The One-Issue Party?

Many times I have remarked in years past that I could not vote for certain candidates because they were pro-abortion. I was advised I should not vote on only one issue.

After listening to all Democratic candidates running for president this year, I have observed that the one point they uniformly stress is that they would not put a pro-life person on the Supreme Court. So who has “only one” issue on their minds? (Remember what they did to Robert Bork and tried to do to Clarence Thomas?)

I was in the South Pacific for four years, fighting for what I thought was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

America, wake up. We have our own holocaust. Every year we pile on another million or more unborn children killed by their mothers. They were denied life, liberty and happiness. Why, what was the reason? We know mothers are suffering today for what they have done to their little ones.

Do we wish to vote for any candidate who wants to continue the killing of future generations?

Deacon Henry Beck, Dayton, Ohio

Heavy Fines Levied

The ongoing, deplorable doublespeak/ duplicity in the Catholic Church is well illustrated by excerpts from the March 21-27 issue of the Register.

“A 1961 Vatican directive … advises exclusion of those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty.”

Pope John Paul II said, “Candidates with deviation in their affections should be barred from seminaries.”

“As for the homosexual priest question, Bishop [Wilton] Gregory left room for the continued ordination of homosexuals.”

With all the above remarkable statements, apparently disregarding the Pope's authority, the Church deserves what is ongoing, i.e., the paying of very heavy fines.

Louis J. Mihalyi, Newland, North Carolina

Cheers for Sister Sara

I just read the article about Sister Sara Butler and her about-face in regard to the ordination of women (“Change of Heart,” April 4-10). She is a modern-day hero. This article enabled me to see that the dissidents who persist in their error are not all malcontents with an agenda to dismantle our Church. Perhaps they actually think their remedies will solve the inadequacies and failures before us.

I had dehumanized dissidents in my mind. Sister Butler showed me there is hope. Many of those who speak the loudest about left-leaning issues are brilliant, articulate and blind. If their blindness could be healed, our Church would have a much more powerful influence in today's world.

Susanne Manocchia, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine


For shame! Now even the Register shows an Irish bartender drawing a Guinness draft beer alongside an Italian lady holding a loaf of St. Joseph's bread (“Saint vs. Saint: St. Patrick Rocks; St. Joseph Rules,” March 14-20). Such stereotyping!

I do love the Register and am happy that I found it (in my 80s!). I routinely leave my copy at the hospital chapel where I attend weekday Masses. Already I found a new friend who has been picking them up and has now switched to the Register from another Catholic weekly. The paper is always gone the next day.

Now that the snow is over (hopefully), I almost took this copy without writing my mini-complaint.

Harriett D. Fox, Mount Sinai, New York

Passionate Promotion

Just a few words to let you know how much our family enjoys reading your newspaper.

You have done an excellent job of promoting Mel Gibson's excellent and inspiring film The Passion of the Christ, which has been attacked by misguided Catholics and the powers of evil. Thank God, Jesus the Light of the World is more powerful than the power of darkness. This marvelous film continues to touch and transform lives.

We live in evil times, yet the fact remains that many souls seek a closer walk with Jesus. How unfortunate and tragic that most Catholic bishops have not encouraged people to view The Passion of the Christ, but rather timid words have come out of their mouths expressing fear that the film many “offend” some.

May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire you at the Register. Your publication is most needed these days, when some misguided Catholic leaders appear to be ashamed of being authentic, orthodox faithful Catholics.

Constantino Santos, Atascadero, California

No Ifs, Ands or Catholic ‘Buts’

In this age when “truth stumbles in the public square” (Isaiah 59:14) and, therefore, this age in which we tend to revel in sharing views and opinions (rather than seeking to know and proclaim the truth), it was indeed more than refreshing to read Bishop Thomas Olmsted's engaging article “Rebutting the ‘Catholic but …’” (April 4-10).

No irrelevant rhetoric, no jargon in this brief, densely packed narrative. With an evident sense of conviction, the bishop writes within the context of a practical realism —providing specific examples of the “I am a Catholic but …” statements — and challenges Catholic Christians to once again root themselves in the person of Christ, who proclaimed himself “the way, the truth and the life.”

In a particularly compelling way, Bishop Olmsted proclaims a dynamic orthodoxy. He pinpoints the issues of “compromise” and “watering down our faith for personal gain” and alerts us to the dangers that ensue when “relativism reigns.” He also provides a welcome note of sanity and substance as he notes the antidote for this slippery “Catholic but …” syndrome: rekindling love for Jesus and reclaiming the need for correct conscience formation.

The marvelous theologian Hans Urs von Balthsar once stated that “truth is symphonic, but it needs a score.” Bishop Olmsted has peppered his text with explicit references to the “score” that is provided by Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church.

Thank you, Bishop Olmsted, for providing a firm foundation that will help truth “walk” again in the public square.

Sister J. Sheila Galligan IHM, Immaculata, Pennsylvania

The writer is chairwoman of the theology department at Immaculata University.

Middle East Peace

Patriarch Michel Sabbah, in his quest for peace in the Middle East, says he puts the brunt of the responsibility for peace on the shoulders of the Israelis (“Patriarch: Peace Up to Israelis,” April 18-24).

I feel truly sorry for the Palestinian Christians. They are between a rock and a hard place. But to start from the false premise that Israel needs to be magnanimous is to ignore the fact that Israel is in a fight for its very survival against Islamic terrorists. If the patriarch really wants peace, he has to get his basic premise right. I believe he has his premise backward.

The Israelis want peace. They are besieged and suffering from terrorist attacks. They want and need to coexist with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1999 offered Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat roughly 95% of everything he had asked for, but Arafat found a way to turn the offer down. Arafat has shown he doesn't want peace. He wants the elimination of Israel, which he says in his speeches in Arabic (but not in his speeches to Western journalists). The Palestinian people may want peace, but they have no power and are used as pawns by their leadership.

Israel's superior military might vis a vis the Palestinians is often mentioned to show the unevenness and unfairness of the struggle. But people should recognize that the only thing that stands between Israel and its extinction is its military superiority.

I think we Americans are beginning to understand better what Israel is up against. We are learning firsthand that terrorists don't want peace. They want victory and our elimination.

Jill Meyer, Friday Harbor, Washington

’God's Mailbox’

The April 18-24 issue of the Register was my first exposure to the building plans for Ave Maria University's oratory, and I thank you for the coverage (“The St. Patrick's of South Florida?”). Although the article refers to comments having already been considered, I wish to add mine, late though they may be.

I trust they will name the church for St. Gabriel, the patron of postal workers. Or will it simply be known as God's mailbox?

I had high hopes for Ave Maria in its new location; now I only wonder. What a pity the architects didn't make a field trip to nearby Alabama, where they could have seen, up in Hanceville, a truly inspiring edifice.

Marty Fisher, Chicago


Due to an editing error, an article in our March 28-April 3 Vatican News section stated that Bishop Clemens von Galen of Munster was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1944. Bishop von Galen, who was declared a servant of God last December by Pope John Paul II, was never a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.