On Adoring Jesus, Synod Summa, Seeking the Holy Spirit, Praise for a Catholic Gentleman, Reality Check and Advice From St. Paul

Letters 10.22.23

Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions.
Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions. (photo: NCRegister.com)

Covering the Synod

The National Catholic Register deserves congratulations on its appropriately extensive coverage of the Synod of Bishops (“23 Movers and Shakers at the 2023 Synodal Assembly,” Sept. 24 issue, front page).

That said, it is rather obvious that we are headed into a public relations/evangelization disaster, despite what Russell Shaw (in Sept. 24 In Depth column) foresees as “carefully tailored information [being] fed to reporters concerning what’s happening.” Semi-secrecy and the filter of a Vatican communications department will not bury the acute differences among the participants. Given the history of these “movers and shakers,” many controversial, they will speak out publicly nevertheless.

As your lead article points out, starting with the general relator of the synod, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the views of several of the participants are contrary to Church teaching, e.g., on homosexuality and the ordination of women. Other dubious Churchmen involved include Jesuit Father James Martin, German Bishop Georg Bätzing, and Cardinals Robert McElroy of San Diego and Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey.

The events of the October synod will unfold to the embarrassment of the Church. Oremus.

Charles Molineaux

McLean, Virginia

There’s No Dividing God

Regarding “The Synod and the Holy Spirit” (In Depth, Sept. 24 issue), by Father Raymond J. de Sousa.

I was disturbed by the comments made by Father James Martin; Father seeks to invoke the Holy Spirit to justify any changes made by people participating in the synod. He poses the question, “Do we trust the Holy Spirit?”

The Holy Spirit does not speak on his own and cannot be invoked to alter or undermine Church teaching. The Holy Spirit is God, along with the Father and the Son. For the synod to use the third Person of the Blessed Trinity in this manner means God is divided — or that God can contradict God. That is outrageous.

Yes, we can trust the Holy Spirit, but not if participants in the synod separate him from God the Father and God the Son.

Cathal Gallagher

San Jose, California

Catholic Gentleman

My first issue (Sept. 10-23) of the Register arrived, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I particularly enjoyed the column on Jim Buckley’s seminal contribution to the pro-life movement for personal reasons (“James Lane Buckley’s Eloquence in Defense of Life,” In Depth).

As a 17-year-old graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School in 1970, I was not eligible to vote for him, but that didn’t stop me from campaigning for his election to the Senate. On one afternoon that summer, he visited our neighborhood in Woodlawn, driving up Katonah Avenue in a motorcade, and sitting in the back of a convertible with the top down. Excited to see him in person, I ran up to him with a campaign poster, which he obligingly signed for me. His election that year marked the first time a minor party candidate (Conservative) was elected to the Senate from the state of New York.

While he only served one term in the senate, Buckley he was one of the few people to serve in all three branches of the federal government, serving as an undersecretary in the State Department and later as a federal judge.

On a personal note, a couple of years ago, I purchased his last two books, mailed them to him and asked if he would autograph and return them to me in the postpaid mailer that I enclosed. I also mentioned that he had signed that campaign poster years before, but it had been lost in the ensuing years. When the books were returned, not only did I find that he had personalized them, but he also sent a handwritten letter of appreciation and commented that he no longer had any of those campaign posters, or he would have enclosed one with the books.

Buckley was a true patriot and Catholic gentlemen. He will be sorely missed. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, by the mercy of God rest in peace.

Stephen F. O’Conor

Melbourne, Florida

Reality of Sex Trafficking

Pertaining to “Sound of Freedom Stirs Hearts” (page one, July 30 issue):

The subtitle was “Moviegoers Feel Compelled to Help Sex-Trafficking Victims.” Thanks for covering this movie and the reality of sex trafficking. The movie focuses on global child sex trafficking and one former U.S. government agent’s mission to rescue children from this horrendous crime.

The movie’s focus is global and real. This movie was completed in 2018. Since that time, a lot has been learned about sex and labor trafficking in the United States.

The reality is sex trafficking of children and adults happens in 2023 in every U.S. community, rural and urban. Children need to be rescued, but adult men and women need to be rescued, as well, and given the opportunity to begin the healing process from the complex trauma they have experienced.

I would encourage readers to research your community for an agency serving survivors and contribute or volunteer. Here in Sioux City, Iowa, for instance, Lila Mae’s House is a home for women who have been sex trafficked and need a place to heal and begin the recovery process of having been sex trafficked since childhood. If you are interested in doing something to help those who were not rescued, please consider donating to Lila Mae’s House to support the critical work we do to help survivors know their life is worth saving.

Another great resource to add to the list at the end of the article: U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Sisters across the United States and the world are forerunners in this challenging work!

Sister Shirley Fineran, OSF

Sioux City, Iowa

Editor’s note: Sister of St. Francis Shirley Fineran is the founder of Lila Mae’s House, PO Box 1281, Sioux City, Iowa; LilaMaesHouse.org.

Valid, but Necessary?

Regarding Father Raymond de Souza’s “Eight Take-Aways From the Pope’s Latest Selection of Cardinals” (Vatican, July 30 issue):

The author’s disdain for Pope Francis’ selections is quite evident. The article lacks any “benefit of the doubt” in tone or substance for someone who has such a great and complex level of responsibility and authority.

Since the criticisms seem to have valid points worth consideration, would it not be more effective for them to be heard by those in positions of direct influence with the Holy Father than to make them public for the “body of Christ,” already torn by scandal, dissension and rampant disunity?

Perhaps St. Paul has a point for your editorial policy: “Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another” (Romans 14:19).

Douglas W. Price

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Holy Hour Tips

Regarding “Pro-Tips for Making a Spiritually Rich Holy Hour” (Sept. 10, NCRegister.com):

Thanks for this very helpful article. I have a hard time staying focused on God’s presence in Holy Hour and listening, so I appreciate the wise tips. I pray more people go to Holy Hour; perhaps committing to one Holy Hour a week.

Brandon via NCRegister.com


A photo caption in the Sept. 10 edition of the Register incorrectly identified Noah Snurr of the Nebraska State Education Association and Molly Gross of the Nebraska Parent Teacher Association as proponents of school choice.

In the column “Who Will Be the Greatest Saints of Our Present Age?” (In Depth, Aug. 27 issue), Peter Claver was incorrectly referenced as one of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s first companions. St. Peter Faber was one of the first Jesuits. The Register regrets the errors.