Aiming for Accuracy

I agree wholeheartedly with your Aug. 5 “Assessing Letters” column helping readers to send good letters to the Register, and would add one more criterion: accuracy with respect to Church teachings.

I further suggest that political letters not be published such as those surreptitiously promoting a candidate or political party. For example, starting early in political campaigns we see letters saying that candidate “A” who (or a party that) is pro-abortion is more aligned to Church teachings than candidate “B” because “A” does more for the poor and “B” is not completely pro-life, since “B” is “only” “anti-abortion” and not opposed to the death penalty or he is not anti-war.

John Naughton

Silver Spring, Maryland

Emphasize Daily Mass

Much empathy goes out to Gina Loehr regarding her article “Life in the Matrimonial Monastery” (Aug. 12). Her writing though calls to mind Luke 10:41-42: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.”

Everyone’s daily obligations are different; however, my mom and dad attended daily Mass before and while raising four children and continue to do so as grandparents. It’s also true that today there are less Masses scheduled because of the lack of priests, making it more difficult to attend daily Mass.

Several decades ago, Catholic-school students in America attended morning Mass each weekday as part of a school Mass. But how prevalent is this today?

We point fingers at whom or what is to blame for our lack of priests, sisters and other religious and pray for vocations. But it’s “Do as I say, not do as I do.” Meaning, if we want to stress the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and his importance in our lives, how can we expect anyone under 35 to make the sacrifice to attend daily Mass when children are not taught this growing up?

Why do we not understand that there is a direct correlation between the lack of daily Mass attendance by Catholic school students and both a reduced hunger for his body and blood and subsequent disposition for seeking a religious vocation?

From the perspective of an eternally grateful extraordinary minister of Communion, please bring back daily Mass for Catholic school children. We know Jesus would be pleased because he said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Patrick Kunklier

Akron, Ohio

Sleight of Hand

I have been an avid subscriber and reader of the Register for many years.

When your publication went through its complete reformation last year -— which I might add improved the whole publication and made it much more enjoyable to read — I am disappointed you deleted one particular article each month. That was, the apostleship of prayer, this is, the monthly intentions that the Pope would like for us to remember in our prayers each month. Why did you discontinue this particular article each month? I, like others, would like to see it reinstated each issue.

Did the apostleship of prayer go out of business or did they just discontinue sending you the Pope’s monthly intentions? Regardless, I have been praying for them along with my morning offering for years. Then, boom, they were gone. Keep up the good work; your publication is outstanding.

George J. Kaberline

Topeka, Kansas

Editor’s note: Let us reassure you, Mr. Kaberline. We simply moved the Holy Father’s general and missionary prayer intentions from inside the page to outside. You can catch them every week at the top corners, the “ears” in newspaper-speak, of the Vatican page.

Comfort Amid Sadness

Regarding “Killed for Being a Girl” (Aug. 12):

I am Father Peter Amaladoss, a Catholic priest from Chennai, South India. I am now serving as an Associate Pastor at Church of the Holy Spirit, Plattsmouth, Neb., in the Diocese of Lincoln.

It gave me a sense of sadness to read the news item in your esteemed newspaper dated Aug. 18, 2007, titled “ Killed for Being a Girl”, written by Anto Akkara from Bangalore, regarding the alarming situation of the female feticide in India.

Mr. Akkara is correct in stating that thousands of unborn girls are killed in their mothers’ wombs daily in India, despite a ban on sex determination tests and sex-selective abortion.

It was really painful for me to read the statement of Renuka Choudhury, Federal Minister for Women and Child Development, that India has the odd distinction of having lost 10 million female children in the past 20 years.

The writer from Bangalore has rightly pointed out that though Indian government takes steps to curb rampant female feticide through governmental programs, like introducing legislation to mandate restoration of all pregnancies, yet such threats from the government seem to have had little impact on the female feticide scenario in India.

The reports from Mr. Akkara’s article regarding the findings of several dumps of female fetuses on river beds and in village wells shock me, too. It is sad to note that the doctors who have a noble mission of saving and nurturing life, indulge in, for the sake of money, the anti life activities such as finding out the sex of the unborn child, the aim of which is aborting even several-month-old female fetuses for exorbitant fees. They don’t care about the Indian law that bans sex determination tests.

I, being a person very much concerned with my country’s welfare, am very much comforted that the Catholic Church in India has taken steps to address this issue. I am happy to note that the biennial general assembly of 180 bishops in India, in February 2008, will have “Empowerment of Women-in Church and Society” as its theme. I wish and pray that some serious and concrete steps will be the outcome of this assembly of Bishops to counter the killer mentality against the girl child.

I, as an educator, firmly believe that education, as a means of awareness among women and men, will throw enough light and awareness on the evil practice of female feticide and all crimes against women and help the masses to come out of them.

In the midst of this gloomy situation there has appeared a silver lining in the person of Pratibha Patil, 72, India’s firs‹t woman president, who recently called for an end to sex-selective abortions. It is very encouraging and optimistic to note Patel’s statement: “Empowerment of women is particularly important to me as I believe this leads to the empowerment of the nation.”

Father M. Peter Amaladoss

Associate Pastor

Hypocritical Position?


In your July 1 editorial titled, “July 4th at the Border” you invoke the memory of the sacrifice of European immigrants in defeating Nazism.

Are you suggesting that their participation in our nation’s military response to the war precipitated by Hitler on the civilian populations of Europe, a war characterized by genocide and other unspeakable atrocities, was justified? Was World War II a “just war”? How dare you take a position contrary to the prevailing Catholic wisdom, that “war is never just.”

It seems that your arguments are quite nuanced when circumstances suit your purpose, defending immigration. And I have no doubt that you and other pundits, those who hold the absolutist position that any military response to even the most profound human rights violations is never justified, will attempt rationalizations in support of that position.

But as a Catholic, a product of German immigrants who fought in that war, and one who believes that we as a nation have a responsibility to counter like contemporary evils, I wish to suggest one succinct but comprehensive characterization of your position … hypocritical!

Douglas R. Merkler

Blairstown, New Jersey

Editor’s note: Neither the Church nor this paper holds that war is never just. The Vatican in fact appealed to the international community for military action in Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia. When the U.S. military intervened in Afghanistan, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger signaled their understanding of the just war principles involved. Cardinal Ratzinger also made it clear in his 2004 letter to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick that Catholics can differ in their opinion on the justice of particular wars. That said, the Church follows the spirit of the Gospel in being very hesitant about war, whose horrors are hard to exaggerate. In the case of Iraq, two popes and all of the world’s bishops who wrote about it failed to see a just cause for military invasion. We couldn’t find one either.

Church of the Holy Spirit

Plattsmouth, Nebraska


A story in the Aug. 26 issue of the Register incorrectly stated that Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak is from Wisconsin. He is from Michigan. The Register regrets the error.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

Bishop Burbidge: The Pandemic is Our ‘Pentecost Moment’

This “21st century Pentecost moment” brought on by the pandemic, Bishop Michael Burbidge said, has underscored the need for good communication in the Church across all forms of media, in order to invite people into the fullness of the Gospel.