National Catholic Register


Letters 02.03.2008

BY The Editors

February 3-9, 2008 Issue | Posted 1/29/08 at 2:09 PM

Vying for Dubious Honor

This is in reference to your front-page article titled “Clinton and Obama Vie for Abortion Vote” by Tom McFeely (Jan. 20):

Screaming out at me were all the children whose lives have been sacrificed by these two monsters who are now “vying” for the nation’s voters to recognize (and applaud) the horror of their ways. They are “vying” for the prize as to who has killed the most babies with the most conviction.

Lord have mercy on us and on our blindness as we allow these representatives of this country to seek such power in our society.

Donna Gaffney

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Blind Endorsement

As a practicing and well-informed, educated Catholic from birth, I am totally rejecting your Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 publications because of your blind and uninformed pushing of Catholics to vote for McCain.

Are you so blind, along with the left, as to be one-sided to follow along the line of a cover-up of the wayward priests that the bishops tried to shove down our throats, until the truth broke away from rhetoric?

All I speak with think the same: We must think things through, and not forget what the person stood for in the past. McCain is the one of the biggest politicians of either party.

His controlled voice and phony back-and-forth on all issues is sickening, and the fact that he was one of many POWs does not make him presidential. Specifically with his long, inconsistent voting record, he has shown he’ll turn on a dime.

I wouldn’t trust him or any of the Democratic candidates any farther than I could throw them. Picking a president along the lines of a newly acquired pro-life decision and amnesty for illegals is about as foolish as the secular world could hope for.

I know, when I get a newspaper I can slant it anyway I so choose (touché), but keep in mind, responsibility is a heavy load.

J.R. Mello

Tacoma, Washington

Editor’s note: We are covering as many presidential candidates as we can, showing their pros and cons regarding the non-negotiable issues for Catholics. We doubt that McCain’s campaign will view the Register’s coverage as endorsement.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

In regard to the article, “Free for All?” in the Jan. 13 issue of the Register on presidential hopeful John Edwards’ inclusion of abortion in his “Federal Health Plan,” there is a lesson that history teaches us. It’s called the “slippery slope.”

And the slippery slope and the culture of death will eventually lead to rationing.

A number of years ago, there was an article in Readers’ Digest about a 65-year-old Canadian who needed a heart bypass. He didn’t qualify for the procedure because of his age.

He was willing to pay for the surgery himself, but it made no difference.

In Canada, he was not allowed to have it done one way or another. He came to the United States and had the surgery done here.

At the time of the article, he was doing well.

Because of the culture of death prevalent in this country, what’s happening in Canada will happen in the United States. The older generation will not qualify for expensive healthcare and will not be able to pay for it themselves.

I probably won’t live to see it, but the baby boomers will. Baby boomers should think twice about for whom it is they vote.

It has been interesting for me to have observed that, very often, victims help to create the environment in which they eventually become the victims. 

 Beverly Thewes 

Naples, Florida

Where Was Reason?

Regarding “The Intolerance of Secularism” (Jan. 27):

The cancellation of Pope Benedict’s scheduled lecture at La Sapienza University due to the protests of academicians who saw the planned event as “incongruous” and “at odds with the secular nature of science” makes one wonder whether these academicians protested on the very ground — reason — that they tried to uphold.

These academicians wrote: “In the name of the secularity of science and culture, and from respect for our university, open to teachers and students of every creed and every ideology, we trust that this incongruous event can be cancelled.”

If we are to go by the reasoning of these academicians, is it against reason, then, that the 80 members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, representing every race and religion, convene with Pope Benedict as a co-member?

Is it contrary to reason for scientists like Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of our time and an atheist, to allow himself to be appointed by a pope to the academy? One also wonders what the Pontifical Academy’s 41 Nobel laureates would have to say to these protesters.

Is it reasonable for these protesters to cite as part of their argument the fact that the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a speech delivered 18 years ago, quoted philosopher Paul Feyeraband. He said, “At the time of Galileo, the Church stayed much truer to reason than Galileo himself. Galileo’s trial was rational and just.”

Haven’t these academicians kept abreast with the findings of modern scholarship on this issue?

Professor Nicola Cabibbo, ex-president of the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics, summarized the case: “Galileo was not condemned for his scientific theses, but because he wanted to formulate theology.”

Moreover, the debate on the Galileo Affair, so far as the Church was concerned, had been closed since 1741 when Benedict XIV bid the Holy Office grant an imprimatur to the Complete Works of Galileo.

Granting that the protesters still had an ax to grind regarding the Galileo affair from almost 400 years ago, couldn’t men and women of reason bear to listen to someone who might disagree with them?

Jo Garcia-Cobb

Mount Angel, Oregon

Welcome Addition

Your article, “Spacing Babies Online” (Jan. 6), mentions that seven dioceses require engaged couples to go through a full course of NFP instruction prior to marriage. Please add ours to the list. Effective Jan. 1, 2008, it became policy for our diocese as well.

Stephen Patton

Family Life Director

Diocese of St. Augustine

Jacksonville, Florida

The Right Stuff

Thank you very much for Mark Shea’s article “The Risk of Love” (Jan. 20):

You found the right words to say in such a difficult situation.

I’m a mother of a baby with anencephaly ( and am running a website for affected families (

Monika Jaquier


Revealing the Truth

Relevant to “March for Life” (Jan. 13):

I thought it would be a good idea to print a photo of the pro-life march on the front page of the Register and distribute only the front page to non-readers of the Register so that they see that mainstream media are not telling truth by not reporting pro-life marches.

It is a lie that the mainstream media do not report a huge march, while reporting a march of few thousand people. I think that we have to advertise photos of the March for Life so that people realize that the mainstream media are not reliable, which might force them to be truthful.

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading this truthful paper. May Mother Mary protect the Register!

Yeonglan Gemma Droual

Turlock, California

Powerful Witness

Regarding the March for Life: My 14-year-old daughter Gabriela and I have attended the March for Life for many years. As we march, I point out the banners of different Catholic colleges represented there. This year, we noted Christendom (whose entire student body attended, and had breakfast with President Bush), Franciscan University of Steubenville, The Catholic University of America, and Ave Maria University. 

Strong showings of students from a college make a powerful witness, and have an added advantage: They help us form the short list of colleges where my husband and I would consider sending our daughters. Your article told us that Thomas Aquinas College had two-thirds of its student body represented at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, which is quite impressive.

Note to college presidents: Sending a large contingent of students carrying your college banner to the March for Life is a great way to show the tens of thousands of Catholic teens and parents where you stand on the most crucial issue of our times: the right to life.

It’s also an effective recruiting tool.

 Leticia C. Velasquez

East Moriches, New York


An item in the Jan. 27 issue of the Register reported that the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano featured a column by Edoardo Rialti, a professor of English literature at the University of Florence, condemning the Harry Potter novels of J.K. Rowling. The item failed to mention that the Vatican newspaper also ran an opposing view, by Paolo Gulisano, a physician and the author of a biography of J.R.R. Tolkien. Gulisano said the novels counter the individualism of the modern age by making a hero of a boy “guided by moral values such as the choice of good, giving, sacrifice, friendship and love.”