Appointments & Meetings
I have been a Register subscriber for more than a decade. One of the items I have always looked forward to seeing were the episcopal appointments from throughout the world.
For the last month, the Register has not carried this item. I hope that you would consider bringing it back. It helps us priests keep abreast of many of the changes in leadership taking place throughout the Church.
FATHER DAVID BIALKOWSKI
Buffalo, New York
God's Hand in History
Regarding “John Paul in the Land of Blood and Crosses” (July 8-14): The mystery of suffering in our own lives and in our world has always been a source of puzzlement to the human mind. It's often difficult to accept that [suffering] is God's raw material in molding his children to perfection. So it's reassuring to see a glimpse of the divine wisdom as the fruits of suffering emerge.
Recently, while I was visiting a Polish Church, a beautiful wooden icon of Our Lady caught my eye. An old gentleman told me its history. It was carved by a man using the sharpened lid of a tin can during his captivity in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. He went on to describe the sufferings of his people under the Nazi regime and then the communists that followed them. So much persecution and oppression was revealed in the tears in his eyes. Plaques cherishing the memory of the thousands of soldiers who had fallen in battle lined the choir loft.
The faith of the people was surely tested in the furnace and, despite 40 years of atheistic communism, hope remained, the Church maintained its position and the culmination of half a century of prayer and pain brought forth a Polish pope. To see that, shortly followed by the collapse of the regime in Poland and then right across Eastern Europe and the USSR, is to see God's mighty hand guiding history.
As John Paul II continues to be a voice crying in the wilderness of a world that largely ignores Christ's teaching, I can't help wondering what means God will use to bring our nations back into the fold, but I'm sure his love will find a way.
Nix the Newspeak
In the best Clintonian tradition, Eve Tushnet (and apparently Bishop Fiorenza) use the term “refundable tax credit” when they mean “welfare.”
Newspeak has no place in a Catholic publication.
T. MARK STAMM
Remarkably Misguided ‘Pro-Life’ Men
How outrageous and terribly disappointing that a once authentically Catholic newspaper such as the Register would print on its last page a huge letter glorifying people such as Martin Sheen and Mark Shields (“They Come From all Political Stripes: Feminists for Life's Remarkable Pro-Life Men,” July 8-14).
These individuals are notable supporters of candidates who would allow the murder of pre-born children virtually until the time of their birth. As principal host of “Capital Gang” on Ted Turner's CNN, Mark Shields regularly disparages pro-life candidates and consistently supports pro-abortion candidates. Martin Sheen is an ardent supporter of outrageously pro-abortion candidates as Bill Clinton and Al Gore while pretending to be pro-life because he is opposed to the death penalty for capital crimes.
It is often difficult for conscientious individuals, who have problems with many Republican positions and long family traditions of voting Democratic, to guide themselves by the overriding desire to end the killing of millions of children. Nevertheless courage requires prioritizing concerns, and no other concern comes close to the protection of innocent human life. Both parties are now unfortunately basically pro-capital punishment, so that position is a red herring and does not apply when used by “seamless-garment “ advocates to justify support of abortion-rights candidates.
How are we ever to end the horrific practice of abortion in this country if Catholics are provided the justification for voting for pro-abortion candidates in supposedly decent Catholic newspapers?
The only hope we have to end abortion is through our representatives and hopefully through decent court appointments. This will never happen as long as Catholics continue to feel it is a viable choice to vote for candidates like Al Gore and Bill Clinton.
I am sure these sorts of justifications were also used in supporting racist politicians in the pre-civil rights era, because of their positions on other issues. Why would any politician change their viewpoint if they feel they can safely vote against pro-life concerns and still get a large number of Catholic voters? I am slowly running out of groups to support financially, as I cross off the National Catholic Register from my list.
Mark Shields and Martin Sheen as Catholics disgrace and scandalize the Catholic Church. So, apparently, does this newspaper. You have no idea how deeply this pains me. I will not be renewing my subscription. Shame on you!
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Editor's Note: It's a shame we're losing your support over our coverage of this year's Feminists for Life awards.
We ask you to judge the Register not by the actions of the groups or individuals we report on, but by our own editorial content.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wis. (“Witness in the Wisconsin Wood,” Catholic Traveler, July 8-14), was founded by Franciscans—but now has a Carmelite connection. What we identified as a Franciscan house of prayer is, in fact, the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Name of Jesus.