National Catholic Register


Letters 01.30.2011

BY The Editors

January 30-February 12, 2011 Issue | Posted 1/21/11 at 4:13 PM


Secular Stance?

Regarding “DVD Picks and Passes” in your Jan. 2 issue:

I read and reread the content advisory to be sure I had read it correctly. Somehow, reading “recurring rude humor, violence and menace, poop jokes, etc.” and then reading the final words — “All fine family viewing” — shocked me. It made me wonder if the Register is right in line with the secular media, looking for a reaction.

It seems strange, especially in a Catholic newspaper, one that I highly recommend to people and even give subscriptions of to family and friends, that the values for movie selections are so clearly not what I would expect in any Catholic publication.

What makes it even more interesting is that it’s in the same issue that has an article, “Once In, Never Out,” referring to media affecting us at any and all ages.

Janice Korish

Cashton, Wisconsin

Film critic Steven D. Greydanus responds: The movies in question are Despicable Me, Nanny McPhee Returns and the John Wayne version of True Grit (1969). I watched all three with several or more of my children, and we enjoyed them all. I see nothing offensive either to Catholic morals or to family audiences generally, though True Grit, even though it is rated G, might be too much for younger or sensitive children.

On the contrary, as the reviews indicate, there are positive moral elements in all three films. In Despicable Me, the goodness and vulnerability of three orphans redeems a villain through the responsibility and love of adoptive parenthood.

Nanny McPhee Returns is chock-full of character-building lessons. True Grit celebrates the courage to do what is right, filial piety, moral consequences and redemption through self-sacrifice.

Are those not values you would expect in a Catholic publication? Are these positive values negated by some poop jokes or by bad guys acting like bad guys?

For more, see “No Movies Please, We’re Catholic” (and related essays) at

Thorough Reader

I read every single article in my paper. I can’t wait to see and read each issue. I also subscribe to the daily newsletter via the Internet. Some interesting comments.

At first I was bothered by the negative, atheistic ones or ultra-liberal ones, but maybe some article or comment will turn them on a search for the truth!

God bless you all!

Patti M. Brown

Grand Junction, Colorado

Positive Treatment

It was refreshing to see Sarah Palin treated in a positive way in the Register’s Jan. 2 article “Sarah Palin and the Kennedy Legacy.” The secular media generally has been unrelenting in their criticism of her, during the last presidential election, and it continues even now. I wonder if part of this criticism directed at her is because of her decision not to abort a baby that was almost sure to be born with Down syndrome, but to bring it to term and welcome the child into her family?

Alvera Sams

Findlay, Ohio

Troubling Trend

In the Dec. 7 issue, a sentence in Gerald Russello’s article “San Francisco Squares Off Against the Church” caused me to reflect on its implication.

He states: “California already forces Catholic hospitals to provide insurance for employees that includes contraceptives, violating their religious principles.”

I find this extremely troubling, not because I’m fearful of the government attempting to strip us of our religious freedom. I believe that to be inevitable, to an extent, but because it seems so many of us Catholics seem to willingly give up our beliefs when pressured.

The sad fact is these Catholic hospitals have chosen to sacrifice their beliefs because of some perceived “greater good.”

But, to my knowledge, it is never permissible to permit evil so that good may come of it. I don’t mean to sound harsh or uncharitable toward them; heaven only knows if I would have the strength to sacrifice my temporary well-being and possibly that of others for the Truth.

In times like these, we would do well to remember that this life is not the end and our true treasure lies in heaven — but do we really believe that?

We need only to reflect on our actions to find out what we truly believe.

Michelle Friedman

Greeley, Colorado

‘Hallelujah’ Column

Donald DeMarco’s article on the “Random Act of Culture” that took place in Macy’s at the end of October was both insightful and well done.

Hopefully readers thought to google Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus on YouTube to enjoy what DeMarco was commenting on:

I so appreciate the Catholic Register. Very best to you all in the new year.

Carolyn Whitfield

Chico, California

Countercultural Sacrament

Regarding the letter “Women’s Ordination” by Richard Welch (Nov. 7):

Since when have human beings gained the “right” to be ordained? If I understand it right, ordination is a “grace” from God (whether man or woman), not a “right” to be fought for. None of us is worthy to call Christ’s body and blood down to the altar or forgive sins in his name. Any priest who is serious and humble about the office will readily admit that.

Is this whole issue about women’s ordination a search to humbly serve God or a quest for power? Would a rabbi of 2,000 years ago who publicly spoke to sinners counterculturally let that same culture stop him from ordaining his own mother, who was the most worthy of this sacrament, if it was in his plan? To me, that would be making man’s customs greater than his will. With the Catholic Church exclusively using all-male clergy, I would rather follow a countercultural God than the whims and standards of man. “I have given you an example. As I have done so you must do.”

We are all called to bring souls to Our Lord, no matter what our state in life. I recall a little nun from Calcutta bringing a lot more souls to Christ than many priests did in their lives or have so much influence.

Marlene Wrasman

Delphos, Ohio

Courageous Woman

Regarding “From ‘America’s Top Model’ to Lobbyist for Chastity” ( Jan. 14):

Leah Darrow is a women who listened to her heart and then accepted the Lord’s grace to turn around and to accept the pro-life culture. She is a courageous woman! May many reading this story be able to accept the truth of the beauty of the pro-life culture.

Sister Loretta Reilly, SJH

Thank you, Leah, for your example. There will always be people who are against what is good and beautiful and who see evil where there is not. Thank you for showing the world that love is much more that a bodily necessity, but a necessity of the whole person; that when you give yourself to the Beloved One you give and receive yourself totally as a person and not just your body. Thank you and keep that example.

Diego Morales

Support Catholic Radio

Relevant to “Catholic Radio Making an Impact” (, Dec. 28):

Much of California is “covered” by Catholic radio stations. Alas, in Los Angeles and Orange, we have no 24-hour Catholic radio station. St. Joseph Radio could probably broadcast 24/7, but for the lack of enthusiasm and financial support from Catholics here, several million!

We Catholics as a group give much less to our parishes, Catholic bookstores and other enterprises than our Protestant brethren. Why is it that we cannot put our money where our mouth, our faith is?

If Catholics believed in tithing, charities and Catholic radio/TV stations would have the means to help many more not only with human necessities, but help to fill that hole in everyone’s heart that can only be filled with the love of God expressed through others’ care.

Annie M.