National Catholic Register


Letters 06.05.11

BY The Editors

June 5-18, 2011 Issue | Posted 5/27/11 at 1:27 PM


Catholics vs. Agendas

Why does a parent (guardian) of a young child enroll the child in a Catholic school? First and foremost, so the child will be confirmed in the knowledge of the goodness and the holiness of the one, only, holy, eternal, uncaused essence (God), which knowledge hopefully is established and fostered by the parent (guardian) in the home at every opportunity. Secondly, because statistics manifest that Catholic schools, by and large, far exceed scholastics of public schools.

I cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, believe that homosexual couples (male or female) subscribe to the first principles above. I firmly believe their sole purpose is to sow disunity within our most holy ecclesiastical community. They are using the child as a pawn, an innocent victim of their desire to force their homosexual agenda upon us.

Kudos to His Excellency Charles Chaput!

Peter J. Hahn

Hampshire, Illinois

Politicians’ Politics

Relevant to “Planned Parenthood’s Founder vs. a Saint” (May 22):

In the February 2011 edition of the National Right to Life News, there is a list of all the members of the House of Representatives and Senate who voted for or against defunding Planned Parenthood. The voting result in the House was 245-189; in the Senate 47-51.

Those Catholics who voted not to defund PP continue to make a mockery of the faith they purport to believe in. But, in reality, these politicians are “menu Catholics” who pick and choose what to believe. And in their votes they choose to defy the principles of the Roman Catholic Church in which they were brought up. I am sure that for most of them their pastors and/or bishops have spoken to them. However, they continue to vote pro-abortion; ergo, they are placing themselves in God’s place, who is the only one who has authority over life and death.

Have these pro-abortion Catholics been told not to receive holy Communion? Have they been made aware of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in Article 5 about the Fifth Commandment (2272)? “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae”;“by the very commission of the offense and subject to the conditions provided by canon law.” “The Church does not intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” The aforementioned applies to abortion and “pro-choice” proponents, including Roman Catholic politicians.

Many bishops speak out against abortion. If only more will.

James D. Dooher

DeWitt, New York

Faith and Fashion

Rose Rea deserves felicitations for conceptualizing Radiant, a “Fashionable and Faithful” (Arts, May 8) magazine, but fault for her choice of a cover. The dress of the model provides a sharp contrast to her fine focus.

 Pure Fashion is an international faith-based program sponsored by Regnum Christi ( Their “Modesty Guidelines” provide a simple framework for evaluating clothing.

Integrating fashion and faith is a challenge. Modesty on the cover of the magazine is the place to start!

Nancy Ann Faller

Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Honoring Mary

I read with pleasure your interview with Father Andrew Apostoli (“Fatima for Today,” In Person, May 8).

In 2010, the California Catholic Women’s Forum worked to convey the message of Mary alive in the world through John Paul II’s eyes. 

This project was transformed from a conference on JP2’s teachings into a CD of songs celebrating Mary —Tota Pulchra (The All Beautiful) — spanning 1,700 years and recorded in a variety of languages. Who would’ve thought? With God one ends up on roads never dreamed of!

The final song, Sobre os Braços, is sung at Fatima, where Our Lady asked us to pray for peace. This theme is reflected with Priez Pour Paix (Pray for Peace) from the 1400s. “Ave Maria” by Father Huyen Linh pleads for peace during the Vietnam era.

No one was more committed to peace in his lifetime than Blessed Pope John Paul II. Modeling him, we may approach Jesus through Mary, Jesus who brings peace: peace in our hearts; peace in the world. Meditating on Mary while listening to songs composed in her honor is a beautiful beginning.  

Michele Coldiron

Los Altos, California

Lost in Translation

Father Longenecker’s column (“Tribulations of Translators,” In Depth, April 15) on translation and the problems associated with trying to adhere to the original Latin text was good — up to a point.

In reference to the term, “Lord God of Hosts,” he says it is better than “Lord of Power and Might.” As I was talking about this with some friends, they had no idea of what that meant. Most of them were mature adults in their 50s, 60s or 70s with a pretty good Catholic education.

Some felt it meant the Host or Communion. Others thought it might refer to a host of a TV program or the like. It seems to me to be more of our “intellectuals” trying to show their superiority and so-called brilliance in dealing with us. An old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If it had to be changed, why not say, like he tried to explain, “Lord God of all angels and saints”? We would have understood it, but that would have been probably too easy and straightforward.

He did end by saying if people don’t understand it, inform them.

Fred Holzweiss

Englewood, Florida

To See Is to Know

Reading your article called “College Pro-Life Group Fights Back” (April 10) has made me realize how frightened people are to know what goes on around the world. In addition, it shows that the university does not want people to know what abortion truly is and means.

The college students have the right to and need to know what goes on outside the world, even if it is disturbing.

Not everything is fine and dandy around the world, and seeing the pictures will help people realize what is happening.

I hope that the display mentioned in the article will get people involved in ending abortion, euthanasia and many other inhumane things that go on around the world.

Ethan Schmelzer

Baltimore, Ohio

Opus Dei Insights

I really do appreciate your recent post on Opus Dei (“The Real St. Josemaria Escriva and the Film Version,”, May 16). I am not a member, nor do I know any members; nor, as far as I know, is there an Opus Dei group in my town. My own “direct” experience has consisted of reading The Way, Furrow and The Forge and some brief email exchanges with an OD priest whose books on Christian sexuality I read (and reviewed on Amazon).

I have always felt a certain “fellow traveler” sympathy for Opus Dei. I have been a member of a charismatic covenant community for many years (maybe even “many, many”), and a lot of what I see of Opus Dei rings very true to my own experience, from the good (folks zealously pursuing holiness together, while living “in the world”) to the bad (the zeal can go overboard, and leaders can be abusive). It seems to go with the territory, this side of heaven. But what Opus Dei aspires to seems to be pretty much the same thing that my own community aspires to.

I saw in First Things awhile back, someone (perhaps it was even Father Neuhaus, before he died; I forget) recommended John L. Allen’s book on Opus Dei as one of the best available, neither a puff nor a hatchet job. I have it on my shelf, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

Craig Galer

via email

‘Pass’ Was a ‘Pick’

I can’t agree with your review of Gods and Generals (“DVD Picks & Passes,” May 22). I saw this film when it came out in theaters. I could see the weaknesses of the film, but I still enjoyed it.

I appreciated it because it was a thoughtful and serious look at a historical event. Movies like this are not often made in our time. You object that the subject of slavery was not covered; I don’t see where the subject would have fit. The characters were focused on the military conflict and the day-to-day realities it presented.

In a time when almost all films are geared towards 16-year-olds, this film was a rare find.

I don’t think the majority of Civil War soldiers were that concerned about slavery. The subject of slavery could not be ignored in a film like Glory, which was an excellent film, but it was not a necessary part of this one.

John Cannon

Winooski, Vermont