Not a McCain Fan

I am just reading Brian Burch’s article “Can McCain Take Up the ‘Catholic’ Mantle?” (March 9):

Well, your “Catholic President” just vetoed the bill on banning “waterboarding.”

Burch is touting a man who wants to continue war for the next 20 years in the Middle East. Bush started a deadly, unjust war and has lied over and over about many of the aspects of it. He has said he is anti-abortion but has not lifted a finger to make it easier, cheaper to adopt, help the pregnant women in these situations or anything else.

You are what you do now, what you say. Show me your faith without works and I’ll show you my faith from my works.

Tell me you all are not that simple-minded and all with pervasive tunnel vision.

It would take a miracle for me to renew the Register.

Marla Mangogna

Kansas City, Missouri

Teenage Wisdom

Regarding “John McCain’s Reality” (March 23):

A big “Amen” to the 16-year-old boy from Liberty Town, Md. Young George is wise beyond his years, and any self-respecting, pro-life Catholic should take heed before we face the dire consequences of a Clinton/Obama regime.

McCain may not be the perfect pro-life candidate, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Sarah V. Doyle

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Keyes to Success

The dialogue regarding your opinion piece titled “McCain and Pro-Lifers” (March 2) has been spirited and informative. I have been debating how I could support a candidate like John McCain, and your reference to the opinion of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger helped me to clarify my understanding of my duty as a Catholic voter.

That was, until it was brought to my attention that there is another choice that no one seems to be speaking of: Ambassador Alan Keyes — a long-time statesman, advocate of life, and strict constitutionalist — is still in the race. He has just decided to leave the GOP and enter as a third party candidate.

This gives hope to all people of conscience who do not wish to vote for a candidate who is not 100% pro-life. I hope that the Register will continue to inform its readers of all their choices in the upcoming election.

Tom Frederick

Saline, Michigan

Fruitful Gardens

I commend the Register for publishing “Work Out Your Salvation” (Feb 24) in the Culture of Life section.

In an age fraught with so many threats to physical life, it is good to be reminded of the importance of the spiritual life. The many Christian martyrs who, throughout history, have sacrificed their physical lives in order to preserve their spiritual integrity have a message for all of us committed to the pro-life cause.

The dignity of every human life flows from our vocation to live now and forever in friendship with God through Christ. Keeping this in mind is necessary for keeping our energy level high as we continue battling to advance the culture of life.

On the theme of ongoing conversion, readers who liked Joseph Pronechen’s article may also like to be reminded of a long-standing analogy for understanding the spiritual life. Catholic spiritual writers often compare the soul with a garden. Even an old and productive garden needs constant care in order to stay healthy and become even more productive.

Just so, we can never turn on the cruise-control to progress in our primary Christian activity of knowing, loving and following Christ more each day. He provides us with grace (sunlight and water), but we still have to monitor the tirelessly reappearing weeds (vices and self-centered tendencies) and prune and fertilize the flowers and fruit trees (virtues).

At the beginning, growth in the spiritual life often involves discovering new plants that God has sown in the garden of our soul. But soon the newness wears off, and the gradual growth of the garden is seen in the mature beauty of its flowers and the increasing abundance of its fruits.

Rather than looking for new plants, we should work for good harvests. Having the right expectations for spiritual growth can cut down on frustration, keeping us fresh and clear-headed for our daily battles to build Christ’s Kingdom.

Father John Bartunek, LC

Thornwood, New York

Lost in Translation?

I hope a translation error was made in the report, “No Compromise,” on Archbishop Silvano Tomasi’s address to the U.N. Human Rights Council in the March 23 issue. The CNS article has the archbishop speaking of the “person’s ability to enjoy the dignity, which flows from that right [to life].” Judging from the Vatican II Declaration on Religious Liberty, the archbishop has things exactly wrong.

The Council Fathers declared “that the right to religious freedom [as all other rights] has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and by reason itself” (No. 2). The U.N. and the European Union are notorious for promoting the view caricatured by French Catholic political philosopher Pierre Manent: Man is the being who has rights, and nothing more is knowable about his nature.

A Vatican official’s pronouncements should be easily distinguishable from those of a U.N. bureaucrat.

John Traffas

Wichita, Kansas

Clinton’s Concern for Kids

Relevant to “Speaking Out” (March 23):

During the week prior to the Democratic primary in both Texas and Ohio, Sen. Hilary Clinton gave an unusually high priority to meeting the needs of our nation’s children.

One can’t help but wonder how does Clinton reconcile her alleged concern for all of America’s children with the indisputable fact that she has a 100% voting record in support of legal abortion, a proposal which has resulted in 50 million unborn children being destroyed since the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Roe v Wade decision in 1973?

Thomas E. Dennelly

West Islip, New York

Resurrection’s Hope

Relevant to “From Stabat Mater to Regina Coeli” (March 16):

On Good Friday, Christians around the world commemorated the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. For those of us Christians who are in the pro-life movement, Good Friday is an appropriate time to reflect on the similarities between Jesus Christ and the unborn babies killed by abortion.

Though innocent, Jesus was condemned to death by the power of the state. The agent of the state, Pontius Pilate, had the power to save Jesus but instead washed his hands of all responsibility and delivered Jesus up to death.

Every day, innocent children in the womb are condemned to die by abortion. Like Pilate, our government does not fulfill its primary responsibility of protecting innocent lives. As Christ’s flesh was torn by the whips and nails of his executioners, so the bodies of babies in the womb are torn by the instruments of the abortionists. Jerusalem, which had welcomed Jesus as a triumphant king only days earlier, turned quickly into a hostile environment where Jesus met his death.

Likewise, the mother’s womb, which should be a place of warmth and nourishment for the pre-born child, becomes a killing chamber where the victim of abortion meets her death.
Thankfully, Jesus’ story does not end with his death on Good Friday. Christians rest assured in the knowledge that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death would have been in vain.

Jesus died and rose for all people, Jews and Gentiles, Christians and non-Christians, born and unborn alike. As Christian pro-lifers, we have the great privilege and responsibility of spreading the message of Jesus’ victory over death to every segment of our society. We do this every time we protest the legality of abortion, offer support to women in crisis pregnancies or help post-abortive parents to find forgiveness and healing.

This Easter, we rejoice in the hope that the resurrection of Jesus offers to those waiting to be born and those tempted to turn to abortion.

Gerald T. Yeung
White Plains, New York

Morally Solid Plans

Regarding “Put Your Money Where Your Faith Is” (March 9):

It is easy to avoid investing in companies that are morally objectionable. Two mutual funds that immediately come to mind are the Ave Maria Fund and the Timothy Fund ( Dayton, Ohio, stockbroker Thom Strobhar (, featured in the Register last November, can set you up.

Vince Cremona

Cape Cod, Massachusetts


In an article about the Edith Stein Project conference at the University of Notre Dame (“On the Dignity of Women,” Books & Education page, March 30), the Register misidentified Amelia Ruggaber as assistant director of campus ministry at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. In fact, she is assistant director of Campus Ministry at Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Ind.