National Catholic Register


Letters 04.06.2008

BY The Editors

April 6-12, 2008 Issue | Posted 4/1/08 at 12:45 PM

Catholic Consciences

I hope the sampling of critical letters in response to your editorial “McCain and Pro-Lifers” (March 2) didn’t reflect the sentiments of a majority of your readers. How disappointing!

I thought the article was wonderful — the best explanation I’ve seen of what a Catholic should consider when voting in this election and the high stakes involved.

I sent it to all the significant people in my life. I intend to carry copies of it with me as the election approaches so that I can give them to people when the opportunity presents itself.

Thank you so much.

Sally Cragon

Ashtabula, Ohio

Olive Branch Proffered

Please convey my apologies to Webster Young for defaming him (my “Liturgical Abuse?” letter of March 2).

I thought I could safely assume Young mistakenly meant “Memorial Acclamation” when he wrote “Gospel Acclamation” (“Some Good Catholic Music”, Jan, 27) because I had only heard the song (“Keep in Mind”) used as a Memorial Acclamation, and because my initial research mentioned only an “alleluia and verse” before the Gospel.

Further research revealed Young’s correct use of the term “Gospel Acclamation” and thus my ignorance, and I am embarrassed that I have exposed myself in print.

Of more consequence is the slander I have perpetrated against his good name, for which I am truly sorry.

I am firmly resolved to listen more and talk less, and to quit the “gotcha!” game.

Lawrence Cronk

Deming, Washington

Serious Questions

Regarding “Can McCain Take Up the ‘Catholic’ Mantle?” (March 9):

Anointing any presidential contender “the Catholic candidate” is foolish business.

While Mr. Burch has a right to support Sen. McCain for president, there is not one candidate or party that lives up to the demanding criterion our Catholic social tradition offers as a moral framework for bringing our values into the political process.

As the U.S. bishops make clear in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, Catholics are not single-issue voters, and Democrats and Republicans alike have significant work to do when it comes to serving the common good rather than narrow partisan agendas or ideological orthodoxies.

We are called to “help transform the party to which we belong,” according to our bishops, rather than “let the party transform us in such a way that we neglect or deny fundamental moral truths.”

As far as Sen. McCain’s apparent slam-dunk appeal to Catholics, his fervent support for the Iraq war is out of step with the grave reservations clearly expressed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the late Pope John Paul II, who called the war “a defeat for humanity.”

While Sen. McCain has demonstrated political courage on immigration, he voted against a reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), just one of several votes that the Children’s Defense Fund highlighted in their non-partisan scorecard that ranked him as the worst senator on children’s issues.

Sen. McCain’s opposition to legislation that provides a clear standard for interrogation of prisoners, his failure to repudiate an endorsement from a rabidly anti-Catholic evangelical pastor and his long history of pushing economic policies that favor the wealthy over the poor and most vulnerable should all raise serious questions for Catholic voters.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS

Simone Campbell, a lawyer and

Sister of Social Service,

is the executive director of Network,

a national Catholic social justice lobby.

Divine Message

Thank you for your article “9 Days to Merciful Reign” (March 16) and thank you for all you’ve done to help spread the word about the message and devotion to Divine Mercy.

It is truly appreciated.

The novena you have printed is from the Diary of St. Faustina and copyrighted to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Unfortunately, you did not place any reference to that source.

If it’s possible [I realize it may be too late if you’ve already gone to print] please place the following copyright notation for the Novena and any other future references made to St. Faustina’s Diary :

Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. Used with permission.

Also, in using any quotes or in this particular case, the entire Novena, please place the number of the Diary citation immediately following e.g. (Diary, 1209-1229).

Again, thank you for all your efforts in promoting Divine Mercy. 

Mimi Romaniak
copyright administrator
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Congrats, Belmont Abbey

Regarding “The Abbey vs. the Abortion 8” (March 9):

On behalf of Catholics everywhere, I would like to congratulate Belmont Abbey President William Thierfelder and Chancellor Abbot Placid Solari for their moral stance on their health care policy not to support abortions, contraception and sterilization.

We read so often about so-called “Catholic universities” supporting very non-Catholic ideologies (i.e. “The ****** Monologues”) that it is refreshing to hear such an adamant Church stance being taken.

I sincerely hope that it does not come down to having to close the institution but if it did, what a message that would be to the rest of the Catholic colleges, the Church and the world.

Our prayers are with you.

Hank Schmalen

Sleepy Hollow, Illinois

Standing With the Abbey

You cannot know how thrilled I was reading the article “The Abbey vs. the Abortion 8” in the March 9, issue.

I thank President Thierfelder and Chancellor Abbott Solari for their stance on this issue. I would be willing to support them in any way that I can.

There are numerous times over many years that I have witnessed my own community college, as well as other school districts and companies give in to a minority of people because of the cost of litigation, in spite of the fact that the organizations were in the right.

The only way we can fight for what’s right is to go to the courts and win.

While this might be costly at first, the number of suits will diminish substantially when these small groups realize they are going to lose unless they have a solid case.

The Catholic Church is being assaulted frequently, and we need to stand as firmly as Thierfelder and Solari if we are going to provide the teachings of the Church to our members and non members.

Ed Lodi

Campbell, California

Mexico Needs Prayers

Regarding letter to the editor, “Suffering Mexico” (March 9):

“The suffering Mexican brethren” cannot be understood in all the expanse and depth of their misery without first having read the book The Blood-Drenched Altars (Tan Books).

The souls, and hence the consciences, of the Mexican people have been seared by repression, persecution and confiscations of the Catholic Church.

Economic prosperity without spiritual growth solves nothing; Ireland is recent proof of that truth.

Atheists are still in power south of the border.

A few weeks after the then-president of Mexico returned from a visit with Fidel Castro in Cuba, he banned all religious TV and radio broadcasts.

Blood-Drenched Altars was written in 1925, before the 60 Catholic priests were executed by the Mexican federales shortly afterward.

Mexico needs prayers and missions.

Only Catholics in the United States can supply them.

J. Norman Sayles

Lodi, California


In a page 3 article in the March 23 issue (“Seattle Scientist Launches Pro-Life Biotech Firm”), Marie Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, was misquoted as referring to a Vatican document from the year 2000 about the production and scientific and therapeutic use of human embryonic stem cells.

She was in fact referring to the Pontifical Academy for Life’s 2005 Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses.

That document states that people might morally use vaccines grown in cell lines that years ago were derived from aborted fetal tissue when alternatives were unavailable “to protect themselves, pregnant women and society.”

In an e-mail clarifying her statement to the Register, she said that this statement may provide some insight to a potential parallel ethical dilemma if therapies are developed through embryonic stem-cell research, derived from, but which no longer required, the destruction of human embryos.

Also, on page 8 of the March 23 issue, we misidentified the letter writer of “Providing the Tools.” The writers are Barbara and Brian Frohlich of Bismarck, North Dakota.

The Register regrets the errors.