Tim Drake's article “Youth Revolt” (Sept. 19-25) indirectly quotes Greg Dinato as saying he supports abortion rights. He never said such a thing, Dinato tells us. And, in fact, the Ohio Senate minority leader's voting record has been rated 100% pro-life by Ohio Right to Life. The Register regrets the mischaracterization of Dinato's position.

Partial Birth, Total Defeat

In the letter titled “Of Presidents and Judges” (Oct. 31-Nov. 6), a Register reader presented a strong defense of Judge Richard Casey's decision in the matter of partial-birth abortion. The author pointed out articulately that Mr. Casey, a judge, is subordinate to the Supreme Court and must obey the law. We are a nation that believes in the rule of law. It is our foundation. I was almost convinced. But not quite.

There are good laws and there are bad laws. For example, millions of people were put in Nazi concentration camps; 6 million of them were executed simply because they were Jews. This was all done according to the law. The Nazis wrote the law. In subsequent trials in Nuremberg, Nazi defendants claimed their barbarous actions were within the existing law. Allied judges, some being Americans with backgrounds similar to Mr. Casey's, rejected this defense.

The United States was founded by lawbreakers. All our forefathers risked being hanged for treason. Why did they break the law? They spelled out their reasons clearly in the Declaration of Independence: “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”

“These ends” would be barbarous acts. By Mr. Casey's own admission, partial-birth abortion is a barbarous act. Yet he defends it as being within the law. What law? God's law? Catholics think not, and Mr. Casey claims to be Catholic. One of his defenders insists that the Casey decision puts the Supreme Court on the spot. But the court has long been on this spot, and they don't mind at all. They have declared themselves in support of abortion, any kind at any time, and they feel no shame.

Mr. Casey had a chance to take a giant step — to disobey the law, thus showing the Supreme Court the one thing that it does respect and fear: that a vast chasm exists between the court and the people, causing fragmentation in the government. Mr. Casey might have lost his job, but, as the Lord says, “Blessed are they who suffer in my name.”

Mr. Casey lost his chance and, in doing so, may have lost the cause. If we can't win on partial-birth abortion, it is difficult to see how we can win at all.


Charlottesville, Virginia

Celiac Smarts

I appreciate the article in the Register on celiac disease and the problems it can cause faithful Catholics, “Wheat Allergies Don't Stop Them” (Nov. 7-13). Both my daughters have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease. Giving up the host has been a great sacrifice. I would like to point out, however, that the headline for the article is very misleading. Celiac disease is not an allergy. Allergies cause the body to produce histamines. Unless you have something like a severe peanut allergy, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine can cover the problem.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune response of the body to gluten. Gluten actually damages the intestinal tract in the body, and there is not any type of medication that can cover or moderate the problem. The damage to the villi in the intestinal tract causes the body to mal-absorb nutrients and causes the body to form antibodies that can attack the organs and joints.

Many people have allergies to something, and they are accustomed to popping a pill and taking care of the problem. People with celiac disease cannot pop a pill. It is a very different problem, and it is important for priests to understand why just the amount of gluten present in the host can cause such tremendous problems.

Food allergies work out of the system in approximately five days. It can take three months to a year for the body to recover from damage caused by gluten for the celiac patient.

I love your paper. Keep up the good work.


Little Rock, Arkansas

Whose Beauty?

Barbara Nicolosi's essay, “Art and Beauty” (Commentary & Opinion, Sept. 12-18), addressed issues that have been bothering me for quite some time. Some of the modern statues depicting Mary are truly ugly. My question is: Who are “they” who commission this “art”? Who approves their selections to be placed in our churches?

When God the Father, in his infinite love and power, created the mother of his divine Son, he made the most perfect woman to inhabit this earth, in every way. Mary was a young, beautiful Jewish woman and, certainly, among many other attributes, feminine. Why would anyone say “she is more human than strictly female”? More importantly, why is that statue in our cathedral?

I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Nicolosi. Thanks for presenting outstanding articles that address a multitude of current issues. We always look forward to our next issue of the National Catholic Register.


Thousand Oaks, California

Keep Priests Off Pedestals

Regarding the letter titled “Celibacy: Now More Than Ever” written by Joseph Gesing of Silver Creek, Ga. (Sept. 19-25):

This type of misinformation is indeed what helped lead to the sex scandal. This kind of thought is exactly what put priests on their pedestals, making them venerated by the faithful and thus giving them excessive power and keeping the faithful subservient to them. This is why so many faithful look to priests as “godly and holy,” next to God, the hand of God. The Church needs to teach that these men are just men with none of the powers of Christ. They are merely an instrument of God in administering the sacraments. Merely a tool and not God himself or any part of him any more than the rest of us.

I realize how conservative this publication is and do not expect this letter to appear in it. What a tragedy that is. It just goes to show the editors’ bias and blindness and the desire to keep things as they are, thus thwarting any healing process within the Church.

Amazing how this sounds like the religious authorities of Christ's days on Earth.


Group Leader, San Jose Chapter

Survivors Network for

Those Abused by Priests

Barely Adequate

Your front-page article “Bishops Tackle Issue of Communion for Politicians” (Oct. 3-9) was barely adequate; the headline suggested vigor when, actually, “waffle” would have been more accurate.

Only at the very end of a long piece would a reader see the observation from Father Richard John Neuhaus at the “Public Witness/Public Scandal” conference, pointing out that it is a longstanding scandal that most bishops have tried to evade their responsibility in calling Catholics to account in years past. Your writer might have noted that Father Neuhaus received the only standing ovation of the day.


McLean, Virginia