Letters 10.24.2010

College Question

I went through your 32 Catholic colleges in your “Catholic Identity College Guide ’10” (Sept. 12) with great interest, pleased but not surprised to see that the two where the majority of my grandchildren go are listed and rated (in my words “terrific”). These two are Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., and the University of Dallas in Dallas.

I do have one question: Did you send out your questionnaire only to these 32 schools? Or was there a larger list? If so, how many schools were included overall? Were some deliberately overlooked (perhaps as being obviously not qualified)?

I believe it might have been helpful to have included some of those schools as well, so that parents looking for the right school for their children would be even better informed and, perhaps on reading about them, would know at once that they were not to be considered.

Thanks for everything you do for Catholic families in the Register.

Mary White

River Forest, Illinois

The editor responds: The Catholic Identity Questionnaire is open to all colleges and universities, and is available on our homepage under “Resources.”

True Stewardship

Your Sept. 12 article “Pope Promotes Stewardship of Earth” was a reminder that humans need to have less of an impact on the environment that sustains not only them, but every other species as well.

Julie A. Robichaud

San Antonio, Texas

A Book That Saved a Life

I just wanted to share a little story with you. I used to be pro-choice when it came to abortion until a few months back when I read a book called The Ninth Hour: A Chicago Story by Patrick Strain, and even though the book was not entirely about it, the element of abortion in it or the very important plotline concerning it really terrified me and my girlfriend. She had just become pregnant a little while before we read the book, and we did not know whether we were going to keep the child or not. We are both only about halfway through college, and the idea of having to pay for a kid really did not work for us. But at the same time, we did not know if we felt right having an abortion.

After reading that book we did some research and could not believe what was going on. The satanic ties to abortion in the book were especially frightening. Your site was one we came across when we were researching abortion, and it also helped make our decision.

We aren’t Catholic, but there was a lot of Catholic stuff in the book and we felt comfortable enough to speak with a local Catholic priest who has been a great help. At any rate, I just thought I’d share my story, recommend the book we read that led us here, and thank you so much for the information we found. It prevented us from doing something we would have regretted forever.

The thing that made me really want to share was the article you recently had about the aborted babies found in jars and in a freezer (“Abortionists Kept Aborted Babies in Jars,” Sept. 5). After something like that you would expect a nationwide outcry, and if it was anything else, that is what would have happened. But, instead, the mainstream media said nothing.

If it wasn’t for you and your article I would have never even known of that story, and even though it makes me furious, I am glad to have the knowledge because it shows all the more how horrible abortion really is. It’s articles like these that attracted me to you, and I keep coming back because I’m tired of these stories being kept in the dark. I want to know the truth about what is going on, and you are one of the few out there telling it. That’s why the two places I always check on your site are the “pro-life movement” and “culture of death” topics, because then when someone asks me where I come up with this stuff I have an article I can reference.

On more than one occasion now, when I got into a discussion over abortion with someone who challenged me, I was able to take them directly to your article, and when they saw it, they did not know what to say.

I just felt that I ought to share my story with you; if nothing else, to let you know that you are making a difference. I appreciate you greatly and will continue to read your articles so that I can stay informed.

Trevor Jones

Spokane, Washington

Confusion Over Homosexuality

I don’t understand why so many people buy into the false presumption of existence of a homosexual “gene” whenever they discuss this topic. Both “Why Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality Isn’t Bigoted” (Sept. 12) and “2 Mommies Are Better Than a Mom-and-Dad Combo?” (Aug. 29) seem to have fallen into this trap.

Isn’t it true that homosexuality is a choice, a perversion of a normal sexual condition that can be cured? Wasn’t homosexuality called an “objectively disordered behavior” by the American Psychiatric Association?

Based upon this information, it seems like neither of these articles make any sense and are both unnecessary and misleading. It’s like calling a critic of alcoholism a bigot or discussing whether two alcoholics are better parents than two non-alcoholics.

Note: An atheist who believed in Sigmund Freud’s teaching conducted a historical study of societies throughout the world and published his findings in 1941. He was astounded to discover the following results. All societies that were successful had the following characteristics:

They had marriage of one man with one woman.

These marriages bore and raised children who repeated the process of men and women marrying and having children.

Generations of those families reached back as far as that society existed.

Societies based upon polygamy died out.

Societies based upon alternate sexual arrangements such as homosexuality or incest died out.

Societies that did not raise their children within their families died out. (For example, when the state took over the raising of children from the parents.)

Therefore, this demonstrates that the basic unit of society is the family (which is what the Catholic Church’s social teaching tells us).

Terry Hornback

Wichita, Kansas

The editor responds: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357, says that homosexuality’s “psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.” Researchers agree that the causes of homosexual behavior are complex and not yet fully understood. The Catechism (2358) also teaches that homosexuals “do not choose their homosexual condition.” Nevertheless, neither story cited even brings up the origins of homosexuality, much less invokes a hypothetical “gay gene”; both defend traditional Catholic teaching. The first was an interview with a respected priest on the University of Illinois’ firing of professor Kenneth Howell for teaching the Catholic position on homosexuality. The other piece refuted a recent study that claimed that children of lesbians are better adjusted than those in traditional families. Columnist Melinda Selmys’ last paragraph says it all: “Our objection to two-mommy and two-daddy households has little to do with sociology, and it is disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Let the behavioral researchers conclude what they will. We know the rest of the story.”

Immigration’s Thorns

Regarding your immigration coverage (June 20 and July 4):

Granted that anyone who hurts someone else in any way should be punished according to due process of the law, those Catholics who reject the teaching of the magisterium on the thorny issue of immigration should consider the following facts.

It is impossible to keep people from entering illegally into the United States. The desert is still strewn with the bodies of those who did not make it across. We are dealing here with desperate people who are ready to do anything for a piece of bread. Any barrier, however tall, however strong, cannot keep them out.

Their governments cannot or will not show forth more than a token effort to address and correct the situation.

Our government has no effective and humane way to handle this problem. It is completely unrealistic to think that a legal solution can be found. Should we have all illegal immigrants shot?

Could it be that some Catholics are hiding behind a law that is at odds with Jesus’ order to act as the Good Samaritan did? Could they be prompted by subtle arrogance? The best and most efficient country in the world cannot stomach the prospect and the protracted reality of failure in solving this problem. Maybe God is telling us that he alone can do the impossible; he invites us to accept that it is okay to feel powerless at times, to be at a loss for a viable solution.

What is not acceptable is to willingly shut our hearts and refuse to make ourselves available to do whatever the Lord might be asking of us to alleviate the condition of these desperate children of his. We need to open our hearts and to ask the Lord to sharpen our eyesight, so as to discern him hidden in these derelicts.

It is spiritual schizophrenia to believe in transubstantiation while refusing to recognize Christ in those who risk death to be here. For us, living here was not due to any personal merit; God decreed it so. Thus, out of gratitude and in a humble listening mode, we should ask him to enable us to discern always the presence of his Christ in anyone. We must avoid to have to ask the Lord on Judgment Day when we might have seen him hungry or thirsty or homeless and not have attended to his needs. His reply would be too chilling to endure: “He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me’” (Matthew 25:45).

Father Dino Vanin

PIME Missionaries

Detroit, Michigan


In “CatholicFind.com Puts the Church’s Writings at Your Fingertips” (Oct. 10), two dates were incorrect. Retired Franciscan University of Steubenville professor Doug Lowry began developing searchable Bible software beginning in the 1980s. He retired in December 2004. A page 2 photo in the same issue referred readers to a story in section B that unfortunately had to be cut due to lack of space. The Register regrets these errors.