Easter Gift

Pertinent to “Archbishop Gomez” (NCRegister.com, April 8):


Archbishop Gomez of San Antonio has been appointed to succeed Cardinal Mahony as the new archbishop of Los Angeles. With news like this we can truly say, “Happy Easter!”

David Martin

La Habra, California

Pray for the Pope

Regarding “Cardinal Ratzinger an Evil Monster?” (NCRegister.com, March 30):

In 1917, Jacinta Marto, one of three seers of Fatima saw in a vision “the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language.”

“Poor Holy Father,” she said, “we must pray very much for him.”

There can be no doubt that these words apply today to the vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI, as he is being held up to unprecedented ridicule and scorn by a hateful press, unfaithful shepherds and flock, and a world so out of touch with its spiritual nature and moral being.

One can almost hear Jesus saying to the peaceful and benevolent Pope: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first” (John 15:18). Contrary to his critics, the Pope, like Jesus, is completely innocent and is doing everything in his power to weed out those priests guilty of sexual abuse and to justly compensate victims for their suffering.

In fact, he is the one above all else in society who has tackled these things head-on. Remember that even Jesus had his Judas. But the world wants to see the death of the Church because it knows she is the mother of all saints.

It knows that the Catholic Church is the last bastion of hope against a materialistic world that craves immorality at every step, including homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” easy divorce, abortion, radical feminism, contraception, in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem-cell research and cloning.

Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered not for the scandals of a few priests but for his intense suffering in protecting the faith from wolves in sheep’s clothing. He will be known as one of the greatest of Catholic saints and martyrs.

But we must pray very much for the Pope and for the Church! Let us unite our prayers with the children of Fatima, who may have been praying for this very pope in their vision. With God there is no time, and all prayers are present to him.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Dead Is Healthier?

I have questions for Elena Shen, who wrote a letter criticizing Canadian politicians who want to exclude contraception and abortion from foreign aid (Letters, March 14). In her letter she makes the claim that “it is a misconception that abortions cannot improve a child’s health.”

Exactly how does abortion improve a child’s health? How is a dead child healthier than a live one, no matter how serious the health challenges faced during pregnancy?

Robert G. LeMay

Downers Grove, Illinois

Fellow Canadian’s Chagrin

Keep up the good work. It was nice to see Canadian news included in the paper.

Responding to the letter submitted by Elena Shen of London, Ontario, in the March 14 edition. She was responding to the headline “Northern Fights” in the Feb. 28 print edition.

I was compelled to respond to this letter, as I was saddened by this response. I agree that abortion and contraception are opposed to women’s health and challenge those who think otherwise to research the effects that contraception and abortion have on the woman’s body, as well as her psychological well-being. Even if we eliminate the moral implications of contraception and abortion, it is still very clear that contraception and abortion only causes more harm. Pregnancy is not a disease; it is a natural process for women who engage in sexual activity. What is needed as part of women’s health is education on how the woman’s body provides fertile and infertile times within her cycle.

To claim that abortion can assist in improving children’s health is to say that murder is all right and should be legal if it means killing someone who makes my life more difficult. Murder is illegal in Canada when it involves a person outside the womb, yet murders still happen. Does this mean we should rethink this law and make it easier? What is a safe abortion? Abortion is murder.

Poverty is not the result of overpopulation; in fact, it is the result of corrupt governments. Many of us have forgotten that we are all responsible to care for others, the poor and marginalized, the sick and the dying. Offering contraception and abortion as part of women’s health, even to underdeveloped countries, is like offering a soiled tissue as a bandage to someone with a severed limb.

In my opinion, Harper’s government should be working to ensure Christian ideologies are part of their decision-making at home and abroad. This is not Harper’s theology; this is God’s.

Obviously, there is much more to say on this topic, especially if we include the moral implications and Church teaching on contraception and abortion. Instead, I’ll conclude with the words of Christ:

“The poor you will always have with you, but you do not always have me” (Matthew 26:11).

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18: 5-6).

Fatima Borges

Milton, Ontario

Troubling Implications

Regarding “Denver Stands Its Ground” in the March 28 issue:

The article brings to light the Archdiocese of Denver’s decision to exclude the children of homosexual parents from the Catholic education system. The justification is that the parents are not living in a manner consistent with the Catholic faith. In theory, the parents of children enrolled in Catholic education are supposed to play the main role in the faith and moral formation of their children.

While I respect and admire Archbishop Chaput, I remain a bit troubled by the implications of this policy.

What other children will be, or to be logically consistent, ought to be, excluded from the Catholic education system?

A partial listing would include: parents who scoff at Catholic teaching regarding family planning and birth control, parents that are cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex, parents living in an illicit marriage, parents discovered to have adulterous affairs, parents who in some way support or contribute to the abortion or pornography industry, parents who use or deal illegal drugs, and even parents who have lapsed into apathetic detachment from the Church and all she teaches.

The implication of a consistent application of such a policy is to cast out into the wilderness perhaps thousands of children, who will henceforth receive instruction in the faith from neither parents nor the Church.

In doing this, how is the Church obeying Jesus Christ, who said, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5)?

Peter Francis DeFazio

Framingham, Massachusetts

Register Apps

I am a huge fan of the Register.

It’s my home page and my first go-to site for Catholic news. I have read elsewhere that several newspapers are going to display format in an iPad-friendly edition for the new device, hoping to generate sales and enhance their digital editions.

Apparently the iPad does not support Flash. Given that the Register recently revamped its webpage (great, by the way), are you also looking into an iPad-friendly edition? Do you have an iPhone Register application for subscribers with that device?

Thanks for the great work you do.

Father Dave Swantek

Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey

The editor responds:Thanks for the kind words, Father Swantek. We hope at some point to make the Register available to all users of the latest technology.

Mercy Reminder

Regarding “Catholics Mourn Polish Tragedy” (NCRegister.com, April 12):

On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day instituted at the urging of the great Polish St. Faustina, Poland lost its beloved Pope John Paul II. Now, again on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday five years later, Poland suffers another great loss: the loss of its top leadership in the crash of the Polish presidential plane at Smolensk, Russia. The Polish leaders were traveling to Russia for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the great tragedy of the massacre of Polish officers by the Soviets in the Katyn Forest in 1940, and now this anniversary suddenly becomes another great Polish tragedy.

Are all these tragic events merely coincidences? At Fatima in May 1982, Pope John Paul II referred to the attempt on his life occurring on the Fatima feast day and stated, “There are no mere coincidences in the plans of Divine Providence.” Although it seems very insignificant compared to these events, representatives of the Catholic Church in Poland and the Orthodox Church in Russia held a historic meeting in Warsaw in February 2010 to begin a process of healing the estrangement between the Polish and Russian peoples. Next month, another meeting will be held to determine the membership of the working groups to further the reconciliation process. Maybe the outpouring of Russian sympathy for Poles in this great Polish tragedy on Russia soil will, in God’s inscrutable ways, aid in this reconciliation process. In that event, the death of these Polish leaders will not be in vain.

Peter Anderson

Seattle, Washington