Letters 03.27.22

Readers respond to Register articles.

Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions.
Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions. (photo: NCRegister.com / NCRegister.com)

Not a Black-and-White Issue

Pertinent to “5 Things You Need to Know About the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” (Feb. 13 issue): Robert Klesko’s article on the Russia-Ukraine situation is brief and misleading. 

The 2014 coup, call it what it was, was sponsored and encouraged by the United States. Readers can easily find the audio of Victoria Nuland, a high-ranking State Department bureaucrat, discussing the selection of the new Ukrainian leader. Imagine Russia aiding the overthrow of the Canadian government; maybe not the black-and-white picture Klesko paints.

Klesko’s explanation of what Russia wants is dangerously ridiculous. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States promised that it would not expand NATO beyond the eastern border of reunited Germany. It lied and now has expanded NATO to the borders of Russia. 

This expansion is unacceptable to a country that has suffered greatly from repeated invasions from Europe, beginning with Napoleon. In addition, there have been discussions about installing nuclear-capable missiles in the Ukraine. 

These weapons could hit Moscow within minutes. And let us not forget the recent Ukrainian-U.K. agreement to build two naval bases on the Black Sea. These are the reasons Russia is concerned. To say, as does Klesko, it is because Russia is concerned about Ukraine becoming some beacon of freedom is absurd.
Finally, the idea that Russia invaded the Donbas is maintained only by the most extreme warmongers. And the Crimea situation calls for more nuanced discussion. Thankfully, only the U.S. and the U.K. are pushing for war.

 Thomas Byrne

 Waukesha, Wisconsin


Robert Klesko responds: My simple and succinct piece entitled “5 Things You Need to Know About the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” was meant to provide a broad overview of the situation and was by no means meant as an in-depth international affairs piece. 

The terminal point is that the threat of violence between two sovereign nations is a Catholic moral issue. The modern history of Russia and Ukraine is complex and beyond the grasp of most. By focusing on a simple timeline of recent events, the hope is to catch the average reader up on why conflict was looming.

 People can have legitimate divergent interpretations of the finer points of recent history. Nuance and patience are keys to understanding. There is also a lot of misinformation and conspiratorial facades floated in various political circles, which is not in my interest to sort through. My focus is on what we as Catholics can do here and now to face this moral threat. This is why I reached out to Metropolitan Borys Gudziak and sought his advice. His interview, “Praying for Peace in Ukraine,” set out the Catholic response to the situation. 

Metropolitan Borys spent more than 20 years in Ukraine and has thousands of contacts on the ground. Knowing him personally, I can also attest that he is a man of God and has a Christocentric lens through which to view the present military and political situation. Agree or disagree about the politics, history or impetus of the present crisis. 

The plain fact of my sidebar was to recognize the moral danger of war.     


In Praise of Praising ‘Lily’

Regarding Michael Warsaw’s commentary “Remembering Lily” (Publisher’s Note, Jan. 30 issue): How I wish Dr. Alice von Hildebrand had taught at Hunter College in the Bronx! But, alas, she taught at Hunter’s campus in Manhattan. I graduated from Hunter College in the Bronx in 1969. My great regret is that I felt cheated of a grounding in general philosophy. Although taught by no less than the head of the department, what I remember of that class was how often the topic turned to pro-leftist sentiments (yes, even then!). 

Having learned of Dr. von Hildebrand through EWTN and Mother Angelica in the 1990s, I realized what a great opportunity I missed 20 years before by not knowing that the eminent Dr. von Hildebrand could have opened for me the door to the treasures of the good, the beautiful, the truth of philosophy, “the handmaiden of theology.”

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord …

Thank you for an excellent newspaper!

Janet Flatley

Carlsborg, Washington


Editor’s note: Alice von Hildebrand mainly taught at Hunter College’s Bronx campus. According to John Henry Crosby, the Hildebrand Project’s president and founder, she taught briefly at the Manhattan campus, but only a semester or so.