Keeping You Informed

Thanks so much for informing us of the great happenings at Ave Maria University.

Your May 9 issue (“Our Lady’s Oratory Beckons Pilgrims”) — as well as those you have had in the past — has helped us a lot in learning about this great new university and assist us in our desire to send our youth to a Catholic college that fosters sound Catholic education. I have visited the campus and met with students and faculty. It is truly an amazing place, and it will bear much fruit.

God bless, and thanks for all the great work you are doing to serve the Church and keep us all informed!

Rich May

Houston, Texas

Morass of Confusion

Regarding “Troubling Implications” (Letters, April 25): Mr. DeFazio is concerned that Denver’s policy to exclude children of homosexual parents from Catholic schools will “cast into the wilderness” many children whose parents do not live consistently with Church teaching. Though it seems like a hard policy, I believe it is ultimately in the child’s interest.

I have been a teacher and catechist for 12 years. In my experience, it is the child who suffers most when the behavior he sees at home clashes with what he is learning at school. The child — especially the young child — is inclined to trust the adults in his environment. It is a source of pain, confusion and insecurity when trusted adults are in conflict. Children hearing one thing at school and seeing another at home are the ones who find themselves “in the wilderness”: in a confusing world where someone they rely on — parent or teacher — must either be mistaken or lying. What is the child to think? That Church teaching doesn’t matter? That it isn’t true? That his parents, upon whom he must depend for so much, are gravely mistaken? That a life of integrity is not possible or worthwhile?

This is not a burden the child should have to carry. Thank goodness Archbishop Chaput is protecting children from a morass of confusion which they cannot handle.

Wendy-Marie Teichert

Camas, Washington

From the Heart

“There is no freedom outside of truth.” These words are found in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor by Pope John Paul II. Over the years, I have trusted the Register to speak the truth. I know it takes time for the light of truth to shine clearly. “Setting the Record Straight” (April 25) is truth from the heart. Thank you, Father Kearns. Thank you also for the fine collection of truth regarding the priest abuse scandal that is presented in the April 25-May 8 issue. I hope every reader diligently reviews the information presented here and the devotion that our Holy Father and our Church are giving to heal this horrible wound. We each are responsible to let our friends and associates know these truths, to help in the healing of our whole world.

Joan Witry

St. Paul, Minnesota

Most Grave Delict

In the “In Person” article of April 25-May 8, 2010, the Latin term delictum gravius is translated as “grave delict.” This translation is erroneous, and thus it diminishes the very point that the Pope intended to convey by defining child pornography on the Internet as a more grave delict rather than just a grave delict. Gravius is neuter nominative or accusative of the adjective gravis (masculine), gravis (feminine), grave (neuter) at the comparative level. Thus we have delictum grave at the lowest or positive level as grave delict, delictum gravius at the comparative level as more grave delict, and delictum gravissimum at the superlative, highest level as most grave delict.

Father Dino Vanin

PIME Missionaries

Detroit, Michigan

Anti-Catholic Venom

In the Register, dated May 9, a front-page article referenced attorney Jeff Anderson who consistently represents many civil law suits against the Roman Catholic Church. Within that article Anderson describes the Catholic faith as a “fugitive from the truth.”

It is difficult to understand why our secular news venues consistently remain so silent when such anti-Catholic venom permeates both its reporting and its editorials. Would it ever be so silent against any perceived racism or anti-Semitism?

Another relatively recent underreported event of anti-Catholic bigotry was the attempt by two current atheists, Laurie and Dan Barka, who are co-presidents of the so-called Freedom From Religion Foundation, to publicly challenge the U.S. Postal Services for issuing a postal stamp in honor of Mother Teresa. This group alleged that the U.S. Post Office should not honor a religious figure. Postal Service authorities responded that because of her demonstrated humanitarian work she was approved directly for this honor. Earlier, Mother Teresa had been given a Noble Peace Prize for her concern and work on the same grounds. She also received the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the highest honor our nation can give to a civilian.

Moreover, the United States stamps are referenced in a Scott Catalogue, and each stamp has a separate number. Specifically, the following stamps, for example, have a religious connotation: Father Edward Flanagan, Boys Town founder, educator Rabbi Barnard Revel, Baptist minister Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the four chaplains of the USS Dorchester.

Then, it must not be forgotten also that the U.S. Postal Service issue stamps that are clearly religious in nature, especially during the holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, correctly described this bigoted group as follows: “This is a mean-spirited campaign orchestrated by an atheist hate group which particularly loathes Catholicism.”

Thomas E. Dennelly

Sayville, New York

Shameful Blog Comments

I have just read the blog post, and ensuing thread, about the statement of 40 members of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars supporting Pope Benedict XVI (“40 Professors: ‘Attacks’ on the Pope ‘Unjust,’” May 7).

I am a Catholic scholar myself, and I am very concerned about both the substantive issues and the rhetoric involved in the scandal of priestly sex abuse.

Are you aware that several responses in your own thread use the most obscene of language, sometimes in direct reference to the Pope? Please take the trouble — as any reputable website would — to prevent such shameful posts from appearing on

Thank you.

John W. Carlson

Creighton University

Omaha, Nebraska

The editor responds: The offending comments were taken down, and comments were closed May 11 on the particular post to which you refer.

How the Pill Works

Your lead story, “The Pill at 50” (May 9), reports on the evolution of the use of the birth control pill over the past 50 years. Unfortunately, it does not address the critical issue of how these pills actually function, particularly the fact that they often cause early abortions.

Birth control pills, although labeled as contraceptives, work in several ways. Under the best conditions, they prevent pregnancy either by suppressing ovulation, so that no egg is available for fertilization, or by thickening a woman’s cervical lining, which makes it difficult for a sperm to reach the egg. Should both these mechanisms fail, thus allowing an egg to be released, fertilized and travel to the uterus, there still is a third means by which gestation is thwarted. This involves the birth control pill changing the uterine lining in a way that prevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. This is, by any definition, chemical abortion, which is why pro-lifers call the birth control pill an “abortifacient” — that which causes an abortion.

The article includes the false claim that the abortion rate has dropped. Indeed, the Guttmacher Institute (formerly an affiliate of Planned Parenthood) claims that the number of abortions fell from 1.6 million in 1990 to 1.2 million in 2005. In that year, Guttmacher says, 13% of the total were early medication abortions (RU-486), with the balance being surgical. Guttmacher does not count deaths caused by “contraceptives” as abortions. Thus, they do not include in their totals an additional 6-11 million babies which the American Life League estimates are killed annually by the pill or other forms of birth control. As an example, emergency contraception medication (also known as Plan B or the morning-after pill) has becoming increasingly popular, and now is freely available at pharmacies, hospital emergency departments, Planned Parenthood, and even from some school nurses. Each of the millions of doses of this medication which have been distributed in recent years was capable of causing an early chemical abortion. If there has been a drop in the number of surgical abortions, this has been more than made up for by the growing number of deaths due to the increased use of just this one form of abortifacient birth control.

Charles O. Coudert

Sherborn, Massachusetts


In a front-page story about attorney Jeffrey Anderson (issue of May 9-22), the Register erroneously reported that Michigan has opened a window in its statute of limitations during which victims/survivors of sexual abuse can bring forth claims. Michigan is considering the possibility of opening a two-year window, and there has been a legislative hearing on it. In “The Pill at 50” (May 9) we mistakenly listed Vanderbilt University’s location. It is located in Nashville, Tenn., not Memphis. The Register regrets the errors.