National Catholic Register



BY Jim Cosgrove

March 25-31, 2001 Issue | Posted 3/25/01 at 1:00 PM


Patrick's Tears in Heaven

Regarding “Catholics Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade” (March 11-17): Pro-abortion Councilman Jerome O'Donovan, grand marshal of the parade, told the New York Daily News that the parade is about Irish heritage, not religion. The early Irish immigrants were unwanted, and experienced prejudice. Abortion is a deadly prejudice. It denies babies their civil right to life. The Church has always spoken out on civil rights issues.

The parade is named in honor of a Catholic saint. If it were possible to cry in heaven, St. Patrick and all the Irish in paradise would be shedding tears at the sight of O'Donovan in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

COLEEN REILLY Lebanon, Pennsylvania

What Were the Clinton Nuns Thinking?

Your front-page article in the March 4-10 issue titled “Catholic Nuns Welcome Bill Clinton” is most shocking and troubling.

Our Church teaches us that abortion is the taking of a human life. Many of those who disagree with this agree with us on partial-birth abortion. Clinton, while president of the United States, twice vetoed a bill banning partial-birth abortions. Our Church teaches the sanctity of marriage. How often did Clinton violate this before and during his presidency? Our Church teaches us that lying is a serious sin. Clinton, while the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, admittedly lied under oath. Our Church teaches us that we should not steal. When Clinton left the White House, he was caught “stealing” furniture and paintings. How much did he steal while in office? Before leaving office, Clinton granted several very questionable pardons which are currently being investigated in connection with financial donations and voting anomalies.

I could go on and on.

What can the Sisters of St. Joseph be thinking when they provide this man a pulpit and $100,000 to spread his gospel, which is the complete antithesis of the Gospel we believe and try to follow?

I serve on the board of a foundation supporting a Seventh-Day Adventist hospital. I dare say that we would never consider inviting such a speaker, no matter how dire our need for funds.

BETTY A. BARKER Mount Dora, Florida

Still Smiling After All This News

I usually go all sentimental and “smiley-faced” when I see something written by or referring to even a fellow South Dakotan, especially a fellow Yanktonian (“Just Another Smiley Face?” Letters, Jan. 7-13). However, my smile turned to a frown when he thumped on the Register, which I find indispensable to being a well-informed Catholic. The coverage is thorough and varied, and maintains an encouraging tone without glossing over the serious problems around us. The bioethics coverage alone makes the Register worth its subscription price. I especially enjoyed the “Inperson” interview with Father Robert Fox, who was assistant pastor in Yanktown during my elementary years.

Mr. Brady's letter did make me muse upon the fact that our eighth-grade teacher had us read the old Denver Register weekly and report on one article of our choice. Was that publication the forerunner of the present publication? I do believe I will purchase a gift subscription for my parish school in the hope that some of the kids might benefit as I did, and still do!

CAROL E. BISHOP Long Beach, California

Editor's Note: The National Catholic Register indeed began as the Register in Denver 74 years ago. The national edition was originally affiliated with the local edition, but is now entirely separate — though our friendship remains.

Baxter Booster

Regarding “Guided by a Patron Saint Through Two Kinds of School” (Feb. 11-17): When I ran across the opinion column written by Susan Baxter, I thought, “Oh gosh, another piece that should draw a comment from a reader of your paper” — and it's true. There are so many good things in the Register. How nice to realize, at the end of that essay, that the school her daughter was registered in did somehow relate to Mother Seton — the streets are Elizabeth and Ann Streets!

How many miracles St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was responsible for in the life of Susan! A very nice, well-written column that gives the reader a good insight into the writer herself. Well done, Susan!

L.E. MERKER Pittsfield, Massachussets

Picking the Church

Hooray for the Bishops of Canada and their strong stance on this confusing business of these politicians and their contradictory positions in public life (“‘Pick Abortion or Church,’ Bishop Warns Politicians,” March 18-24).

Kudos to Erie, Pa., Bishop Donald Trautman and Scranton, Pa., Bishop James Timlin for their excellent pastoring of their people.

As a native of Pennsylvania and present resident of Colorado, I applaud their good sense and their commitment to the Church's excellent teachings on this issue. More bishops, as well as parish priests, must voice these very positions of the Church in the United States and Canada immediately, no matter how unpopular they become with their congregations or the media.

This is all past due and pro-lifers everywhere are ready for their worthy pastors to shout this from the pulpits and the rooftops.

LISA HOKE-MUNCHEL Colorado City, Colorado

Tale of Two High Schools

I am writing in reference to your March 18-24 issue. The articles I read were very good and I was particularly interested in the articles concerning school violence.

I think that the Catholic school incident in Williamsport, Pa., shows us that even Catholic schools are not immune to the violence, like even I wanted to believe. But I also think there are important differences in that incident.

The girl entered the school talking about suicide toward herself. She was particularly mad at one other girl student.

She uncontrollably fired 2 shots in the ceiling and 1 more shot at the floor. She never pointed the gun at any one person. She did not have a plan to go to the school and kill fellow students.

FRANK J. ZABOROWSKI Jefferson, Pennsylvania

The Race Is Not to the Swift

I wonder on what principle you decided to celebrate stockcar driver Dale Earnhardt on the front page of your March 4-10 edition (“Faith in the Fast Lane: Earnhardt's Last Lap”)? As your report states, he simply hit the wall at approximately 180 miles per hour and died instantly.

Did you mean to put forward the born-again, aggressive “Intimidator” to your read-model of one who follows the injunction of Paul (Philippians 1:27) that we should conduct ourselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ? Perhaps we are to be pleased by his “nice faith in the Bible” and intrigued that he chose to thrill spectators by living “constantly on the edge of death.”

Our Lord's gift of life to each of us is precious. Are such lives worth risking for the sake of an afternoon of entertainment? Perhaps you might have reported what spiritual advice Mr. Earnhardt had been given on this point.

MICHAEL T. BARRY Colorado Springs, Colorado


In “Nine New Saints Proclaimed” (March 18-24), we reported that Pope John Paul II had canonized nine new saints. In fact, the Pope, in consistory with the cardinals, has approved the candidates' canonizations — which will not be official until ceremonies scheduled for June 10-16.

Another story in the same issue, “How Splitting Up Brought Them Together,” mis-printed the first name of Deacon Jim Mann of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.