National Catholic Register


Letters to the Editor

BY John Lilly

June 25-July 1, 2006 Issue | Posted 6/26/06 at 11:00 AM


Look Out — Here Comes November

Regarding “Pro-Life Gains at Risk” (June 4-10):

To call Democrat Robert Casey Jr., a senatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, “nominally pro-life” — pointing out that he supported a “Democratic filibuster of several pro-life judges” — is unfair because you fail to mention that his Republican opponent, Sen. Rick Santorum, has also done pro-abortion acts.

Santorum twice supported and campaigned for his fanatically pro-abortion friend, Sen. Arlen Specter. Most recently, Santorum openly worked against pro-life Republican Representative Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania GOP primary — a race that Toomey narrowly lost to Specter.

The fact that Santorum betrayed pro-lifers is the reason that some Pennsylvania pro-lifers are sitting out this fall’s senatorial election.

It is a case of pro-lifer vs. pro-lifer and the National Catholic Register should give us unbiased and complete reporting on it.

Andrew A. Sicree, Ph.D.

Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

When will you try to be less unfair in dealing with candidates who do not share your tunnel vision? The most egregious recent example is your front-page piece “Pro-Life Gains at Risk” (June 4-10).

All of the Republican incumbents/candidates are referred to as pro-life. Of the 22 Democrats, one is described as “millionaire Jim Pederson” — and all the others as ”pro-abortion,” not as “pro-choice,” which defines the position of all of whom I am aware.

And how many hundreds of photos did you have to go through to cherry-pick the ones shown? I’ve never seen more flattering pictures of the kleptocrats Frist and Santorum. Strebenow and Durbin, on the other hand, look absolutely manic. Shame on you!

And what, pray tell, is the twice-mentioned “pro-abortion Emily’s list”? (It’s mentioned once in the singular possessive and once in the plural.)

A practicing Catholic for my 79 years, I cringe to think that others might associate me with spokespersons like you and that ubiquitous loudmouth from the Catholic League.

 D. E. Duggan

Ambler, Pennsylvania

Editor’s note: Emily’s List is a group founded to fund pro-abortion candidates. Its name is an acronym for a campaigning axiom: “Early Money Is Like Yeast.” As to other matters raised in these letters, see the editorial.

Yes to Cursillo

Regarding “‘Little Course,’ Big Impact: The Cursillo Movement” (May 28-June 3):

Many thanks for covering the Cursillo Movement in the sixth installment of your Parishes and Movements series.

After two years of being asked (and gently persuaded) by my sponsor — who also happens to be my dad — I said Yes to Cursillo and made my weekend last month. What a powerful word for being only three letters! By saying Yes to Cursillo (and therefore Yes to Christ), my mind, heart and soul experienced his living, loving presence like no other time in my life.

I always knew that moving mountains and parting seas was a cinch for God, but had no idea he could be so subtle and sweet. He spoke to me so personally, it scared me. How could anyone possibly understand me on this deep a level? You mean to tell me that I’m not “Human Species No. 3T7100P-56G” but rather a precious child of God’s named Lindsey Elizabeth Nelson, with Lindsey Elizabeth Nelson’s quirks, needs, problems and dreams?

It was a pivotal moment in the way I perceived God’s all-encompassing compassion and knowingness. God is not “one-size-fits-all.” He certainly has the power to fit all, but is not only one size.

The Catholic faith is so much more real to me after Cursillo, especially Communion. The living presence of Christ, that soul medicine we all desperately need,  is such a gift. To know that we can receive him in this manner: What words can express this privilege?

Cursillo must be experienced to be fully appreciated. I encourage any Catholic who wants to deepen his or her faith to consider the Cursillo Weekend. First, talk with a Cursillista (we are very enthusiastic people). Next, read the movement’s publications. Then pray about it. And remember, as I’ve learned, that it only takes a heartfelt Yes to experience the profound love of Christ.

Lindsey Nelson
Remer, Minnesota

Uraah! Grunt Padre

I saw your article on Father Vincent Capodanno, who was our chaplain while we were in Vietnam (“He Died With His Men,” May 28-June 3). I am the webmaster for the website of Lima Company 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, whose link appears below. This is a website for the men of our company who served in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971. Our mission now is to remember the men who gave their all for God and country. This story will give all the men of the company pride for their “Grunt Padre.”

Thank you very much for this article. There are many of the Marines with Lima 3/5 Vietnam who knew Father Capodanno and this will be very good news. This story will be a major topic of conversation at our upcoming reunion.

Semper Fi!

Richard Hoffman
USMC, Retired

Mrs. Clinton, Up Close

In “Election Year ‘To Do’ List” (Editorial, June 4-10), No. 3 urges readers to write letters to the editor, and that’s what I’m doing.

According to a May 17 article in Newsday, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told her supporters that she would seek a “middle ground” on the abortion issue. It is hoped that no one would be misled by her transparent ploy.

Clinton somehow believes that, by liberalizing birth control, the number of abortions would be reduced. She then proceeds to blame the Republican Party if it fails to heed her advice — resulting, according to Clinton, in more abortions taking place.

It is worth noting that the junior senator from New York has achieved one of the highest ratings given to members within the United States Senate by the abortion lobby.

To the best of my knowledge, Clinton has never modified any of her extreme positions on abortion, such as her ongoing support for partial-birth abortion, a horrific procedure that former New York City Mayor Ed Koch describes as “infanticide.”

Pope John Paul II took a different view on this issue from Clinton. In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), he stated:

“The negative values inherent in the contraceptive mentality are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation [abortion] when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church’s teaching on contraception is rejected.”

Further discussion on Clinton’s above proposal would seem to be in order between now and election-day — and beyond.

Thomas E. Dennelly

West Islip, New York

The Medium Isn’t the Message

Thank you for “Same Gospel, New Technology” (June 4-10). I think daily Mass should be an ideal for every Catholic, but since many cannot make it there — and for those who can — these offerings on the Internet of Mass readings, Divine Office and so on can be a beneficial spiritual resource.

I should like to mention one other. At, readers are offered daily podcasts of expositions on the Mass readings. The text of the podcasts is taken from a book that carries an imprimatur. The book, Our Daily Bread: Exposition of the Readings of Catholic Mass, is my own, and the imprimatur is from Archbishop John Myers of Newark, NJ.

I do hope people will find the work inspirational. I tried to keep close to the Scripture and penetrate it as best I could, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak.

Another note: I am a member of Disciples with Microphones, founded by one of your reporters, Carlos Briceño, and dedicated to evangelization through the media, especially radio and podcasting.

James H. Kurt

Jersey City, New Jersey

Married Maronites?

Regarding the letter to the editor titled “Words to the Wise” (May 14-20):

Mr. Marincel states, “Maronite Rite priests can marry.”

Oh, how wrong he is! I often go to the local Maronite Catholic parish, which is one of the Eastern Catholic churches. The Eastern-Rite tradition is that married men may be ordained. But no Catholic or Orthodox Church allows an already-ordained priest to get married.

The Register should have replied to this false information.

Rudy Mack

Fayetteville, North Carolina