National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters to the Editor

BY John Lilly

October 29-November 4, 2006 Issue | Posted 10/25/06 at 9:00 AM

 

Back to the Booths

Thank you for providing an excellent Catholic voter guide in a recent issue (“Catholic Voting,” Editorial, Oct. 8-14).

After reading this informative and inspiring column, one questions the motivation and reasoning of Catholics who vote for a political party endorsing the culture of death.

A recent Gallup Poll (April 2005) presents a disturbing insight into Catholic voter preferences. Overall, 37% of Catholics find abortion morally acceptable. As reprehensible as this statistic may be, an amazing 20% of those Catholics attending weekly Mass find the destruction of innocent life to be morally acceptable.

In the recent 2004 presidential election, 47% of registered Catholics voted for the Democratic nominee and his party’s pro-abortion agenda. In the area of embryonic stem-cell research, 37% of weekly attending Catholics find this abominable practice morally acceptable.

It seems that the right to life among a disturbing number of Catholics is no different from the right of free speech or the right of lawful assembly.

The right to life supersedes all human rights. It is granted by God and not to be bartered for convenience or pleasure. The great John Paul II eloquently summarized the Church’s teaching on the right to life in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). He wrote:

“What is at stake is so important that, from the standpoint of moral obligation, the mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo. Precisely for this reason, over and above all scientific debates and those philosophical affirmations to which the magisterium has not expressly committed itself, the Church has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit.”

The same Catholics who support a whole host of humanist issues ignore the will of the Creator by supporting the wholesale destruction of human life by their vote for a political party that puts human interests ahead of God’s. 

 Humberto J. Brocato

Monument, Colorado

Daily Rosaries Til Nov. 7

Regarding “Life on the Ballot: Ads Address Interest in Stem Cells” (Oct 1-7):

Missourians will vote on Nov. 7 whether to change their constitution to allow embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri and the funding of it through taxes. As Tom McFeely states, “well-heeled supporters of the initiative are sparing no expense” because there will be huge financial benefits to the state if this research is approved.

We in Missouri are very grateful for organizations such as the Vitae Caring Foundation, whose people work tirelessly to bring the truth to our citizens about the destruction of human life through embryonic stem-cell research.

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has instituted a Rosary crusade to defeat this proposed amendment. We are writing to ask the readers of the National Catholic Register to join us in praying the Rosary daily for this cause.

We may be outmatched in spending for advertising by the opposition, but the help of Our Lady will bring us success in our efforts to prevent our constitution from being permanently changed to allow the widespread destruction of human life.

 

Anne and John Klein

Kirkwood, Missouri

Celibacy Studies 

After reading the letter from Father Philip De Vous titled “Consistent Priestly Chastity” (Oct. 1-7) and then the dissenting letters from Msgr. Thomas Crane and Mr. Joseph Kasuboski (“The Discipline of Celibacy,” Oct. 15-21), I’m sure that many Register readers are now thoroughly confused as to the Church’s teaching on celibacy.

I would refer those readers to an excellent article in a past issue of the Register, “Priestly Celibacy and Its Roots in Christ: Interview With Fr. McGovern” (May 19-25, 2002).

Nowhere in the letters of Msgr. Crane and Mr. Kasuboski do I find a term that is intrinsic to an honest historical study of celibacy in the Church: lex continentiae (the law of continence).

In the patristic era, clerical celibacy strictly meant the inability to enter marriage once a higher order had been received. This was a precondition for married men to receive orders as deacons, priests and bishops. They were required to live it out after ordination. At the same time, there were also many clerics who never married; they lived celibate lives as they do today.

Perhaps this is why I disagree with Msgr. Crane’s statement on celibacy: “It is important, ancient and widespread but not essential to holy orders.”

Meanwhile, I do agree with Mr. Kasuboski’s statement: “Inaccurate statements about the sacraments do not do any favors to the faithful, and are things which, as a Catholic high-school teacher, I find myself having to combat as well.”

With this statement in mind, I would humbly suggest the following three works on celibacy for Mr. Kasuboski and his students to study: The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Jesuit Father Christian Cochini (Ignatius, 1990), The Case for Clerical Celibacy by Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler (Ignatius, 1995) and Clerical Celibacy in East and West by Roman Cholij (Fowler Wright Books, 1988).

Allen T. Ward, sfo
Orlando, Florida

Online Formation

I want to personally thank Tim Drake for featuring our weekly podcast in “Cyber Faith: Catholics Use the Internet to Meet, Mingle and Meditate” article (Oct. 22-28). 

I hope this will lead more people to our program, St. Michael’s RCIA — online at stmichaelsrcia.com — and that our program will, in turn, lead them to the Good News.

I also wanted to note one small correction: Father Edgardo Jocson is one of the two parochial vicars of our parish. The article incorrectly states that he is our pastor.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.

Chris Cavaliere

Cranford, New Jersey

What Would Pius X Call It?

Regarding “Rome Reaches Out to Tridentine Mass Followers” (Oct. 22-28):

How many curial cardinals have to state publicly that the Society of St. Pius X is not in schism — and you know that at least two have — before “reporters” such as Mr. Edward Pentin stop reporting that the society is in schism?

He writes, “Only a month after the Pope’s decision to create a new institute to accommodate former members of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, Vatican officials indicated the Holy Father plans to release a document promoting celebration of the Tridentine Mass.”

Statements such as this are political statements, not reporting.

John Eakins

Reva, Virginia

Editor’s note: Point well taken. We used the term because the Society of Saint Pius X leaders have incurred excommunication by consecrating bishops without permission. However, the Vatican does not treat the society as in schism, and we share the Church’s hope for a full reconciliation.

Pittsburgh Paragon

Thank you for the article on St. Paul Cathedral (“100 Years of Quietude,” Oct. 15-21). Eddie O’Neill did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of Pittsburgh’s mother church.

Readers might be interested to know that two artisans frequently mentioned on the Register’s Travel: History & Saints page contributed to the beauty of this building.

Franz Mayer & Company of Munich provided 10 windows representing the history of salvation. And Joseph Sibbel contributed 17 exterior statues, eight interior statues, two elaborate marble altars and the Stations of the Cross, which are magnificent statements in high-relief cast bronze.

It took Sibbel three years to complete this commission.

He died in July 1907, the year after the cathedral was consecrated.

A book featuring the cathedral’s history, art and architecture — A Reflection of Faith: Saint Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, 1906-2006 — is planned for next spring.

For more information, readers can go to the cathedral’s website, stpaulcathedralphg.org.

Gail Campbell

Pittsburgh

The Register: Web Edition

What a high quality and well designed new website for the Register. Congratulations and thanks be to God!

Thank you, also for the easy and free access. We are subscribers, but it’s nice to easily access articles and move them around the Catholic world.

It will be good for subscriptions, God willing.

Well done, good and faithful servants. Keep it up!

Terry Kopp

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Editor’s note: Enjoy! Soon our site will be restricted largely to subscribers.

Trail of a Scholar

I read with great excitement your article regarding the new translation of Pope John Paul II’s teachings on the theology of the body by Michael Waldstein (“Theology of the Body, Clarified,” Oct. 1-7).

I just have to give one plug for my alma mater. In the long list of schools you listed that Waldstein attended, you failed to mention that he began his love of wisdom at Thomas Aquinas College

I still love your paper!

Lori Murphy

Cheshire, Connecticut

Correction

In “Legionaries Host Course for ‘Baby’ Bishops,” we cited Bishop Alexander King Sample as bishop of Marquette, Wis. There is a university by that name in the Badger State, but no such diocese. Bishop King presides over the see of Marquette, Mich. We regret the error.