Credit Where It’s Due
Thank you so much for the wonderful article about EWTN in the Aug. 20-26 issue of the Register (“EWTN at 25”).
There is a small problem that I must resolve.
Photo credit was incorrectly given to Kevin McCarron/Maximus Group for the images used on the front page of your article, and one of the photographers who actually took two of the images called me about it. Our agreement with our photographers is that we will always give them a name credit, and we are now in breach of that.
The photo of our chapel in the evening is by Charles Beck/EWTN.
The photos of Father Mitch Pacwa and Marcus Grodi are by Bill Freeman/EWTN.
Director, Creative Services
EWTN Global Catholic Network
Ambassador Flynn’s characterization of “special interest politics … driving American policy” as “morally reprehensible” is code language implying that this country is exercising an unjust partiality by standing in solidarity with Israel (“Catholics Must Unite Behind the Pope for Peace,” Commentary & Opinion, Aug. 6-12). But we should be standing by our Israeli friends — and proudly so.
The inescapable truth of the
matter is that the state of
Unlike Hezbollah (and Hamas), Israelis do not try to kill civilians. It’s not their style, and everybody knows it. There is no other military establishment on earth — including our own — that, while facing a comparable threat, has consistently gone so far out of its way to actively avoid civilian casualties in the performance of its duties, often at the conscious risk — and actual cost — of increased losses to itself.
The only reason that Israeli arms
kill civilians is that the elements that
Ambassador Flynn’s Exhortation
When Ambassador Raymond Flynn
spoke with Pope John Paul II in 1993, the Holy Father told him that, “In any
conflict, it is always the powerful that must give way to the weak if justice
is to be achieved.” As his first conclusion, Ambassador Flynn judges
Certainly the tactical
judgments of the Israel Defense Forces are subject to ethical scrutiny. For its
More importantly, Hezbollah is not
a government. Thus, its waging any war against
One can certainly agree with
Ambassador Flynn that, “Only when the people of the region treat each
other with dignity and respect will peace come to the
John R. Traffas
Good Thinking on Truth and War
I am responding in gratitude to two opinion columns published in the Aug. 6-11 issue: Donald DeMarco’s “Relativism: A Philosophy Without a Foundation” and Raymond Flynn’s “Catholics Must Unite Behind the Pope for Peace.”
As a new convert to the faith, I have been impressed by the quality of thinking in the Catholic tradition. I am appalled by the decline in reasoning power so evident in our society. I believe that a “ministry for thinking” might actually be a worthwhile project for Catholics to initiate. Morality depends upon the ability to think, and the decline of moral consciousness we see today is closely related to the reactive, cliché-ridden and superficial types of exchanges that have so degraded our public discourse.
On a closely related issue: Bravo
to Raymond Flynn for his loyalty to the Pope and to Catholic just-war
teachings. His voice is a much-needed change of direction from the “country
club Catholics” who go along with the neoconservative
Thank you, Raymond Flynn, for
telling it like it is. Catholic sober-mindedness and sense of limits acquired
over centuries of cultivating reason, care and stewardship are desperately
needed in the
Truthful but Tin-Eared?
Let us be frank about Alan Keyes’
Obama whitewashed him, garnering 70% of
the popular vote to Keyes’ 27% (which was a record margin of victory in an
A successful Christian politician must incorporate these public-relations factors along with the proper integration of faith and morals into public policy. If a politician comes across as being pompous and self-righteous, it doesn’t matter how strong of a Christian they are or how morally right they are — they will have no chance of being taken seriously, much less winning.
I say it’s high time that Christian politicians such as Keyes dispense with the “I have the truth so I don’t care if I lose” attitude and start adopting a winning attitude — one that goes beyond accusations and presents the teachings of Christ charitably as universal truths that can be adopted by people of any creed. Otherwise, the downward slide of American politics will surely continue.
Brides of Christ or Worldly Workers?
Regarding “Where Have All the Nuns Gone?” (Aug. 6-12):
There is almost nothing more seductive than the promise of power. I saw my contemporaries abandon their original vision of creating a sanctuary, a home, for the children God would give them. I watched as they streamed out of their homes, dropped their children off at daycare centers and enslaved themselves to a desk and a “career.”
By doing that, those millions of mothers were simply marching behind the same pied piper that lured so many religious sisters. They no longer could endure a “hidden” life because the only person who could possibly appreciate them would be God, and that just wouldn’t give them the kind of power they wanted. The evening news seemed to prove that marching for causes, not prayer, brought about social changes. Solidarity with human-rights causes slid almost imperceptibly into solidarity with the world’s values. I am aware of how harsh this sounds, but it was a harsh thing that happened, and it happened across all spectrums of society, not just in religious life.
And, of course, we are now reaping the whirlwind. The article suggests that one of the reasons there is a shortage of religious is that people simply aren’t having as many children. If that is true, those smaller families are at least partially a result of the same grab for worldly recognition and power.
I feel an odd combination of anger and compassion for the sisters who defend their dying orders. They apparently do not see how obvious — and how sad — their denial and rationalization is. When one says, “religious were always meant to be a very small, powerful laser-like focus of people,” can she possibly not see how blind she is? Is that really what the dying orders are? Can she really believe that the aged religious who live in apartments, work at regular jobs, and wear secular clothing are doing anything but blending in and disappearing into the secular morass? It is ironic that the very women who want to run the Church their way have succumbed to running their lives the world’s way. And has the world’s way of running a home and raising children truly helped society?
The new nuns who are faithful to the Church, who have a distinctive lifestyle, garb and mission, are, thanks be to God, thriving — even in a world of smaller families — and increasing numbers of faithful mothers are staying at home and even home-schooling their children. Their lives radiate the truth that love and service are the only powers worth pursuing.
The dying orders and dying families can squawk all the excuses and denials they want, but they simply can’t argue with the “new” traditional trends — which, God willing, will lead to John Paul II’s “new springtime of the Church.”
Sue H. Sowden
Regarding “Defending Crisis Pregnancy Centers” (July 23 - Aug. 5):
How can any woman who has children of her own have an abortion or be in favor of abortion? She should take a look at her own children and honestly ask herself: “Suppose I had snuffed out the life of my youngest son or my eldest daughter? Which one would I have picked?” If the child up for abortion is left to grow and develop, it too will turn out to be a beautiful son or daughter.
No matter how difficult or impossible a situation might seem, God is always there waiting for us to ask his help. Listen with your heart for his advice and he will help you work out a solution which will be best for this most precious little soul. You have an obligation to protect this gift of God.
We women have been given the most important challenge in the world: to help in procreation and to shape the face of the earth. Let’s act like the women we were meant to be and do the work only we can do!
Eleanor R. Kirschenheiter