Did You Ever Notice.…

So Andy Rooney has passed judgment on the present Pontiff (“Notes and Quotes,” Nov. 15-Nov. 22). The jury is in; he is not a great Pope. If we examine one of Rooney's comments, we can see where he is coming from.

Rooney says, “Even devout Catholics have a problem with this Pope's opposition to abortion.” I have heard of so-called “Catholics for a Free Choice,” but now devout Catholics for a free choice? This is a bit much! I think a devout Catholic is a person who knew that the teaching on contraception (Pius XI) could never change. Such a person would never believe in abortion under any circumstances.

Rooney implies that Catholic opposition to abortion is centered in this Pope's teaching on the issue. On the contrary, the Church has perennially taught that abortion is wrong. Even the Vatican Council II which pre-dates John Paul II taught that both abortion and infanticide (this includes partial-birth abortion) are unspeakable crimes. What this Pope has taught about abortion has reaffirmed the constant teaching on the issue.

Rooney also thinks that Pope John Paul II is not a great thinker. This is ironic since he has centered on the one point of the present papacy where the Pope shines. His teaching is excellent, as so many of his encyclicals attest. As far as his teaching and his personal holiness goes, he is a great Pope.

Paul Trouve Montague, New Jersey

The Register vs. National Geographic

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your newspaper, the National Catholic Register. It is excellent!

My main purpose in writing, however, was to thank you for the article, “Pro-Lifers Strive to Shatter World Population Myths” (Nov. 8-14). I am extremely pleased to see that there are organizations who are trying to fight the myth of overpopulation.

One book I read several years ago stated that if you gave every man, woman, and child on this planet one acre of land, they would populate the state of Texas. So much for overpopulation,

I found your article especially gratifying in view of the October 1998 National Geographic, which was dedicated to [the issue of] population. One article in this issue, “Women and Population,” dealt almost exclusively with the glorification of contraception.

I only glanced through the article, then decided not to try to read any more of the magazine. I called and cancelled my subscription, explaining to the polite woman who answered my call, why I felt it necessary to cancel. She suggested that I write to the editor, explaining my dissatisfaction.

Maybe I will. Anyway, I think I will use the refund check which they will send me to subscribe to the Register. As Austin Ruse stated in his article, “The enemy is out there.” You are a source of the truth.

Charleen Luther Augusta, Georgia