Prayers of the Faithful

In response to the election of Barack Obama as president, I suggest the following (or similar) petition to be included in the prayers of the faithful at every Mass from now to Inauguration Day:

“For President-elect Obama, that he be enlightened to recognize the intrinsic evil of abortion and embryonic stem-cell research and will work to safeguard the God-given right to life of every human being from conception to natural death. Let us pray to the Lord.”

Father Lawrence A. Kelleher

Livonia, Michigan

... Or How About

I am pleased that the Register carries “Umbert the Unborn” cartoons as well as many fine articles on abortion issues, including the recent “Preparing to Protest” (Dec. 14) about Catholic students who are getting ready for the March for Life.

On the other hand, the mainstream media completely ignore the fact that there are so many abortions in our country.

They give a lot of coverage to the war in Iraq and the number of combat-related deaths in the past five years. However, the same papers ignore the U.S. count from abortions, which amounts to 25,000 each week — well over 6 million in a five-year period.

Since the majority of the press obviously intends to continue ignoring this national horror, I am convinced that we need to take steps ourselves. I have two suggestions, and I hope others will find and use additional approaches.

At Mass, we hear included in the prayers of the faithful fine statements about the sanctity of life from conception to death.

However, I feel that our prayers on some occasions should include a statement that specifically relates to the magnitude and impact of abortion.

For this reason, I suggest the following prayer be used at Mass: “For the 25,000 babies killed by abortion each and every week and for their parents. Let us pray to the Lord.”

My other suggestion is to tell pro-abortion politicians: “Politically, you are in favor of abortion, which kills 25,000 babies each week. What in the world will you do to offset this ongoing loss of so many of our future citizens?”

Robert Gibbs

Silver Spring, Maryland

Like St. Paul

It is considered in our culture of death today such an anomaly for a priest to speak the uncompromised truth that when it happens, national news is made (“Hot Water Over Communion and Obama,” Nov. 30). Despite the uproar, Father Jay Scott Newman got it right. When Father Newman was ordained, he assumed the responsibility of both shepherd and watchman. From what I have read about him, he has superbly accomplished both tasks.

This year has been set aside to commemorate the life of St. Paul, a man who was not hampered by chains. Had he lived today, he certainly would not have been hampered by threats from the Internal Revenue Service. Father Newman, like St. Paul, is not a man who will compromise the word of God.

Father Longenecker’s position, that it must now be the role of the faithful laity to speak out and be the voice of the unborn and the vulnerable since the IRS has curtailed the clergy, rings somewhat hollow today in light of the recent presidential election.

Yes, I agree that the laity must make their voices heard and actively proclaim the word of God because the clergy has failed so miserably to accomplish what Jesus himself instructed them to do. The word of God can never be compromised.

When the shepherds of the Church are more concerned about the IRS than saving souls and preaching the truth of the crucified Lord Jesus, then it is time to wrap things up and close the church door.

Real courage and holiness can transform the world. Who needs the IRS when Jesus himself will provide for his faithful flock and shepherds?

Fortunately, for the parishioners at St. Mary’s in Greenville, S.C., Father Newman is a man without compromise when it comes to his faith; he is a good shepherd. We need more St. Pauls. What a beautiful priest!

Lydia Liedman
West Des Moines, Iowa

What a Mess

For the past few weeks since the elections, cardinals, bishops and priests are speaking and writing articles about the outcome of the election and the pro-life stance, how serious it will be now with Obama as president (“Cardinal Critical of Obama,” Nov. 30). Where were these men the months before the elections? Why didn’t they come forth and tell us what they are telling us now?

Neither my diocesan bishop nor any priest in my church ever mentioned anything from the pulpit about how Obama’s aggressive and disruptive agenda would effect the pro-life movement and our freedoms. In my daughters’ churches, the pulpits were also silent.

Why weren’t we told that voting for pro-abortion politicians is wrong? Period. Why weren’t the churches packed with Holy Hour services, special prayer services, special Masses — anything to get the laity aware of the seriousness of this election?

God sent us two pro-life candidates, and we turned our back on him. Why wasn’t this preached from the pulpits? How long will it be before we remove “In God we trust,” “One nation under God” and “God bless America”?

Our leaders let us down, and now they are frightening us with remarks about our future. May God have mercy on them and all of us. I pray especially for my grandchildren. What a mess we are leaving them.

Frank Cielocha

Rockford, Illinois

God’s Wisdom

As you duly note in “White House Dad and Fatherhood,” (Dec. 14), male responsibility must be stressed. How is it that the male responsibility in the choice of life or no life has been abrogated to oblivion? Who decided to give all the responsibility to the woman?

To those who may think they have the answer, let me remind you of a few reasons that do not apply:

1. It was a one-night stand, and the man skipped.

2. The U.S. Supreme Court said so.

3. That’s the way it’s always been.

4. It’s time society gave women control of their own bodies.

5. There is no God, so we are acting on a human level only.

6. Any other reason that is based on human values.

Those who advocate for life need to include the other half of the partnership of life.

They need to take the man to task for not stepping up and recognizing the consequences of his act and the responsibilities that result. This is not just a woman thing. Both are equal partners in what they have created. Both must participate in the outcome to be given to the new life.

There is no abdication allowed for either participant.

The single and only reason that the issue of life is so important comes from the revealed fact that God participates with the man and the woman in the creation of life by giving that new life the gift of a soul at conception.

Who will question God’s wisdom?

Richard Irwin

Wolcott, Connecticut

No Singing

Regarding “Lift Your Voice” (Nov. 16): As a musician and church organist for 36 years, I can tell you why so many Catholics very often do not sing, including myself:

1. So much of what we are asked to sing is syncopated and unsingable, with insipid lyrics focused on ourselves instead of on the God we are there to lift up our voices to praise and worship. Whatever happened to majestic, reverent four-part writing hymns like “Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven” and “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”? Are these banned, along with parts of the Mass sung in Latin to a beautiful accompaniment?

2. There are dozens of wonderful Masses available to sing, but the tired, worn-out Mass of Creation appears to be the endless and only standard used nationwide.

3. Too much music. There is a need during Mass for quiet reflection. Offertory and Communion hymns should be sung by the congregation sparingly, but both every Sunday? That’s why you have a choir of experienced vocalists for soft, meditative prayerfulness. When the music Catholics are given to sing is beautiful, singable and filled with solemn awe focused on love for our Creator, things may begin to change. I keep hoping.

Jim Connolly

Tampa, Florida


Thank you for sharing with your readers Tim Drake’s excellent piece titled “Abortion President?” (Nov. 23).

Tim, the timeliness of this subject is without description! You chose well stated adjectives- for this heinous crime of murder: ludicrous and horrific!

And thank you for your continuing excellent coverage of timely worldwide Catholic news and for including the excellent writing by Tim Drake in  the Register.

Bill McCuen

Doylestown, Ohio