I wanted to thank you for the article about indulgences ("Indulgences Are a Gift From the Church") in the Nov. 4 edition of the Register.
When I was in California in 2000, the local Catholic paper published something the last month of the year about indulgences, and I was so disappointed that it wasn’t published sooner. I was wondering if one more article could be published explaining more about going to certain places to receive the indulgence.
I know certain places are designated for that purpose, but I do not understand the importance of going to such a place instead of the usual prayers being said anywhere.
The editor responds:
On page B2 of the same issue, we published a sidebar, "Conditions for Indulgences." If you need more information, go to EWTN.com/devotionals/mercy/what.htm.
Sisters’ Bad Example
The LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) and the "Nuns on the Bus" (page 1, July 29 issue) are setting the bad example of dissent, and they don’t seem to understand that the Health and Human Services’ mandate is actually endangering women’s lives.
The drugs/hormones in the pill and the abortifacients that HHS wants to give to women have links to breast cancer and cancers of the reproductive organs. They also cause blood clots, which, in turn, may cause heart attacks, stroke or pulmonary embolism.
These can all result in death or major disability in young women and are a great danger to anyone who uses them. Therefore, the HHS mandate is the real ‘‘war on women."
Those sisters need to beg God for forgiveness for the harm and bad example they cause.
Path to Virtue
Regarding "Voting and Natural Law" by Dan Halley, OSF (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 21 issue):
The high point, to me, of the election debates was the thoughtful exchange between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan on abortion. Their respective positions defined both the moral predicament of Biden and the moral determination of Ryan.
Biden’s predicament is his public reluctance to make abortion illegal; Ryan’s determination is his public intent to do so. Both men are following their consciences, hence the conundrum.
Biden believes we should not be heartless to the innocent victim of rape or incest; Ryan believes we should not be heartless to new life — no matter its stage of development in the womb.
I believe it is the essence of morality for our free will to struggle with questions such as these. Anxiety — and occasionally dread — necessarily accompanies such a fierce struggle. Our relief is disingenuous when we submit to Church dogma (or what is called "natural law") over difficult issues with which we may fundamentally disagree, thus surrendering our freedom in order to avoid guilt.
Better, I think, to consider all the moral arguments from religious and civil sources than to decide for ourselves and fully accept the resulting anxiety. That is the only path for virtue.
San Luis Obispo, California
Time to Step Up
Pertinent to "Contraception, the Election and the New Evangelization" (In Depth, Oct. 7 issue):
The article reads, in part, "72% of Catholic women state that the homily is their primary source of learning about Church teaching. … Few have ever heard a homily on contraception. … Few Catholics read the parish bulletin and its inserts. … U.S. bishops have developed a set of bulletin inserts about contraception." Nominal Catholics will not be catechized through bulletin inserts they don’t read.
Many things, including the Church leadership’s inaction toward Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Joseph Biden, etc., and the global scandal they cause, as well as the above article, have made me reflect. The original Body of Christ (Jesus) was abused and killed by the civil authorities while most of the ecclesial authorities watched.
St. Paul teaches we are members of the body of Christ. I feel that today’s body of Christ (faithful Catholics) is being abused by today’s civil authorities while most of our ecclesial authorities just watch.
The Health and Human Services’ mandate may be just the beginning; much more may be in store for us ("gay marriage," fetal stem-cell research, euthanasia, sterilizations of minors, human cloning, free abortions, physical/mental/emotional abuse). Gird your loins.
Abortion has been legal for 40 years; more "legal" evils are on the way. What we are doing is not working.
Maybe it is time for all the average faithful Catholics to step up to the challenge and no longer wait for our Church leaders to change our culture.
Please, everyone pray at abortion businesses; do penance, fasting; exercise faith, hope, charity and brotherly mutual support. Defend the Church teachings.
May the Lord be merciful to us and our Church leadership.
Flower Mound, Texas