National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 08.14.11

BY The Editors

August 14-27, 2011 Issue | Posted 8/5/11 at 5:15 PM

 

The Saint and the Gov.

Thank you for your excellent and perceptive editorial on Andrew Cuomo in contrast to St. Thomas More (“Andrew Cuomo and St. Thomas More,” July 17), which referenced Maureen Dowd’s New York Times article.

I read with disgust recently, in the equally pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Seattle Times, her obsequious, worshipful praise of the New York state governor for having advocated and signed a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” and same-sex “education” for public-school children, despite the opposition of the Catholic bishops of New York. The sad legacy of many hypocritical, self-styled Christian politicians who say they are “personally opposed, but …,” along with their media supporters, has contributed mightily to our present culture of religious indifferentism and moral relativism.

Added to that scandal is the timidity or cowardice of some “politically correct” bishops and religious superiors who fail “to correct and reprove, admonish and encourage, in season and out” the rebellious clergy and laity under their charge. In that regard, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a very powerful exhortation to attendees at last October’s worldwide Pro-Life Prayer Congress in Rome. He boldly reiterated the Church’s traditional disciplinary practice that Catholic public officials who advocate or support laws that directly oppose the natural moral law or Christian doctrine must not be admitted to holy Communion. He said they must also publicly repent from their collaboration in those evils before being readmitted to the sacraments.

Catholic clergy should emulate another great English martyr, Bishop John Fisher, who, like Sts. Thomas More and John the Baptist, spoke the truth about almighty God’s plan for the salvation of the world and Christian teaching on holy matrimony. Those martyrs endure today as great examples of fidelity to Christ and his Church and resistance to evils imposed by the state.

In 1978, St. Thomas More parish in Manhattan celebrated the 500th anniversary of the birth of Thomas More. Presiding at the Mass was Cardinal Terence Cooke, with Archbishop Fulton Sheen preaching. Kings Herod and Henry were adulterers and murderers, Archbishop Sheen noted, who “lost their heads” in lust for younger women. By contrast, John the Baptist and Thomas More “lost their heads for Christ!” he exclaimed.

Outside the church was a banner on which were the final words of the Tower of London prisoner Thomas to his adult daughter Meg, responding to her query about why he was giving up his social status and wealth, his family’s security, and his own life: “In the end, it is not a matter of reason; it is a matter of love. I am God’s good servant first.” I was actually in attendance at the Mass at which Archbishop Sheen preached — and also at the Rome conference at which then-Archbishop Burke spoke.

Your excellent editorial, along with other articles in that issue of the Register, was extremely perceptive. Thank you for your great journalism with integrity about speaking the truth in charity and clarity and in perfect fidelity to Our Lord and his holy Church.

Father Michael Cerrone

Yelm, Washington


The first words that came to mind upon reading your editorial “Andrew Cuomo and St. Thomas More” (July 17) were “wow” and again “wow.” Finally, a Catholic publication that is willing to stand up and call a spade a spade without holding back or trying to be politically correct, which seems to be the norm in these times. I could barely contain myself as I hurriedly rushed to my computer to send off this letter to the editor. My inclination is to clip your editorial and send it by registered mail to Gov. Cuomo post haste.

Would that I could reach out and with vigor shake the hand of the person who wrote this editorial! God bless, and may you always continue to “call them as you see them.”

Guy A. De Gagné

Pismo Beach, California

To Kneel or to Stand?

For so many of the reasons stated in “Altar Rails Return to Use” (Travel, July 31), I agree that kneeling is the preferable posture when receiving Communion in the Latin Church. However, the article incorrectly stated that reception of the “Eucharist while standing … is an indult … because the ordinary way by Church law is still to receive while kneeling.” This statement is incorrect, at least with regard to the “ordinary usage.”

The rubrics of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (of all three editions promulgated since 1969) are neutral on the issue, leaving the various episcopal conferences to determine whether standing or kneeling is to be the normative posture. The bishops of the United States made no determination in the matter until the last decade, voting to make standing the exclusive practice (see No. 160, 2003, U.S. edition). Certainly, this does not detract from the 2003 decision of the Holy See, mentioned in the article, that no communicant can be denied the holy Eucharist merely because he or she is kneeling.

John Frazier York

Butler, Pennsylvania

Just and Right

After reading Janet Smith’s article: “Are All Falsehoods Lies?” in the July 17 issue of the Register, I consulted the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It says: “The gravity of the lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances of the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims” (2484). Also, “the deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity” (2488).

Where does the “justice” and “charity” lie at Planned Parenthood? I think we all would say: In the defense of the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable victims on this earth, everything is upside down at Planned Parenthood; the big “lie” is reversed.

During the Second World War, at the bidding of Pope Pius XII, countless would-be Jewish victims were hidden from their would-be assassins in many Catholic homes and institutions. On many occasions, the people harboring them lied to save them. Perhaps in the Catechism, we find a guide to this conundrum: “Deep within his conscience, man discovers a law which he has not laid down upon himself, but which he must obey” (1776).

This Planned Parenthood issue is a circumstance where we just know that this undercover endeavor of Live Action to lead this unjust aggressor off track to protect and save innocent human lives from certain death is “just” and “right.”

Pam Haines

St. Petersburg, Florida