National Catholic Register


Letters 02.10.2008

BY The Editors

February 10-16, 2008 Issue | Posted 2/5/08 at 2:10 PM

Actions Speak Louder …

Thanks for the great article, “Super Tuesday Picks” (Feb. 3):

As a Catholic, I think it is good to see that someone like Ron Paul consistently stands up for the issues he believes in.

At the same time, he brings people together because he does not preach values, he teaches them through actions. Again, thanks for the thoughtful and fair article of the man. He has my vote.

Wesley Freund

Austin, Texas

Do Values Have a Chance?

Regarding “Super Tuesday Picks” (Feb. 3):

Unfortunately the National Right to Life endorsed Fred Thompson. Some good people may have absentee-voted for him, thus wasting their vote. Priests for Life endorsed Sam Brownback, who also dropped out.

Others are buying into the media hype that Congressman Ron Paul does not have a chance. Perhaps the right-to-life issue itself does not have a chance. Tell that to me and my friends who stand in the rain for the right to life. Do Christian Values have a chance in these times?

The Jan. 28 issue of the Register had an excellent article, “Ron Paul Draws Passionate Support,” regarding a man who, in my opinion, will be in the race supporting the right for life to the very end of this presidential race.

James Devine

Inverness, Florida

Source of Information

Tom McFeely’s article “Romney’s Religion” (Dec. 16) was interesting and informative. I’m interested in politics even though I’m 13 and not able to vote yet. I’m currently living in Austria, and your paper is where I get my news. 

Before I read the article, I didn’t know much about the Mormon faith. The big issues of its theology clearly are different from Christianity. But even the little points struck me as odd.

The early 1800s are relatively recent years, and a religion that’s new seems fishy to me. I think of true religion as ancient.

New York State? Doesn’t quite sound like the Holy Land, does it?

Thanks for the good article. Keep up the good work.

Jack Caldwell

Vienna, Austria

Baby’s Awareness

I had to write after reading Mark Shea’s column “The Risk of Love” (Jan. 20):

In making the valid point that human life is always sacred, whether the life is an unborn child suffering from a serious problem like anencephaly or a perfectly normal baby, he states, “It may be objected that an anencephalic baby cannot appreciate our love. I would reply that a healthy baby does not appreciate our love either, because a healthy baby has no more mind than a baby born without a brain. The whole point of parenthood, especially in its earliest stages, is radical self-giving (like Christ) to a being who is wholly incapable of giving anything back besides a sucking reflex.”

I certainly do not argue with the position that parenthood involves radical self-giving, but saying a healthy newborn baby has no mind is contrary to my experience.

I am the mother of five children, all born to me, and all of them were aware of me and their father at their birth. They were communicating, they were looking into our eyes, and they gave back much more than a “sucking reflex.”

One might like to ask his wife Janet, whom Shea mentions in his article, whether she would agree that the only thing she received from their babies was their sucking. This bizarre statement does not conform to reality, and does not bolster Shea’s argument. In answering the objection that an anencephalic baby cannot appreciate our love, I would reply that we have no way of knowing that, that love is never wasted, that the baby’s eternal soul will always know and remember ours.

I would not choose that moment to denigrate healthy newborns, who can recognize voices and smells, who can make their wishes known, who can respond to the warmth of human touch with peace and calm, and who can share the gifts of themselves with their families, bringing an increase of love to a world so lacking.

Colleen Boland Toder

New Paltz, New York

Catholic Book Fair

Regarding letter to the editor “Catholic Booksellers” (Jan. 27):

The writer said that she is disappointed with the quality of books offered by a familiar book fair company and asked the National Catholic Register to provide information for parents of alternatives to the secular book fairs.

We at the Marian Center of Milwaukee have recently started a Catholic book fair program for just this reason. We work with a school coordinator and volunteers to customize the order form and number and mix of titles based on the mix of students by grades. The reassuring aspect is that we are careful to only provide materials that are in fidelity with the magisterium.

I would encourage Jennifer and any other parents who want to have a Catholic book fair to either contact us at the Marian Center of Milwaukee or their local Catholic book store to facilitate a book fair that they can be confident isn’t in conflict with their Catholic values.

Michael Groark, MJ


Marian Center of Milwaukee


Strength in Numbers

Regarding “March for Life” (Jan. 13):

I was born on the east side of Detroit at a time when abortion was illegal, life was protected, kids felt safe and neighborhood families cared for each other.

Because of my own security, the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion Jan. 22, 1973 did not have much of an impact on me at the age of 5. Growing up in the home of an Irish Catholic father, a graduate in the field of social work from Chicago’s Loyola University, and a pious, traditional Lebanese mother, who taught underprivileged children in Detroit’s public school system for years, the thought of legalizing the pre-planned murder of innocent children was an idea that I would come to abhor.

For 35 years, the tables have been turned against the safety and love of our American children.

Fortunately, the tide is changing, as is evidenced in responses to surveys about the presidential race, that voters are no longer on the fence. The clear-cut lines drawn between the two top Democratic and Republican candidates on the issue of abortion is proof that the abortion issue will affect the way voters vote.

The recent show of strength by 100,000 pro-life supporters from around the country at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., was proof voters are strongly united against abortion and in favor of change. As one politician reminded us, for young people under the age of 35, the lives of one-third of their generation have been snuffed out.

There is no chance for growth and prosperity if moral relativism runs awry and a self-focused nation of overachievers stands idly by while we kill off the next generation of men and women.

The country came together for change as Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical denominations joined congressmen and other politicians to rally the crowds of older teens and college age voters chanting “P-R-O-L-I-F-E, oh, ah, oh, ah!!” Fathers pushing baby strollers, young seminarians and priests in black cassocks walked in step with Nurses for Life and sisters in habits to send the same message: The horror of abortion must end and, indeed, as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s 100% homicide track records were advertised in posters, there shown more than just a ray of hope that the next election may shape the politics of abortion in favor of change.

Cecilia Tombelli

Okemos, Michigan

A Keeper

I have been a subscriber for a number of years and enjoy reading the paper each week. It can be a real breath of fresh air for me since I’m surrounded with a number of secular newspapers in New York.

I just wanted to let you know that the Jan. 20 edition of this year was one of the best I have read. I have not paid close attention to the presidential election, but this edition gave me a good introduction. I especially enjoyed the featured article, “A Day in the Life of the Holy Father” along with, “Vocation-Rich St. Louis to Expand Seminary” about the good news that St. Louis has to expand their seminary.

I also enjoyed the article, “Evangelistic Zeal” about the Church expansion in China and the faith-based diplomacy article, “Faith-Based Diplomacy Yields Results.” Thank you for a terrific edition, along with the great work each week.

William McKay
Harrison, New York

Ignatian Initiative

In response to the letter to the editor “Catholic Booksellers” of Jan. 27 regarding Scholastic book fairs and the need for book fairs from Catholic book companies, I am happy to announce that Ignatius Press, one of the largest Catholic publishers in the United States has launched, just this month, the Ignatius Press Catholic Book and Film Fair for schools, parishes and other Catholic organizations.

Ignatius supplies Catholic books, DVDs, CDs and other materials for all ages to be sold on consignment by the host school, parish or organization for fundraising purposes. The program was initiated in response to the tremendous need conveyed to us by parents, teachers, priests, principals, and DREs. More information is available at

 Diane Hanson

Special Projects Coordinator

Ignatius Press

Canton, Michigan


A story in the Feb. 3 issue of the Register incorrectly referred to lawyer “Steve Bopp Jr.” His name is James. We apologize for the error.