Old Mass’ Appeal

Thank you so much for your article, Ite, Missa Est on the forma extraordinaria in your Feb. 17-23 issue.

However, I must point out one significant error in the article.

It should be noted that the Masses using the 1962 Missal at Saint Vincent are not sponsored by campus ministry, and in fact have no official sponsorship from the college, parish, seminary or archabbey.

In accord with Summorum Pontificum, individual priests of the archabbey have been exercising their right to the use of the extraordinary form for private Masses.

Students who have expressed a desire to be present at such celebrations are made known of the usual times during the week out of consideration for them. God bless you in your holy work.

Rev. Maurus B. Mount, OSB

Saint Vincent Archabbey

Spinmeister Brownback

I supported Sam Brownback while he ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. However, his recent article, “Pro-Lifers Can Trust McCain” (Feb. 10) is troublesome. I agree with Brownback that McCain has generally voted against abortion. But that does not mean McCain is “pro-life.”

Pro-life means that that every human being deserves to be protected from conception to natural death.

McCain supports embryonic stem-cell research, which snuffs out a human life. This is not pro-life.

McCain also supports Americans’ being taxed to finance such research under the compulsion of the IRS. This is neither pro-life nor pro-religious freedom.

McCain believes that activists must not be allowed to speak about the voting records of candidates 90 days prior to elections. This is an assault against the pro-life movement, religious liberty and American’s Constitutional freedom of speech rights.

Brownback would have been more accurate to say that McCain is a better “anti-abortion” choice than the two Democrats opposing him. Brownback also errs and is guilty of excessive spin when he asserts that McCain is superior to Huckabee regarding pro-life positions.

 Ed Leslie

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Thank You, George Bush

I empathize with most of “Strength in Numbers” (Feb. 10). I agree with her observations about the March for Life and the Democrats’ pro-death record.

However, I didn’t understand the part about coming together for “change.” I am nauseated when I hear a candidate say they’re for “change.” What does that mean? Change could be worse.

Blinded by the iron curtain of the mainstream media, most fail to realize that President Bush was a gift from God. He may not have done everything everyone wanted, but is a decent, honest, strong leader. He responded to 9/11 and rebuilt the emaciated military the Clintons left behind; created Homeland Security and prevented future attacks; appointed 2 pro-life justices to the Supreme Court; signed every pro-life bill that came across his desk; reduced our tax burden (and we are nothing close to rich); vetoed funding for cloning and embryonic stem-cell research; funded faith-based charities; forced companies to reform and keep pension plans solvent; passed education reform producing the report exposing abuse in public schools 100 times worse than the Church scandal.

It seems everyone forgot the 2000 fiasco of “hanging chads” lawsuits, disposing of military ballots, the scandalous way the Clintons treated the White house, vetoed partial-birth abortion bans twice and pardoned their criminal friends.

That’s without mentioning Waco and Elian Gonzalez. But people liked Bill!

What the public must understand is, we elect a president to head our national security as the commander in chief, to sign pro-life, pro-marriage legislation and veto bad legislation, not to entertain us, raise our kids, get us a job, fix gas prices or put us all on the welfare and force homosexual rights and a Canadian-style socialized medical system down our throats. That’s change we don’t need.

Aggie Langschied

Lambertville, Michigan

Praising Pope Pius

I’ve noticed that Pope Pius XII was mentioned in a few of your articles lately. You may wish to commemorate Pius XII’s anniversary of coronation.

Eugenio Pacelli received the papal tiara, March 12, 1939, and is known as Pope Pius XII. His coat-of-arms showed the symbol of peace: a dove with an olive branch. His motto indicated peace to be a fruit of justice: Opus justitiae pax (See Isaiah 34, 17).

His first radio message to the world was, “Peace, gift of God, desired by all upright men, the fruit of love and justice.”

Immediately after his election, Pius XII issued a call for a peace conference of European leaders. Pius XII’s peace plan was based on five points: the defense of small nations, the right to life, disarmament, some new kind of League of Nations, and a plea for the moral principles of justice and love.

In his first address to the cardinals, Pius XII spoke about peace: “We invite all men to have peace in their consciences, calm in the friendship of God; to have peace in their families, united and brought into harmony by the sacred love of Christ; and lastly, to have peace between nations by the interchange of fraternal assistance.”

On Aug. 24, 1939, Pope Pius XII, in a last-minute appeal to head off the outbreak of World War II, stated: “I appeal again to governments and their peoples: to governments that they lay aside threats and accusations and try to settle their differences by agreement; to their peoples, that they be calm and encourage the efforts of their government for peace. It is by force of reason and not by force of arms that justice makes progress. Empires not founded on justice are not blessed by God. Immoral policy is not successful policy. … Nothing is lost by peace. Everything may be lost by war. … Let men start to negotiate again.”

The Pope’s appeal was not heeded.

In the private archives of Jay Pierrepont Moffat, who headed the U.S. State Department’s European division before World War II, there is a 1939 report by Alfred Klieforth, then U.S. consul general in Cologne, Germany, who stated that the cardinal “opposed unilaterally every compromise with National Socialism. He regarded Hitler not only as an untrustworthy scoundrel but as a fundamentally wicked person.

He did not believe Hitler capable of moderation, in spite of appearances, and he fully supported the German bishops in their anti-Nazi stand.”

Did Pope Pius XII condemn Hitler and help save the Jews? Indeed, his actions prove that he did.

Sister Margherita Marchione, Ph.D.

Morristown, New Jersey

Pro-Lifers Out in the Cold

Your editorial “McCain and Pro-lifers” (March 2) appears to be taken from the daily talking points of the Republican National Committee.

The editorial’s message asserts the same type of fear-mongering that tries to intimidate the pro-life voter to support a candidate whose stand on the sanctity of life is questionable at best. 

You declare that not voting for McCain will condemn us to a period of pro-abortion candidates that will overrun the Supreme Court with pro-abortion judges, institute funding for unlimited cloning and possibly end all legal opposition to the destruction of innocent human life. What we are left with is the lesser of two evils.

Since the present-day “culture of death” began with the ruling of Roe v. Wade, the pro-life voter has always depended on the Republican Party to nominate strong pro-life candidates. Not so with Sen. McCain. Now clever semantics are employed to convince us that “this is our best hope to protect the culture of life.” 

To the pro-life conservative voter, the bar continues to be lowered in an effort to attract the all important weak-principled, secular, independent voter.

What is left then for a pro-life voter? Ignore one’s conscience and vote for a proponent of destroying innocent life with federal funds? Hope that a President McCain will ignore his independent and liberal base and embrace conservative pro-life principles?

Or stand on the side of truth and vote for a pro-life third-party candidate. To me the answer is clear and irrefutable.

Humberto J. Brocato

Monument, Colorado

Editor’s note: The calculus a voter must make when he looks at ballot is simple. As we put it in the editorial: “A Catholic’s obligation is to cast the vote that will best advance the culture of life. When advancing the culture of life isn’t possible, our obligation is to case the vote that would best protect the culture of life. And if that’s not possible, our obligation is to cast the vote that will do the least harm to the culture of life.” In the general election in November, this means voting to help whatever viable candidate will best serve the culture of life, regardless of party affiliation. If we can help prevent atrocities against the culture of life by voting for a candidate who, while not perfect, has a real possibility of winning, we should do so. Lives depend on it, and that trumps all other considerations.

Persuade McCain

In regard to the Feb. 10 issue “Pro-Lifers Can Trust McCain”:

I can agree with Sam Brownback that Sen. McCain has taken a pro-life stance on many issues.

Unfortunately, on one issue Sen. McCain has turned his back on the pro-life cause. He voted “yea” on the Stem-Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (S.5 4/11/2007).

I ask all in the pro-life movement to contact Sen. McCain to persuade him to change his position on research that would kill human embryos.

Arthur Mullin

Wynantskill, New York