Hitting His Stride

I was pleased to read Mr. Mark Shea’s “Reinventing the Deal” (Nov. 21), as it appears that he has again hit his stride and has reinvented his often more-than-excellent writing.

What is worrisome is that the noted cookbook author, Sue Cameron, and Mr. Shea’s acquaintance were not, in even the most basic terms, acquainted with The Greatest Story Ever Told. That they were not embarrassed by that advertisement for the Bible cookbook or their more general ignorance of the Christianity so basic to both Western civilization and the development of the U.S.A. and its democratic-republic is a great wonder.

The fact that Mr. Shea’s contact was able, in our secular schools and society, to avoid that knowledge creates in me (and, I hope, in others) the most grave concern for the faith, the nation and civilization itself.

Thank you, Mr. Shea, for bringing this true emptiness to our attention.

James Pawlak

West Allis, Wisconsin

Teaching Strengthened

Relevant to “The Pope Said What About Condoms?” (NCRegister.com, Nov. 20): It seems all the Pope was saying in claiming that condom use “can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility” is that God can come to us at any time and in any circumstance and enlighten our consciences as to what is right and wrong.

Even in the midst of sin, God can rescue us from ourselves, for no man is wholly evil and with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).

In this sense, the Pope’s comments serve not only to strengthen the Church’s teachings against contraception — it holds out the hope of salvation to those still firmly in the grip of sin.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Cutting Through Confusion

I just received the Dec. 5 issue of the Register, and I am ever so grateful.

As you often say, the Register does the work that the mainstream media cannot or will not do. The story about the Pope’s comments on condoms is a perfect example. We do not watch television in our house, and the majority of news I get comes from headlines read on the Internet.

When I recently saw stories about the Pope’s comments on condoms, I was thoroughly confused and a little disheartened. That was ended today when the Register showed up in my mailbox.

I am relieved to read the whole story instead of the subterfuge provided by the mainstream media. Thank you for the work you do.

Dana Howard

Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

SOLT and Light

Regarding the article about the religious sister who left the partying lifestyle to find happiness as a SOLT (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity) sister (“From Darkness Into God’s Marvelous Light,” Nov. 21):

Our family has the good fortune of meeting several priests, religious sisters, consecrated widows and lay families who belong to SOLT. Several characteristics define them, such as their ability to proclaim the Truth with a rigorous charity that is rarely seen nowadays.

In addition, their Christian example and its resultant joy seem to be the hallmark of their charism.

In Novo Millennio Ineunte, Pope John Paul II stated, “The missionary mandate accompanies us into the third millennium and urges us to share the enthusiasm of the very first Christians: We can count on the power of the same Spirit who was poured out at Pentecost and who impels us still today to start out anew, sustained by the hope ‘which does not disappoint.’” They are doing this.

Any diocese or archdiocese that has members of SOLT serving within its bounds will be enriched.

Thanks for writing this article. It has prompted our family to tithe to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity regularly.

Amy Chapman

Hunt, Texas

Hopeful Information

Kathryn Jean Lopez’s article (“Midterm Change of Course,” Nov. 21) on the elections was wonderful and taught us many positive and hopeful pro-life things we did not know about Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.

But we were disturbed by the subhead: “1 Catholic Speaker of the House Gives Way to Another,” as if Boehner for [Democratic Speaker Nancy] Pelosi is an even trade. (We learned a while ago that the headlines are often not written by the author, which may well be the case here.)

So, let us paraphrase the old question, especially as it relates to abortion: If Nancy Pelosi was arrested for being a Catholic, would there be enough evidence to convict?

Ed and Joann O’Malley

Wayne, Pennsylvania

The editor responds: It is not the Register’s responsibility to judge whether politicians should call themselves Catholic or not. It is our responsibility to report on politicians who are members of the Church and how their decisions reflect the faith. (For example, see our “Meet the Catholics in Congress” on page 3.)

Israel a ‘Peaceful Nation’

In response to the letter written by Harry Katz (“Israel’s Culpability,” Nov. 21):
I would expect such a one-sided, unfair letter to be found in The New York Times, not the Register.

Mr. Katz called out Israel for “its murder of civilians in the name of self-defense,” but never mentioned that it was Hamas who used civilians as human shields to gain public support and to demonize Israel.

Now, we can disagree on whose land it is, but let’s get real here and understand that Israel is surrounded by nations that want to “wipe them off the face of the map.”

Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations on its borders who believe in radical Islam and jihad. Israel believes the Holy Land is its God-given land, while terrorists kill the innocent because they believe God has called for it. So who is the unreasonable one here?

Of course Catholics are concerned with the drastic decline in the Christian population in the Holy Land. Of course many Catholics believe that Israel could help peace efforts by not building on disputed land. But let us understand that Israel is a peaceful nation that has done so much to restrain itself from engaging in war with its enemies. Israel has taken many necessary precautions to avoid civilian deaths, while Hamas had unloaded hundreds of rockets into Israel without the least concern for civilian casualties.

It’s really disappointing that Mr. Katz called out the U.S. for its military-aid packages to Israel as contributing to the “radicalism of the Islamic population.” That statement smells of the infamous rant given by President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, when he called out the U.S. and said the “chickens have come home to roost.”

Michael Rachiele

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Risqué Reportage

First, I want to say that I greatly enjoy the articles and very much appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that you guys put into this apostolate. I confidently believe you are bringing many souls closer to Christ through your efforts.

Recently, I read an article that was sent via e-mail as the weekly e-blast from the Register. One particular article was titled “Threats Against Pro-Lifers Escalate?” by Matthew Archbold. While I have enjoyed reading his articles in the past, this particular one was a bit risqué. I realize that one of the quotes uses the word “bi***es.” However, several times after the longer quotation the word was used multiple times by the author in what seemed to come across as somewhat inappropriate. I do realize the context of the story and I too am passionate about the topic. Further, I am not an “extremist” when it comes to how things are articulated and realize that you cannot satisfy everyone. However, I just felt called to at least mention how the article made me feel. As good of a writer that I know Mr. Archbold is, I think there may have been a better way to communicate the same message without exaggerating such a word.

More importantly, as executive director of a school implementing the Integral Formation method of education, we encourage our sixth-eighth grade students to utilize valuable Internet resources such as the Register for research on a variety of topics. Thus, this article made me feel a little uncomfortable of what they might read in light of teaching them how to write about and communicate difficult issues. I know certain topics are not easy to discuss (an unfortunate reality of our world), but in this case, I question the appropriateness from a student’s standpoint. Nonetheless, we adults are students as well, right?

Anyway, please know that I am still very much a supporter of the Register, and this situation has not caused me to feel any less supportive. I just felt a need to inform someone. Also, this surely is not an attempt to get Mr. Archbold in any trouble. He has been a great asset for the Register. I am most appreciative of the work and efforts you all partake.

Brett Richard

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Christmas Controversy

Regarding “Mary’s Ultrasound Draws Fire” (Dec. 5 and online): This is a sign we have given in to the culture of death: An adorable babe in the womb creates controversy. St. Paul said that the cross would be a stumbling block, but only in our times is the baby Himself causing trouble.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Leticia Velasquez

via NCRegister.com

Register Regards

Thanks for the great coverage in the National Catholic Register, our favorite newspaper!

Michael and Lucy Swartz

Harlingen, Texas