Letters 02.19.17

Readers respond to Register articles.

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Continuing to Pray

Relevant to your election coverage: I attended a 2016 pre-election vigil Mass and recited prayers and novenas for the sake of having Catholic values recognized and protected by our government. We opted, in my opinion, to choose what is becoming too commonplace: the lesser of two evils.

The Democrats chose to turn their backs on us, and we ran to the opposition so that our voice could be heard and Catholic standards supported. We succeeded despite the polls, apathetic politicians and prognosticators. Post-election newscasts, tweets and rhetoric make me as uncomfortable now as I was during all of the campaign’s sophomoric mudslinging. Many, if not most, of us already acknowledged that we chose the lesser of two evils.

The question we have to ask ourselves, of course, is: Why does “evil” have to be part of the description of any candidate we endorse? 

Is this the best we Catholics have to present to our country to represent us? Perhaps we should re-examine our ranks for not having mustered a candidate from our midst that we could be proud of — and not have the sensation that we will be walking on eggshells for the next four years.

I will continue to pray that this victory cry does not turn from “We did it!”  to “What have we done?”

Ken Horstman

Staten Island, New York


US Change of Heart

This year marks the 44th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the United States. It also marked the 44th annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme was “The Power of One.” Building a culture of life and ending abortion takes each and every person. More than 50 million unborn children have lost their lives since this decision became law in 1973. More than one million babies each year are denied their inalienable right to life, which is guaranteed under our Constitution.

The results of the last election have given the pro-life movement a fresh opportunity to rid our country of abortion. This year, the March for Life followed shortly after the presidential inauguration. It is crucial that the pro-life voice be heard during this new administration. If we truly want to “Make America Great Again,” we need to end the scourge of abortion.

We can start by defunding Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 320,000 abortions every year. Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million in government funding annually. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said, “Abortion proponents are working passionately to assure that taxpayers will continue to pay for abortions via the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Eight out of 10 Americans agree that abortion should be limited to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy. The American people also overwhelmingly reject taxpayer funding of abortion.” The government needs to ban public funding of elective abortion. We can also enact the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which protects from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. There is now substantial medical evidence showing that unborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks after conception.

Finally, we can hope that President Trump will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. If Roe v. Wade were overturned, then the abortion issue would be decided by the people in each state. I truly believe that Roe v. Wade was on the ballot in the presidential election.

“Making America Great Again” begins with respecting life from conception to natural death. As Americans, we need to affirm that the right to life outweighs all other rights. The pro-life movement also needs to continue its support of women who have unintended pregnancies. No woman should ever feel that abortion is her only option. Love of mother and love of child will transform our country. Laws alone will not abolish abortion in our lifetime. Real cultural change in America will only happen with a change of heart. Hopefully this year’s March for Life will awaken America’s conscience. Abortion should not only be illegal — it should be unimaginable. Our pro-life work has only just begun.

         Ken Sims

         Moorhead, Minnesota



Chick in Sheep’s Clothing

I can’t believe that no one has written to protest Jimmy Akin’s column (“Jack Chick, RIP,” In Depth) in the Nov. 13-26 issue of the Register, so I will write to protest it.

The late Jack Chick and his followers have, to date, distributed more than 500 million tracts, many of which not only go far beyond hatred for the Catholic Church, but which are some of the most blasphemous material ever produced.

Chick said that our Blessed Mother Mary was no virgin following Christ’s birth and that she was a sinner like everybody else.

Chick spouted the old standby that Catholics worship Mary as a goddess and shove Jesus to the side. Even worse — if that’s possible — Chick ridiculed the holy Eucharist as “The Death Cookie” and said receiving Communion will send one to hell forever. Purgatory, of course, in Chick’s mind, was just a Catholic invention. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Chick’s tracts rail against saints and praying to saints and for the (in his mind, nonexistent) souls in purgatory.

It would take many pages of material to detail all of Chick’s hatreds for Catholic beliefs and practices. Chick’s death has in no way halted his debilitating “ministry.”

 Just go online and see how much loathing his followers still have for the Catholic Church and how they are determined to lead every Catholic away from his/her faith until — Chick’s follower’s hope — there is no more “whore of Babylon.”

In no way does Chick deserve sympathy from Jimmy Akin or any other Catholic. He and his tracts have led uncountable numbers away from the Church founded by Jesus Christ and spread grievous misinformation about Catholicism among non-Catholics. And his tracts continue to be spread worldwide in dozens of languages.

Chick was an avowed enemy of the Catholic Church, the sacraments and of Jesus Christ, through his false teachings, of which Jesus warned. God is the ultimate judge, but you can bet that Chick now realizes his grievous mistakes, and whatever judgment he has received from God is richly deserved.

Jack Chick was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and he does not deserve our prayers because he would not have appreciated them during his life.

         Paul Murray

         Rock Springs, Wyoming


The editor responds: Register blogger Jimmy Akin in no way is giving sympathy to Jack Chick on the occasion of his death. In fact, many of the things you mention appear in Akin’s commentary. But we know that God is all merciful, and I would disagree with you: As Catholics, we should pray for God’s infinite mercy on Jack Chick’s soul.


Proper Perspective

This letter assumes some familiarity with the controversy about Pope Francis’ position in his recent Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) and the five dubia (questions) of the four cardinals.

The controversy focuses on reception of the Eucharist by Catholics legally divorced from a spouse in a valid Catholic marriage and legally married to a spouse in a subsequent marriage without a Catholic annulment of the former marriage.

Footnote 351 in No. 305 suggests that under certain conditions in consultation with a priest a person in such a marriage may find it helpful for his or her spiritual life and salvation to receive the Eucharist. Pope Francis has claimed that his stance in Amoris Laetitia proposes no change in Catholic moral theology. The dubia challenge Pope Francis to explain how his suggestion about reception of the Eucharist can be consistent with Catholic moral theology because such a couple is living in a habitual grave sin, according to Catholic moral theology, and cannot receive sacramental absolution.

The dubia confront Pope Francis with a dilemma: Change Catholic moral theology or teach that on occasion reception of the Eucharist by people in a situation of grave habitual sin may work for the salvation of their souls.

Pope Francis grasps the dilemma by the horn to admit that reception of the Eucharist by people not in a state of grace can work for their salvation. In his defense, the Pope might add that the salvation of souls is the first law of the Church. The Pope might be wrong, too.

This is a very radical proposal, and it cannot be properly appraised by discussions in moral theory about universal laws, etc. The Church needs serious discussion of the Eucharist and what God wants to bring about for us by coming to us, Body, Blood, soul and divinity, as real food — real bread and wine.

         Charles F. Kielkopf

         Columbus, Ohio


Common Good Ignored

Regarding “How Barack Obama Fundamentally Transformed the United States (In Depth, Jan. 22 issue), what I find both interesting and worrisome about the transformation of a long-acknowledged moral giant among nations into an amoral entity is how easily and often the common good and common will have been ignored.

A large part of the blame can be attributed to Catholic leaders who prefer to remain silent on issues of grave importance to the survival of this country. Why are some Americans fearing Putin? We need to fear those whom we have been electing to represent the majority and some segments of the media. Let us pray that our newly elected officials can fundamentally effect changes that will truly “make America great again!”

         Bill Domenico

         Hammonton, New Jersey