Political Bitterness

Regarding the letter “Not a McCain Fan” (April 15), John McCain did not say, or even intimate, that he wants to continue war for the next 20 years in the Middle East. He merely recognized, as any thoughtful person should, that it may be expedient to maintain a presence there, much as we maintained a presence in Europe, Japan, Vietnam and Korea after hostilities ceased.

I happened to have been stationed in Germany about 10 years after the end of WWII, and the only war I was aware of there was the “avoided” war with the Soviet Union, which I’m confident would have occurred had our military forces not been there.

I’m not sure which of the many aspects of the war in the Middle East that the letter writer refers to when she accuses President Bush of lying over and over. The most popular “lie” that the opposition touts is that he lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the war. Of course, that accusation is a lie, in and of itself.

He acted on the intelligence information that he was provided, believing it just as the leading Democratic politicians did at the time. The fact that the letter writer is willing to believe the political rhetoric of those same politicians today is as deplorable as what those politicians themselves are doing.

Discrediting the USA and the president in the eyes of much of the world you might expect, but for Americans to buy into it is shameful.

And her claim concerning President Bush’s failure to back up his anti-abortion position is rank ingratitude for what he has done, the most notable of which is his appointments to the Supreme Court. That he could even do that is amazing considering the enormous support of abortion by powerful politicians, the media, well-funded abortion rights groups, many judges and even much of our population.

If the letter writer does not renew the Register, it will be her loss not the Register’s, and will cut her off from one more link with truth and reality.

John F. Oppie

Georgetown, Texas

Faith Disconnect

Dan Clabaugh’s letter “Where Is the Church?” (April 28) is a question that needs to be answered.

During a discussion, my “Bible-believing Christian” brother asked the same question the day before I read the letter. Mr. Clabaugh asked the question as a Catholic looking at the Church from the inside and my Protestant brother asked the question looking at the Church from the outside.

To add to Mr Clabaugh’s point, I noticed Father Kearns started his publisher’s note with, “What a glorious week it was!” in describing Pope Benedict’s visit to the United States and yet at same time CNN reported that 57% of Pennsylvania Catholic voters voted for pro-abortion Clinton.

There seems to be a great disconnect between “the Catholic Church of which you speak so often in the pages of your paper” and Catholics in the pew.

Maybe one of your excellent journalists could answer the question or some great Catholic thinker. Keep up the good work.

 Donald C. Romero

Abbeville, Louisiana

Tell Truth About Komen

The article “With Eyes Open” (April 20) left the impression that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer, and the breast cancer organization, Komen Race for the Cure, need not tell women there is.

However, the spirit of truth, good medical practice and respect for women seeking an abortion demand that they be told.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a pamphlet, “Abortion and Breast Cancer: The Link That Won’t Go Away,” by Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a breast surgery specialist, which explains how abortion raises the risk of breast cancer.

Lanfranchi is backed by seven medical organizations and numerous authorities. Despite all the evidence that abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) denies it. However, NCI does say that having a child at an early age decreases the risk of breast cancer.

Consider a young woman who gets pregnant, aborts and never has a child; e.g., she becomes sterile as the result of her abortion. Should she have at least been told that carrying her baby to term would reduce her risk of breast cancer, a point on which both sides in the abortion breast cancer dispute agree?

Since no one knows the future of women seeking abortions, all should be told of the advantage of a full-term pregnancy.

Catholics, led by our bishops, should not support Komen until Komen:

• informs women of the decreased breast cancer risk of a full-term pregnancy,

• stops making grants to Planned Parenthood, and

• stops granting millions of dollars to organizations engaged in embryo-killing research.

If Komen will, as it should, insist that women be told the truth, it will save many lives, because some women will reject abortion and some who abort will seek early breast cancer detection.

John Naughton
Silver Spring, Maryland

Absurd Comparison

It was with great disappointment that I read Father Longenecker’s article “Why America Needs the Pope” (April 20).

Father Longenecker could have been so positive. He could have discussed how the Holy Father was meeting with Church and university leaders to promote a Catholic identity that is so desperately needed in this country.

He could have discussed the opportunity for “pro-choice” politicians to meet with the Holy Father and potentially change the politicians’ viewpoints.

Instead, he compared those who attend the traditional Latin Mass to those who support “women priests,” Marxists and homosexual rights.

This comparison is completely absurd. One need only look to the Holy Father’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, on the extraordinary form of the Mass to show that those who attend the extraordinary form are not extremists.

I doubt Father Longenecker could ever find any papal support for “women priests,” Marxists and homosexual rights; yet, he makes this ridiculous comparison.

Moreover, not only has the Holy Father expressed his support of the traditional Latin Mass, he uses Latin when offering Mass, said Mass ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel, believes pro-abortion politicians should not receive Communion, etc.

Are these the “traditional devotions” and “right-wing causes” that Father Longenecker refers to in his article?

If Father Longenecker did any research on the topic, he would know dozens and dozens of Catholic churches across America have begun saying the extraordinary form of the Mass since the motu proprio went into effect less than a year ago. He would know that this is not an extreme position.

You only need to read Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s website (wdtprs.com/blog/) to get a glimpse of how this “extreme view” of the Holy Father’s has been embraced by mainstream Catholics.

The reality is Father Longenecker’s position is the extreme view in his denial of both Pope John Paul II’s and Pope Benedict’s instructions that the traditional Latin Mass be offered generously.

It is with such disgust that I read this article, that I will be canceling my subscription to your newspaper. For you to have printed this cruel and untrue comparison of those who support “ordaining women” and those attend the traditional Latin Mass means either you do not get it or you endorse this extreme position.

Either way, I cannot allow your paper and your views in my house any longer. Kyrie, eleison.

Stephen McManus

Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Father Longenecker responds: My article did not slight the traditional Latin Mass or faithful Catholics who are supporters of the extraordinary form. It referred to extremist traditionalist groups.

I did not have in mind those who support the traditional Latin Mass lawfully and within faithful communion with the Holy See. For the most, part I appreciate their views and their goals.

However, I did have in mind those traditionalists who are sedevacantists, those in schism and those who combine their traditional liturgical tastes with wild conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, racism and extreme right-wing politics.

The Church Is Here

The following is a response to “Where Is the Church?” (April 28) in which the letter writer laments never finding a “real” Catholic Church.

Move to the Southeast! We are a vibrant 10-year-old church blessed with a pastor who immediately initiated Eucharistic adoration. Within two years, perpetual adoration was established. He advocates frequent confession and family prayer.

In essence, Father Frank McNamee stresses the basics and consequently, the church has been flooded with parishioner-initiated and parishioner-inspired ministries — adult education on the Catechism and apologetics, Bible study for all ages, and Marriage is a Covenant small faith groups to name only a few — directed to those within the church, to the community and abroad.

It all began with a focus on the sacraments. Please do what you can to foster this emphasis in your parish and start with Eucharistic adoration.

The blessings will flow.

Maureen Engle

Roswell, Georgia