Letters 04.30.17

Readers respond to Register articles.

(photo: Register Files)

Sharing ‘Truth’

Regarding your ongoing coverage about defunding Planned Parenthood:

St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) about how some people think and live as if God does not exist. When I prayed with other parishioners from my church and other pro-life advocates at the largest abortion facility in Minnesota, I encountered such people at Planned Parenthood.

Not long after a baby was saved by prayer and pro-life information, I noticed a man who seemed agitated as he talked to an older man with a pro-life sign. I went to join the discussion and introduced myself to the man, who called himself Richard. Richard said that Hitler was a Catholic. I shared with him that Hitler abandoned his faith and asked him, “If Hitler was a Catholic, then why did he kill thousands of Catholic priests and religious sisters?” He had no response.

Richard also had nothing to say when I explained that St. Teresa of Calcutta would be with us praying if she were alive and lived in our area. I asked, “Do you think St. Teresa of Calcutta got it all wrong?” Again, he had no reply.

Later that day, I saw a young woman slouched down in the passenger seat of a car with watery eyes and a despondent expression.

Had there been more prayerful pro-life witnesses, she may have kept her child. The abortion industry acts as if God does not exist by telling women that their nascent children are worthless. Then they sell the organs and body parts for a profit. Less than 50 years ago, the vast majority of people would have been outraged to know that a killing center was located in St. Paul. Today, a small number of people take the time to witness against the evil that targets mothers and their nascent children.

People who know about the evil of abortion and choose to do absolutely nothing to stop it are indirectly helping those who act and think as if God doesn’t exist. The battle to protect innocent human life would make tremendous advances if only more people cared to be a witness for mothers and their children. We all have a great opportunity to easily share “The Splendor of Truth” regarding human life by providing light in the darkness and hope for the hopeless.

As we celebrate Easter, let’s remember to share “The Splendor of Truth.”

         Russ Rooney

         Rogers, Minnesota


Unnatural Law of Selection

No less than three articles reveal the width and breadth of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch in the Register: “Neil Gorsuch and Natural Law,” “Neil Gorsuch, Abortion and Lies” and “Neil Gorsuch Makes His Case” (April 2 issue).

The man who defines natural law has been subjected to an unnatural law of selection with these Senate confirmation hearings. It is puzzling, unless you take the rather cynical approach of the anti-Trump men and women of Congress.

They resisted his appointment as a way of getting back at their much disliked current president. If we chose to play the old drinking game, where, with every mention of Merrick Garland’s name (in the Democrats perceived argument of unfairness), we take a drink, we would all be alcoholics by now.

This latest obsession they have with blocking every single decision and every single appointment that Trump makes is a waste of their political capital, as they refuse to pick their battles and instead are wasting their “powder,” picking every battle. Their denial of Judge Neil Gorsuch was an exercise in stupidity. He easily gained approval when he was appointed by President Bush to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, so you can’t say he is an unknown quantity coming out of left field. And being a swap of a conservative for a conservative, the late Antonin Scalia … why fight now? Future considerations will involve ongoing liberal judges.

Considering his wide range of skill in jurisprudence, the Constitution and temperament (as illustrated by his eloquent but powerful pushback from the “slings and arrows” of the jackals), the left should find some value in his strict adherence to the law, where they, too, could benefit, as he is blindfolded from any identity affiliations that could go against them in the future.

The best and most significant statement to that fact was when Gorsuch said: “There should be a time when a judge is disappointed by his own ruling.”

         Charles Lopresto

         Phoenix, Arizona


Uninformed Intelligentsia

Pertinent to “US Bishops Concerned Over Trump’s Border Wall Plan” (Nation, Feb. 5 issue):

I’d like to ask: How many would be fretting about extreme vetting in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks? How many would be protesting security measures at our airports concerning passage of immigrant travelers?

We are still at war with the same evil Satanic forces, and many believe that we are still living in the 1950s. Many Washington politicos, media pundits and people in the streets are more concerned about America being “politically correct” than in being “morally correct.” Abortion remains a controversy. We must pray for the safety of our president and his cabinet, amid a sea of uninformed and misguided “intelligentsia.” We must also pray with our bishops for all who have been displaced by the horrors of war and are struggling to find normalcy in their lives.

         Bill Domenico

         Hammonton, New Jersey


Un-Christian Fervor

Regarding post-election coverage: President Donald Trump insists, “There is no global anthem. No global currency. No certificate of global citizenship. We pledge allegiance to one flag, and that flag is the American flag. From now on, it is going to be: America first. We’re going to put ourselves first.”

These sentiments, while stirring up a temporary patriotic fervor, fly in the face of Christian teaching as well as our basic American values.

St. John Paul II reminds us that “sacred Scripture continually speaks to us of an active commitment to our neighbor and demands of us a shared responsibility for all of humanity. This duty is not limited to one’s own family, nation or state, but extends progressively to all; so no one can consider himself extraneous or indifferent to the lot of another member of the human family.”

In order to receive the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must earn the “Citizenship in the World” merit badge.

According to the Boy Scouts of America, “Scouts who earn the Citizenship in the World merit badge will discover that they are already citizens of the world. How good a world citizen each person is depends on his willingness to understand and appreciate the values, traditions and concerns of people in other countries.”

Despite what President Trump may have us believe, it is hard to argue with St. John Paul II and the Boy Scouts of America!

         Deacon Keith G. Kondrich

         Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


What’s in a Name?

Regarding “Co-Redemptrix: A New Title for the Blessed Mother?” (Culture of Life, Feb. 19 issue): “Mediation” speaks of bringing estranged parties together by providing a place for them to meet in peace. Jesus Christ is uniquely the place where Almighty God and the estranged sons and daughters of Adam and Eve can meet.

But we recognize, in Christ, lesser mediators: A priest consecrating the Eucharist, a grandparent teaching a child the Lord’s Prayer and even “the lilies of the field” can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, mediate God to the estranged soul.

There is no dissonance in calling Mary, mother of the One Mediator, “Mediatrix.”

On the other hand, “redemption” speaks of restoration at a price: A pawned ring is restored to its owner who repays the loan plus interest; a firstborn son is to be redeemed, according to Moses, with a lamb (Exodus 13:12-13).

Just so, we sinners, under a judgment of death, are restored to life in the holy presence of God by the “ransom for many,” Jesus’ life poured out upon the cross.

And, significantly, when Christ prays in complete obedience, “Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me,” the Father’s loving answer as events unfold seems to be “not possible.”

The Lamb of God is our necessary and unique redeemer.

I appreciate the careful use of language by St. John Paul II, the Catechism and many other Catholic writers who have “mediated” the Church’s teachings to me in recent years. Words are important, even a little prefix like “co.”

A co-pilot occupies the seat of second in command, but he’s not incompetent.

If for some reason the pilot fails, the co-pilot can fly the airplane.

The most troubling question raised by “Co-Redemptrix” may be “Can Mary redeem us?” Can a priest, a grandparent or “the lilies” —  “mediators” all — “redeem” us?

It is with love and concern for the Catholic Church and for Protestant friends and family whom I also love and whom I would convert if I could that I address these thoughts.

I pray that expanding the Blessed Mother’s titles to include “Co-Redemptrix” will not be done sentimentally, that is, to enhance the centennial of Fatima, but only after careful attention to the title’s meaning within our faith’s understanding of the Redeemer and Our Lady.

Does this new title honor her, whom we call the “Second Eve” partly because, unlike the first Eve, she did not “count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6), but said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word”?

          J. Wayne DeVries