed, and 1,000 injured. More than 200 are still missing.
Anyone who had seen all this would be offended by Mr. Pearce’s careless and misinformed comments in his interview on Solzhenitsyn, Ukraine, Crimea and Putin. Mr. Pearce praises Solzhenitsyn’s "opposition to imperialism" but is unaware of Solzhenitsyn’s strong support for a "Russian-led union" (of Ukraine and Belarus).
I know of no country that has ever sought Russian leadership or has prospered in any sort of "union" with Russia. In fact, it was precisely the mere threat of such a "union" that triggered the Ukrainian protest.
Mr. Pearce sees Crimea as rightfully Russian, even though Russians occupied the peninsula for less than 200 years and became a "majority" through the genocide and wholesale exile of its indigenous Tatar population. Russia’s Crimean proxies barred impartial observers from their "referendum" of reunion. After all, the production of "97%" support for a Russian takeover of an area where 40% are Tatars and Ukrainians is a feat worthy of Soviet-style polling. Or, as Stalin liked to put it: It’s not the people who vote that count — it’s the people who count the vote."
Mr. Pearce echoes Kremlin propaganda in describing the Ukrainian president’s voluntary abandonment of office as a "coup." A coup is a seizure of power by a small group — generally, by force. The Ukrainian president (who had a reputation as a coward) was in no danger when facing (from a distant, secure and unspecified location) an angry citizenry demanding his impeachment and trial. Nevertheless, he raced off to his palatial mansion to pack his valuables and a mistress before fleeing to his mentor in Russia. After waiting three hours for his return or resignation, Ukraine’s parliament (including his own party) — by a 100-vote margin — elected an interim president and set a date for new elections. The last we heard, Mr. Yanukovych purchased a $60-million estate in an elite Moscow suburb and feels very much "at home."
But the most disturbing aspect of Mr. Pearce’s interview is the moral equivalence he raises between President Kennedy’s actions in Cuba and Putin’s brazen and unprovoked aggression against a peaceful neighbor. Putin is a KGB thug (specializing in disinformation), who has drowned Chechnya in blood, ordered the assassination of political enemies, robbed his people of tens of billions of dollars, reintroduced state censorship and dictatorship, partitioned Georgia, reconstituted the cult of Stalin and shredded a host of treaties intended to keep peace in Europe and Eurasia.
And yet Mr. Pearce urges us not to "demonize" old Vlad. It seems to me that demon is as demon does.
Editor’s note: Woloshyn, born in Ukraine, is a retired lieutenant commander in naval intelligence, a 1974 graduate of Fordham Law School and the founder and president of the Ikona Foundation, which promotes and funds pro-life, pro-family and charitable projects in Ukraine.
I would like to thank Ann Carey for her sterling research as an upright Catholic journalist and for setting the record straight regarding the spurious claims of the NCAN ("‘Nuns’ Gone Mad," March 21, NCRegister.com).
In addition, I thank Ann Carey for realizing that many women religious, such as myself, support the teachings of Holy Mother Church "on human sexuality and the dignity of life." I am praying that those companies and those individuals who are fighting to preserve their religious freedoms will receive the respect and justice for which they are so nobly and so fearlessly going to battle, not for personal gain, but for the sake of the Kingdom.
In fact, their thirst for righteousness was praised by our sovereign Lord and master, Jesus Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:6); and despite any travails they may be undergoing, they will emerge from this victorious, as will all those who build their houses not upon sand, but upon the rock of Truth.
Sister Margaret A. McCann, SC
Convent Station, New Jersey
Thank you for your excellent newspaper. I usually read every article as soon as it arrives in the mail.
Being an adoptive parent with a great devotion to St. Joseph, I was somewhat troubled by the response Colin Donovan, who is the vice president of theology for EWTN, wrote in the section called "Why Do Catholics …?" He defended calling St. Joseph the "foster father" of Jesus with the following, rather confusing, statement (Culture of Life, March 9 issue):
"Catholics refer to Joseph as the foster father of Jesus to make clear that Joseph’s fatherly role is one of custodianship or guardianship, as Jesus’ true father is God the Father. If Joseph were called the adoptive father of Jesus, it would suggest complete fatherly rights he did not have."
This last sentence, in particular, is a very common misunderstanding about the important legal distinction between being a "foster parent" (which is a temporary guardianship with no legal parental rights) and being an "adoptive parent" (with full, legal parental rights). St. Joseph’s legal and fatherly rights need to be clearly understood and properly defended, since Jesus’ legal genealogy is through Joseph, his father.
I took Mr. Donovan’s excellent advice and read John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation called Redemptoris Custos (The Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church).
Never once was the term "foster father" used. On the contrary, the following quote is just one of many that defend the deep theological reality of St. Joseph’s human fatherhood, with all of its rights and duties:
"Inserted directly into the mystery of the Incarnation, the family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. […] In this family, Joseph is the father: His fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring; but neither is it an ‘apparent’ or merely ‘substitute’ fatherhood. Rather, it is one that fully shares in authentic human fatherhood and the mission of a father in the family. This is a consequence of the hypostatic union: humanity taken up into the unity of the Divine Person of the Word-Son, Jesus Christ. Together with human nature, all that is human, especially the family (…) is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph’s human fatherhood was also ‘taken up’ in the mystery of Christ’s incarnation" (Redemptoris Custos, 21).
The Holy Father also cites Mary’s own words to Jesus in the Temple: "‘Your father and I … have been looking for you.’ This is no conventional phrase: Mary’s words to Jesus show the complete reality of the Incarnation present in the mystery of the family of Nazareth" (Redemptoris Custos, 21).
I would encourage all of your readers to take Mr. Donovan’s advice and read this important apostolic exhortation that "explains Joseph’s significance in the divine plan of salvation." It truly is a must-read.
Elizabeth B. Rex, Ph.D.
adjunct professor of bioethics
Holy Apostles College & Seminary
Regarding "Contraception’s Destructive Immorality: Bishop Conley’s Pastoral Letter Targets Health and Medical Profession" (April 6 issue):
It is important that we support those pharmacists who will not sell Plan B abortion pills. I found an independent pharmacist in my hometown who will not sell chemical abortion pills. I transferred my business to his pharmacy. Every other chain pharmacy in town sells this abomination. When I questioned them, I received the response that they would lose business if they refused to sell it to just one person.
My response is that they have lost my business for selling to just one person. I do not want my daughter in these stores, and the best way is to transfer my business.
Will not our bishops urge the faithful to do the same across the world? It takes just one pharmacy, usually independent, near a town to stop supporting the cycle of death. It is good business for the pro-life pharmacist. We need to show the big-box pharmacy stores that it is bad business to sell death.
Let the purveyors of death know why you transferred your business locally and at the corporate headquarters. Let’s encourage our bishops to speak out, and we should take the lead individually and act now.
Richard H. Palau
Pelosi and Leadership
The article "Planned Parenthood and Nancy Pelosi" (March 23 issue) was appreciated and informative.
The depth of inconsistency in the abortion position of Pelosi and the teachings of the Church to which she professes to belong are enormous.
Pelosi, as is the case with practically all of our pro-abortion Catholic politicians, mostly found in the dogmatically pro-abortion Democratic Party, invokes the appeal-to-conscience argument in order to justify her abominable support of abortion.
In this appeal lies the real crisis that is afflicting the Church in our time — and has been for the last 50 years. That crisis is the apparently unwillingness of our Catholic bishops to exercise the discipline that is needed to avoid the scandal and ramifications of the appeal to blatant immoral acts by Catholics such as Pelosi, who claim to be both "practicing and respectful."
The question raised by this position is this: Do our bishops even agree on what is "core Catholic" moral doctrine anymore? Can they distinguish individually and as a group between core Catholic doctrine, e.g. regarding abortion, contraception, so-called homosexual marriage, etc. and other prudential judgment issues on which a degree of divergent opinion regarding solutions is possible (how to best serve the poor, international relations, the environment, etc.)?
It is a sin of omission for the bishops to fail to uphold Catholic moral doctrine. Without discipline, it is hard to imagine sustained growth in the Church regarding the push to evangelization and religious vocations. A fertile climate is required. They must once again assume their disciplinary responsibilities if a fertile climate is to be achieved.
In the Register’s April 6 print edition, the story "Easter Conversion ‘Boom’" incorrectly stated that Robbie Goldman was from Louisville, Ky. He and St. Theresa of Avila Church he and his family attend are in greater Boston. The online version has been updated to reflect the change. The Register regrets the error.