National Catholic Register


Letters 1.26.14

BY The Editors

Feb. 9-Feb. 22, 2014 Issue | Posted 2/5/14 at 5:15 PM


Misuse of Power

Regarding "Little Sisters’ Case Reflects Administration’s Bully Tactics" (Jan. 6, Thank you for printing this article about the Little Sisters. I am glad to see The Washington Post acknowledging the administration’s misuse of power to attempt to force people to violate their consciences by requiring everyone to contribute to pay for contraceptives. I am very concerned for the coming generations in regards to the impact this will have on women’s health.

In addition to diminishing libido and altering the preference for a particular man, hormonal contraceptives are known carcinogens. For the woman who has used oral contraceptives prior to the birth of her first baby, she incurs a 44% increased risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer. Why should any woman have to alter a normally functioning system to make herself "available?"

When are we all going to wake up?

Becky Knapp, R.N.

NFP program coordinator

Wichita, Kansas


Nuns Deserve Fairness

Also regarding "Little Sisters’ Case Reflects Administration’s Bully Tactics": The Obamacare/HHS mandate could fine faith-based charities, hospitals and schools into bankruptcy when they refuse to violate core religious beliefs. Consider the case of the latest victim of the mandate, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

This religious group asked the courts to exempt them from having to pay for insurance plans that would violate their religious beliefs (i.e., abortion drugs that end life in the womb). Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently ruled that the nuns should not have to comply with the mandate until the Supreme Court formally rules on the issue later this year.

The Justice Department responded by legally opposing the sisters’ plea for relief. The fines for offering quality life-affirming health care could be as high as $36,500 per employee, per year.

Please contact your elected officials and attempt to convince them that religious institutions should be treated fairly in the U.S.A. May God bless and guide you.

Wendy and Todd McKee

Wooster, Ohio


Life of Contradictions

Following the recent death of former South-African President Nelson Mandela, accolades poured in from around the globe, applauding his historic legacy as a defender of freedom, his work for civil rights, his racial-reconciliation efforts, his decades-long imprisonment for his beliefs and his lifetime of work for the people of South Africa.

He is regarded with honor and esteem from every segment of the societies of the world, including spokesmen for the worldwide Christian religion. They have publicly voiced their love and admiration for his life and his personal history.

Unfortunately, his life is riddled with contradictions of giant proportions, which should be dealt with when assessing his life. But, currently, these contradictions are being ignored and swept away by those who choose to rewrite history.

To praise the totality of his life without acknowledging and censuring his disregard for the sanctity of human life is to deny the dignity of the family as the foundation and guarantee of all other human rights. The right to life is the basis for all human rights. How can any legacy be considered "great" after promoting the deaths of unborn children?

Before Mandela’s arrival as president, South Africa had in place a restrictive law against abortion, but he removed all restrictions on abortion in 1996, with a law permitting abortion on demand. This law permits abortion from conception to the day of natural birth.

America’s pro-abortion group NARAL applauded his pro-death record. The Obama administration ordered all flags to be flown at half mast to respect Mandela’s death. When will we do the same to honor the millions of children whose lives are taken on a daily basis because of laws enacted by elected officials with deformed principles?

Mabel Ryan

Ocala, Florida


Lost in Translation

As our bishops are "gathering data" for the Synod on the Family ("Vatican Survey Is for Gathering Data, Not Opinions," Nation, Dec. 1 issue), there is need to resolve the discrepancy in the translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2366).

In the first edition, 2366 states: "Each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life." In the second edition, 2366 states: "It is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to procreation of human life."

The first is open to two orders of life: human and Divine. The second is ordered to only one order: procreation of human life. This is critical in marriage and family life.

Pope Paul VI established two meanings in conjugal union: procreative and unitive. He further clarified this in Humanae Vitae, 18, telling us, "There is need to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical." Blessed John Paul II tells us there are two sacraments in marriage: the sacrament of creation and the sacrament of redemption.

In the sacrament of creation, transmission of human life and the grace of creation itself can be given to spouses and their family. In the sacrament of redemption, spouses can achieve regulation of birth — and "above all" obtain the grace that is necessary for "the remission of sins" and to restore a "culture of love" in the chaos of our fallen world.

May God enable the synod to bring these two sacraments to marriage and family life!

Ruth Kavanaugh

Kalamazoo, Michigan


Compassion Needed

The "In Person" interview with Project Rachel’s Vicki Thorn in the Jan. 12 issue ("Reaching Out to an Abortion-Wounded Nation") was interesting, but I was extremely disappointed in her response of compassion: "I don’t dare say something publicly against abortion because the fallout could be damaging to someone I know and love."

After being in an abortion-recovery ministry, Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, for 12 years, I was quite offended by Thorn’s statement. Of course we have to speak out about the horrors of abortion, even if we do offend someone we know and love. Was Jesus afraid to offend others? Yet we need to be like Jesus and offer a place of reconciliation, where those affected by abortion can find Jesus’ healing grace, love and mercy.

When I speak publicly about abortion, I tell people what abortion does to the innocent baby, and I tell them what it does to the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, etc. Sin never affects just one person.

Donetta Robben

Hays, Kansas


The editor responds:

Thorn’s response was in the context of illustrating how someone with misplaced compassion would try to save the feelings of someone who had an abortion. That’s why it was in quotation marks. Here is the question and answer in full: So you’re saying many people’s "pro-choice" stance is coming from a place of compassion? Oh, I think so. It might not be compassion, but it’s at least concern: "I don’t dare say something publicly against abortion because the fallout could be damaging to someone I know and love." Of course, many adamant pro-abortionists (those who seem to believe that abortion at all times, under all circumstances is a good thing) are women who’ve had abortions, and they’re working out their issues by supporting abortion for other people.


Devil Has His Way

Referring to "Courage to Speak: Talk Postponed Amid Intolerance Accusations" (page one, Dec. 29 issue): I was very disappointed to read that the talk by Father Donald Timone was canceled at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. It’s a sad day when the patriarch of Duck Dynasty has the guts to stand by God’s teaching on homosexuality, but the Catholic Church backs down.

You quoted Cardinal Dolan as saying, "It seems that no one can talk of virtue anymore without, at the very least, being labeled out of touch with reality, and in this case, accused of far worse — spreading hatred."

Well, I say, then: Speak the truth. Shout out the truth. Do you really think that backing down is going to show people the truth? Do you think Jesus or John the Baptist or any of the saints would have backed down if someone attacked them when they were speaking the truth?

It also states in the article that Tym Moss of the Bronx LGBTQ Center issued a statement calling for "a constructive dialogue with the school to talk about LGBTQ issues in ways that won’t cause harm." I think he means in ways that will promote homosexuality.

The devil will continue to ramrod his views across the nation until people of faith have the guts to stand up for the truth.

Ginny Malbon

Santa Cruz, California