Gov. Bush's Life Stance
First, I would like to thank you for your outstanding coverage of pro-life issues facing America and the world. Your newspaper has become a valuable tool for those seeking to restore legal protection to preborn children.
I felt compelled to write after reading the front-page article “Gov. Bush Leaves Pro-Lifers Guessing” (Register, July 11-18 issue). Not only was I frustrated with Gov. Bush's refusal to publicly support the right to life of all preborn children, but I was deeply saddened to read officials from National Right to Life Committee steadfastly defending his lukewarm and incredibly weak statements.
Politicians take their cues from those advocating for a cause. It is the advocacy organizations that set the standard for candidates. The reason we have candidates like George W. Bush is because we — grass-roots pro-life Americans — have allowed some pro-life organizations to publicly hail weak candidates as “strong pro-lifers.” Let us not forget that Gov. Bush has publicly stated his support for the legal killing of children conceived in rape and incest through all nine months of pregnancy. In the past few weeks, he's stated he would not require his nominees to the Supreme Court to support the right to life. This is not a “pro-life” position.
Pro-abortion groups demand more from their candidates. That's why Al Gore and Bill Bradley proudly state they will only nominate pro-abortion justices to the court. They know pro-abortion support is contingent on their defense of the so-called “right to abortion” in all cases. They get action when they set the standard. Sadly, many pro-lifers still haven't learned — after 26 years of killing — that compromise with babies' lives has not and will never work.
Mary C. Matuska state director, Pro-Life Wisconsin Brookfield, Wisconsin
Orthodox Theology on Mary
In your little article on “The Immaculate Conception and the Theotokos” (Register, July 4–10 issue) you cite the assertion of Metropolitan Isaiah that “the Orthodox hold that Mary was purified of all sin at the Annunciation.” Certainly, many Orthodox maintain this opinion. However, as Bishop Kallistos Ware notes [in his book The Orthodox Church]: “The Orthodox Church has never in fact made any formal and definitive pronouncements on the matter.” Thus, Metropolitan Isaiah's statement should not be taken as normative for all the Orthodox. …
Father Fahey might be correct in observing that Catholic and Orthodox tend to have different theological understandings of original sin. However, patristic scholars such as J.N.D. Kelly have shown that these differences (in their origins) are not as pronounced as some maintain. I would think that there is an Eastern Christian way of affirming that Mary, as the New Eve, was all-holy (i.e. immaculate) from the first moment of her being.
Robert Fastiggi St. Edwards University Austin, Texas