National Catholic Register


Letters 07.12.2009

BY The Editors

July 12-25, 2009 Issue | Posted 7/2/09 at 3:48 PM


Colleges and Abortion

I am a recent Notre Dame alumna and I would like to express my concern regarding “Ten Catholic Colleges That Promote Abortion” (Register’s Daily Blog, June 16). I am a very conservative Catholic, and I am appalled that the university would recommend an internship with NOW (National Organization for Women). However, I don’t think your article does justice to the strong and faithful Catholic character that is at the heart of Our Lady’s university.

Abortion is an evil that is inexcusable, and we need the shortcomings of Catholic institutions to be brought to light in regard to it (hence, the students, myself among them, who went to the grotto instead of the Joyce Center during graduation this year) in order to ensure their integrity.

However, we need a balanced perspective when providing information to potential students and their families. There are students and faculty at ND who are pro-choice, but there is no doubting that as a Catholic institution the university ascribes to the teachings of the faith.

Caitilin Landrigan

Indianapolis, Indiana

The article proves one thing: If Catholics were united, none of this could be possible in our country. Anyone wonder why Obama was smiling at Notre Dame? He saw that we were divided. 

There are enough of us that if we were all true to our faith we could have made a difference. But there were those who chose to let evil into the Temple, like they did in Jeremiah’s time. Hopefully, we will not pay that kind of price.

The “remnant few” are strong and getting stronger every day. Like the bamboo that does not rise until seven years after planting because of its intricate root system, we will rise. We are building our roots with prayer, fasting, sacrifice and charity. God is a Father who keeps his promises; the “gates of hell shall not prevail.”

Phil Mustacchio

New York, New York

Unfatherly Message

President Obama’s Father’s Day Message (“Obama: Fathers Are ‘Irreplaceable,’” Register’s Daily Blog, June 19) details the responsibility of fatherhood. It is, therefore, incomprehensible that this loving father continues to actively support legalized abortion and the anti-life agenda of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Obama’s continuing his pro-abortion agenda, supporting the extermination of innocent unborn babies, makes a mockery of fatherhood. Without the right to life of the unborn, Obama’s eloquent words are meaningless.

Edwina and Gene Cosgriff

Staten Island, New York

Thanks, Mark Shea

I have always believed that it is a short step from “I don’t want babies” (contraception) to “I don’t want this baby” (abortion). Now I hear Mark Shea saying that it is a similar short step from consent to premarital sex to consent to homosexual sex, since both hinge on “consent” (“How Sin Takes Over,” June 14).

The devil is pleased to get us to take these baby steps toward ever more egregious sins. We must pay attention to where we are going!

Barbara Levich

Seattle, Washington

Kudos to Mark Shea regarding “Bad Ideas End Badly” (June 7). There must be a way to reach their souls and make homosexuals aware that those of us who are against such practices aren’t going against their so-called right to love; we are against the immoral act and the offense it is to God. We need to let them see why it is immoral.

Prayer is very powerful, and prayer can be a cure; however, there is required much tireless prayer for such. Nonetheless, we can accomplish this very important obligation. I use the word obligation because it is our responsibility to inform those who obviously don’t know any better.

Thank you, Register, for your inspirational and informative articles. I’m a huge fan! Thank you, Mark Shea, for your down-to-earth, quite funny, and easy-to-understand columns. God bless!

Marisela Campos de Llamas

Duarte, California

Response to ‘Last Straw’

Response to David Widdoes’ letter “Notre Dame: The Last Straw” (June 14): I would remind you that the Catholic Church has so much more than the Vicar of Christ. We have Christ present, in a very particular way, in the Blessed Sacrament, which no other church has.

I would beg you, brother, not to abandon him in this chaotic moment in time, but to remain steadfast as our Blessed Mother, Mary Magdalene and John did in the time of confusion at his crucifixion. Come to him to receive the sustenance for your soul in the Eucharist, which you can receive nowhere else. Come to him in the Blessed Sacrament for the graces you need.

Cheryl Butler

Phoenix, Arizona

I think you missed a major aspect of the letter to the editor from Tampa, Fla., regarding the “sham” of letter writing of our bishops. Yes, Sts. Paul, John and Peter and Jesus issued writings of their own; however, they also employed efficacious activities such as imprisonment, martyrdom and physical confrontations with the Temple money changers. Do we know that they didn’t deal with high-profile Catholic heretics of the day in a manner far more forceful then a mere letter of admonishment? Perhaps they did.

My local bishop wrote a fairly strong letter condemning abortion in the local diocesan newspaper which arrived at Catholic households the weekend prior to the elections. The letter, while well written, was the only one of its type that I can ever remember, and the timing was extremely poor, since many Catholics probably didn’t see it until after the vote. Given the fact that more then half of the U.S. Catholic voting population cast their ballots for Obama, I’d say this letter was a “sham” in that by itself, without repeated exhortations for the faithful to use their vote to fight abortion, it was insufficient.

Mark Matia

Atlanta, Georgia

God No. 1 at Mass

Regarding “God Lovers and People Lovers at Mass” (June 21): What a wonderful observation. Bring the two practices together with God first, and you have the real deal. Thank you, Father.

Pete Pumphrey

Adams Township, Pennsylvania

I love, love, love this article. It says what I have been trying to tell my own pastor for years: that the time for handshaking is at a party, dressing in shorts is for the beach, having kids run around is for the playground, bringing sippy cups and Cheerios is for kindergarten, and performing arias is for the stage — not the sacred liturgy. Thank you for speaking clearly and boldly, Father Longenecker!

Rose Sweet

Palm Desert, California

Lincoln’s Rhetoric

In a letter you published in the June 7 issue (“Responding to Notre Dame”), I took the opportunity of President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame to criticize the rhetoric of many within the Church on the issue of abortion. In your editorial rejoinder, you raised the example of Abraham Lincoln as one who refused to moderate his words in service to an important cause.

Lincoln, in his rhetoric, appealed to the hearts and minds of Americans, speaking only what he saw to be the unvarnished truth on the substance of the issue of slavery. Lincoln didn’t seek war; he sought to avoid it. He didn’t spin facts or demonize his opponents. Nor did he necessarily seek the end of slavery, resisting calls for emancipation until it became necessary, not because it was right in itself, but because it was necessary to end the war.

I’m not sure that many within the Church trust the American public as much as Lincoln did. There’s certainly little effort to appeal to people’s intellect on the subject of abortion. Much of the Church’s rhetoric is inflammatory, misleading and malicious, resorting to ad hominem attacks, promoting false science, repeatedly issuing calls to war, and using salacious images of mutilated infants to pander to people’s fears and inflame their anger.

In distorting the example of Lincoln, you’ve essentially made my point. It’s time for the Church to be more Lincoln-esque (in the fullest sense of what that really means) and realize that the tactics of wedge politics that it has adopted have little to do with the truth of the cause, but simply are undermining its effectiveness.

The Church should speak the truth (and only the truth) about abortion and shouldn’t allow people to be comfortable on the topic until there are no more abortions anywhere. But it needs to realize that demonizing its opponents and simply inflaming the passions of those who already believe what the Church has to say won’t change the hearts and minds of those who don’t. That approach hasn’t worked for 36 years.

Frank Z. Riely Jr.

Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Pray for All Priests

The editorial thanking priests for their service was very nice (“Thank you, Father,” June 14). But I am concerned that some were missing. What about the priests who are guilty of something? I know people get an initial shock from that being mentioned. But we are called to pray for these men, too. No matter what they have done, they are still priests and need our prayers. Please remember these men, as well!

Tiffany Ferrara

Metamora, Michigan

Christopher West

Regarding “Theology of the Body Fight” (June 21): I wish all people would look at Christopher West through the eyes of a student human scientist, not a crusty old windbag who can’t get past judging one line in a seven-minute interview talking of heroes. West made a point that repression of feelings towards sex can hurt and only redemption can be the proper fix through Jesus Christ in what he taught us.

Jason Cabral

Westfield, Indiana