National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters

BY John Lilly

July 22 - August 4, 2007 Issue | Posted 7/17/07 at 9:00 AM

 
Praising Christian Mothers

I was so happy to read that the Church is recognizing the needs of mothers, especially after the birth of a baby (“Catholic Leaders vs. Postpartum Depression,” June 24).

Not only do women deal with hormonal changes that are associated with postpartum depression, but many times they deal with a sense of loneliness that accompanies them after leaving a workplace to stay home with their baby, either on a maternity leave of absence or more permanently to stay home to raise their child.

In fact, the sense of loneliness and the accompanying hormonal changes from postpartum depression may very likely be the cause for women wanting to return to the work force.

The Church needs to recognize this and provide support groups such as Christian Mothers in their parishes, so that mothers, especially younger ones, have an avenue to share their joys, concerns and frustrations.

These types of mother’s groups are best led by experienced mothers who can share the knowledge they have gained through the years of mothering with those who need support in their role of mothering.

It is time for us to heed the only words that Jesus spoke while he carried his cross, “Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves and your children, for the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the wombs that never bore and the breasts that have never nursed.’”

Sandra Petree

Salem, South Dakota

Casting Call

Regarding “Priest TV Show Vows Respect” (July 1):

If Hall needs to cast a bit player as a pater gravior (wise old but semi-retired priest/spiritual father type) with little or no speaking part, I’d be willing to do it gratis.

I spent six years in the Jesuits in the ’50s and remember the house of formation (novitiate), juniorate and philosophate routines as well today as I knew them then. Moreover, it would be a nostalgic experience to one more time don a Jesuit cassock.

If I could cut it in the auditions, I’d be thrilled to make whatever contribution I can, especially since I think this could be a great recruiting film. Please pass this on to Hall and let me know if I can help.

Pete Ford

Columbus, Ohio

SSPX Not in Schism

In Father Raymond de Souza’s article, “Why the Old Mass” (July 15), he repeats an error that continues to be promulgated even in media that is in the heart of the Church.

He says the Society of St. Pius X is in schism. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, in multiple public interviews over the past three years, has repeatedly said the Society of St. Pius X, its bishops, priests and laity are not in schism.

The Register has even previously admitted this in a previous response to a letter to the editor.

Brian C. Mershon

Greenville, South Carolina

Tune in to Terminology

It would have been well if Tim Drake in the May 27 article, “YouTube Catholics” would have defined “YouTube” or explained some of the esoteric terminology of the computer world.

While many of us have home computers, we may not know what a blog or blogger is, or a streaming video, for example. I certainly don’t.

It seems there are less complex ways without video or featured personalities to get the message out. One way, I discovered by happenstance was when I received a call by someone who wanted to use a letter I wrote to the Register to pass it along for his group mailing by e-mail, to more than a thousand addresses. He regularly sends messages on Catholic teaching.

This, of course sparked an idea as I have been greatly concerned about the need for evangelization.

So I created my own address book, and monthly send out messages to my family and to friends. The messages deal again with basic Church teaching on social and moral issues.

There would be great potential if diocesan catechetical offices across the country would collect e-mail addresses or urge local pastors to do the same in their parishes.

If pastors or their associates are reluctant to preach on social or moral issues from the pulpit, then this is a perfect way to extend their evangelization efforts beyond the pulpit.

Lawrence Petrus

Rocky River, Ohio

Not Truly Pro-Life

Regarding “A Pro-Life President” (July 8):

I thank God that we have a president who strongly protects the lives of our unborn citizens. Without that protection, many more innocent lives would have been lost over the last 6½ years.

However, as a Catholic, I cannot call him truly pro-life. The Catholic Church teaches that life must be protected from conception until natural death. This position not only opposes abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia, but also the death penalty.

Our president, while being strongly against abortion, is also strongly in favor of the death penalty. Therefore, I cannot count him among the ranks of the truly pro-life.

Michael Welter

Fontana, California

Anti-Abortion President

In regard to Father Kearns’ publisher’s note, “A Pro-Life President” (July 8) on President Bush, I would agree with Father Kearns that President Bush is a good pro-life president if pro-life simply meant anti-abortion. But as it stands, President Bush is a good anti-abortion president and that is where it stops.

He has waged an unjust war, as stated by Pope John Paul II, and as governor of Texas he refused to pardon anyone on death row, which resulted in 152 executions, the most by any governor.

Yet he pardons “Scooter” Libby, whose actions could have led to a CIA operative being killed.

Also, under his watch he has created more red tape for people to get government assistance in the forms of welfare, government-assisted housing and WIC vouchers, and has all but completely disregarded any viable universal health care, just to cite a few points.

I am pro-life, which means I am against abortion as well as capital punishment and war, and I am for ensuring that the mothers of the children and the children who were saved from abortion (the large majority of whom are living at or below poverty level) have the means to live a full life, complete with government-assisted housing, health care, education, food and job assistance, and training.

Obviously, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the pro-life issue right. Until a president, be he or she Republican or Democrat, meets all of those aforementioned objectives along with accepting peace and forgiveness rather than war and seeing the futility in capital punishment, then we will never have a true pro-life president.

Until then, we are like Dr. Frankenstein: We create a life, or in our case save it, only to have the overriding urge to kill it when it appears to have run its usefulness or proves to be a detriment to society, thanks to our actions and/or inactions.

Until both sides agree to come to the table, and both agree that the life of the child and the mother are equally important and that the abortion of a child is never an option, then we will never make any headway on this volatile issue.

Scott Medine

 Athens, Georgia

Tridentine Mass’ Return

Regarding “Pope Sparks Mass Revival” July 15:

I welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to loosen restrictions on the use of the Latin Mass.

Vatican II, in fact, never called for the elimination of Latin. The Pope’s decision, therefore, is meant to foster a more comprehensive and profound understanding of the church’s liturgy.

Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. The universality of Latin makes it conducive to all believers experiencing more fully the mystery of the Mass. It imbues a heightened reverence and sense of the sacred. It complements well the Latin rites’ traditional Gregorian Chant with its moving meditative cadence that touches the depths of the soul.

The Tridentine Mass is also more uniform in its theological and Christian-cultural aspects. The Pope has previously mentioned, for example, how in the new Mass the “turning of the priest toward the people no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above [but] has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle.” Both the priest and people should be facing east.

The Eucharist is the all encompassing source and summit of Christian life. A wider implementation of the Latin Mass will no doubt be an effective means of both preserving the Church’s faith and identity while at the same time allowing her to carry out her mission of evangelization.

I hope the Pope’s new directive will encourage bishops to actively and aggressively promote the Latin Mass throughout their dioceses and beyond.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Casey Epilogue

Donald DeMarco’s inspirational story about Alphonsus Casey and his son Bob Casey Sr. (“Mighty Casey and American Humility,” July 1) left out the rest of the story.

The Democrats used his father’s reputation to get Bob Casey Jr. elected to the Senate, replacing Republican pro-life stalwart Rick Santorum and giving them a razor-thin majority in the Senate, which they used to pass a bill calling for taxpayer funding of embryonic stem-cell breeding and research, and in the future they will use to block any insufficiently pro-abortion Justices.

Don Schenk
Allentown, Pennsylvania