Thank You, Father Owen

Regarding “Setting the Record Straight” (April 25):

Father Owen, I want you to know that my family and I are so grateful to you for your humble letter to the public. Throughout this entire process, over the past years, we have been in solidarity with the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. 

There is nothing but God’s own will for our family that would make us change that status. We are suffering, surrendering, accepting, asking for peace and the ability to smile Christ’s Easter joy to all the world, alongside you all. 

Nancy Wrinn

Wichita, Kansas

I want to thank you for many things. First of all, your excellent articles and columns, and the tough subjects you write about.

Then, I want to say a special “Thanks” for your column in the Register (April 25 issue). It must have been very difficult to write, but you did it, in the same spirit with which you have tackled all those other tough subjects: with courage and honesty.

I shall continue to refer my friends and family to the Register, and I share my copy with others as well.

Keep up the great work. We need a paper like this so much in today’s world. I will continue to pray for you and your continued success.

Mary White

River Forest, Illinois

Lost in Translation

On page 5 of your March 28-April 10 edition, you used a photo I took of a man being removed after yelling during a papal audience. I was about 75 feet away from the man, and saw and heard clearly what happened. Here is what I reported in my caption:

MAN WHO YELLED ABOUT ABORTION LED AWAY DURING POPE’S GENERAL AUDIENCE AT THE VATICAN: An unidentified man who shouted in English about abortion, interrupting the start of Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience, is taken away by security in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 17. The man, who was in the first row within earshot of the Pope, yelled for the Pope to “excommunicate Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden,” referring to the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. vice president, respectively. Because the man was not arrested, the Vatican refused to release his name.

Unfortunately, Agence France-Presse got what happened entirely wrong. The man was yelling about abortion, not shouting profanity. AFP and other media most likely got this wrong because they were relying on reports from their non-English-speaking photographers who were also in a position to witness the incident. A reporter most likely would not have been in a position to accurately witness the incident.

My impression was that the man was trying to draw attention to abortion, but was not attempting to verbally abuse the Pope. He was shouting with anger toward the Pope, but it seemed to be anger over the moral wrong of abortion.

Your caption mentions that the man approached the barrier in front of the Pope’s podium. This gives the misleading impression that the man got close to the Pope. The man was in the first row of the general seating and did not advance toward the Pope from there.

CNS was one of the few agencies to report accurately on this incident, based on my reports. Unfortunately, most other media didn’t understand what happened because they don’t have native English-speaking journalists covering the Vatican.

Paul Haring

Rome, Italy

Editor’s note: The Register regrets the use of an inaccurate newswire caption. Paul Haring is a senior photographer with Catholic News Service.

Refutes Fuzzy Facts

As a developmental biologist who taught this subject for more than 40 years not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Canada, I have reason to be saddened by the corrupt science exhibited by Elena Shen of London, Ontario (“Reproductive Autonomy,” Letters, March 14). With the scientific facts and moral truths twisted by this young person, she can believe that “it is a misconception that abortions cannot improve a child’s health … (and) abortion is the only preventive method that decreases both child morbidity and maternal mortality.”

Does she not know that a child is killed by abortion? Or does she not know what the word “morbidity” means? Clearly more education is required at Western Ontario University in English, logic, biology and medical terminology. Most importantly, much personal spiritual growth and prayer is needed to clear up her fuzzy arguments.

As a child after WWII, I was interred in a communist concentration camp with many children both younger and older than me. I was 6 when taken into that prison.

Every year 50% of the children died from the harsh conditions, and using Shen’s logic, these death camps decreased childhood morbidity.

Let us all pray for Elena and others of this distressing anti-life logic so that they understand that killing children never decreases childhood morbidity. If she needs any proof, look at the trash behind abortion mills or the mass graves in Europe that hold the tiny bones of the unlucky ones who did not escape barbarism.

John Josef Just

Atlanta, Georgia

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor emeritus of the University of Kentucky.

Real Priorities Revealed

The letter from Elena Shen (March 14) vividly illustrates the arrogant, clueless and ultimately incoherent attitude of Western elites toward the needs of women, especially those of the Third World. How, for instance, does she propose to “improve a child’s health” by killing him or her in the womb?

Women in the developing world are sick and tired of having contraception and abortion pushed at them as “essential health care” and the solution to all their problems. They don’t want health clinics packed to the rafters with condoms and birth-control pills but empty of basic medical supplies. They know that contraceptives don’t “reduce the spread of HIV and STDs,” but increase it by encouraging promiscuity.

Precisely because these women recognize that “women’s health and maternal health are not exclusive,” they define “reproductive health” as being healthy themselves so that they can safely bear lots of healthy children. Unsurprisingly, this gives the population-control crowd fits — incidentally revealing that their highest priority is not protecting women’s health, but stopping them from reproducing.

With all the funding they get, one wonders why they begrudge us “conservative Christian” pro-lifers one modest health initiative. Perhaps they’re afraid our approach will be too popular with the intended beneficiaries and, eventually, put them out of business. Let’s hope and pray that it will.

Anne G. Burns

Cos Cob, Connecticut

Combox Contempt

The recent articles on the abuse scandal in the Register and on have been a welcome sight. You are saying many of the same things that we have brought up in our home. Namely: The media has put an overwhelmingly unjust spin on the scandal to the point of making sex abuse seem like an ingrained part of the priesthood.

Although the articles are great, the reader comments on your website are very difficult to handle. Because there is so much negative information and bias out there, the comment boxes are full of contempt and misinformation.

I would like to ask/suggest that the Register consider closing the comment boxes on these articles for the sake of charity to all, including the readers who appreciate reading the news in a broader, more balanced context.

Thank you for your work and love for Christ and his Church.

Mary Herboth

Sacramento, California

Redemptive Mothering

Regarding “Fitness Guru Rejects Pregnancy: ‘I can’t handle doing that to my body’” (, April 27):

Thank you, Danielle (Bean); you said it so well. Pregnancy, motherhood — they are hard. The hardest things I’ve ever done. They have not been kind at all to my body. I’ve had three C-sections. But thank God I’ve had the faith that helps me to make sense of my pain and suffering and to see the redemptive value in it.

We should all pray for (fitness expert) Jillian (Michaels) and all women who have not been so blessed, who are scared because they do not know the love of Christ, which can redeem all our suffering.

Melanie Bettinelli

via comment box at

Partner Power

We've been meaning to drop a line for some time now, and we're finally getting to it. We have been working with Michael Lambert (the Register’s director of development), and we were telling him how much we enjoy the new website design. He said we should drop a line to you all.

We think the new layout is much more friendly and so much more appealing. The look is outstanding! We want to say a big “Thank You” from Idaho and from all those who appreciate all you do and don’t take the time to let you know.

Thanks for leading the charge in these times. It’s been a pleasure working with you all.

Neil and Stephanie Goeckner

Lewiston, Idaho