National Catholic Register


Letters 04.21.13

BY The Editors

April 21-May 4, 2013 Issue | Posted 4/15/13 at 4:52 PM



Beautiful Tribute


Many thanks to Father Greg Markey for the beautiful tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his article in the March 10 issue of the Register: "Pope’s Words Will Endure."

No doubt about it, Pope Benedict left us many writings pertaining to the Church, the sacraments and the faith and profoundly demonstrated "reason enlightened by faith" in service to the traditional teaching of the Church — much like St. Peter, who exhorted the early Christians (and us) to always be ready to give an account for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).

I believe Father Markey put into words the thoughts of many of us: "I dare say that both Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed John Newman could one day be doctors of the Church." Hopefully, we will see more writings from his solitary life of prayer and suffering for the Church, while he awaits the coming of the Lord Jesus!

Pamela T. Haines

St. Petersburg, Florida


Waxing Poetic


A Prayer for a Pope Who Is ‘Both …’

Both Francis of Assisi and Francis Xavier:

both reformer and missionary, both visionary and evangelizer …

Both Peter and Paul:

both in the heart of the Church and in the court of those yet to hear and believe …

Both urbi et orbi:

both to the See of Rome and to all the world, to both hemispheres — North and South …

Both Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes:

the Vicar of the Son who is "the Light of the nations," in both "our joys and our hopes, our griefs and our anxieties" …

Both in continuity and in reform:

both "father and teacher," just as the Church is both mater et magistra, from both Scripture and Tradition … the one font of truth … to live both great commands: love of both God and neighbor …

Both priest and prophet, both leader and servant:

at both altar and table, of Christ, both Priest and Victim, both Source and Summit,

offering sacrifice and sacrament for both men and women, for both young and old,

with both saints and sinners, worshipping in both Spirit and Truth;

calling for conversion of both heart and mind,

for the cleansing of the cup both inside and out,

being both poor in spirit and rich in mercy

like the Wise Man of the Gospel who brings forth from the storeroom

graces from the One both ever ancient and ever new …

With keys for both the kingdom here and the Kingdom to come;

in both word and deed; in both speaking and listening;

both still and still moving …

For both health and long life …

for both courage in Jesus (whose company he keeps) and consolation from the Mother,

also miserando atque eligendo, both "lowly but chosen" …

both in the burden of the cross now carried and in the hope of the Resurrection to be shared.

Blessings both now and forever. Amen.

Msgr. John T. Myler

Rector, Cathedral of St. Peter

Belleville, Illinois



Where’s the Outrage?


A number of Catholic ethicists ("Attack of the Drones Raises Just-War Concerns," Nation, April 7 issue) appear to justify remote killings using drones if "the good achieved is proportionate to the damage done to enemies," provided that the lethal strikes discriminate between legitimate enemy combatants and civilians.

My reaction to their "just war" concerns and comments in that otherwise excellent article is: "Where’s the outrage?"

Remote targeted killing of American citizens — without affording them legal counsel or trial — based solely on the "accusation" of terrorism is now official government policy. A new "combat" award — the Distinguished Warfare Medal — ranks above the Bronze Star for valor and rewards lethal strikes accomplished by drone operators remote from any battlefield risk to their person. My reaction to this medal: "Where’s the outrage?"

It is as if all constitutional references to "right to life" have now been eliminated — especially those found in the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Which of our Founding Fathers would legalize the killing of "particular citizens" accused of terrorism?

Perhaps I can understand how denying the "right to life" for the unborn could lead to our current drone-warfare policy that tramples on our civil rights, but I simply cannot understand: "Where’s the outrage?" 

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo, California


Spiritual Battle


The Register has reported about condom distribution at Boston College (see page one this issue and April 4 on and a possible pro-abortion Loyola Marymount University bioethics head (see page 11 this issue and April 5 on

If we realize that life on earth is all about the spiritual battle between heaven and hell for souls — and that to deprive human beings of eternal life and instead condemn themselves of their own free will to an eternity in hell — it is easy to understand that Satan will do anything possible over time to destroy the Church.

In weakening the spiritual strength and direction of the Church’s orders of priests and religious orders (both BC and LMU are Jesuit-run), Satan is subtly working to destroy the Church by spiritually destroying/weakening its leadership from top to bottom, with worldly influences, and pulling it away from what being Jesuit, being Catholic, being Christian is and should be all about — standing out in moral leadership, unity, strength, even in the midst of a very secular, worldly, humanistic culture.

Richard Mackin Jr.

Lewiston, Maine