Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Letters to the Editor

(From the June 10, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Guatemala mission

This spring I was privileged to visit once again our diocesan mission in Guatemala. I would like to encourage others to visit our mission to understand a Third World country a bit better.

We take so much for granted living in the United States – education; three square meals a day. I have grown spiritually by making occasional visits to the mission. It lets me know how a good part of the world lives.

I was able to see some of the progress they are making with our help, such as the results of the mission’s fish hatcheries, and to see how, with the help of the clinics, the people are so much healthier than when I first visited there in 1971. I see them trained to make natural fertilizer for their crops, increasing their own food production.

As a member of the Guatemala Mission Commission I want to thank all who have supported our mission, whether through prayer or financially. Thank you to the Inland Register for the many articles which update the people of our diocese regarding the activity of the Guatemala Mission. Thank you, all of you, so much. I have seen what a difference it makes in the lives of those in our mission in Guatemala.

God bless.

Father John Birk, Pasco, Wash.

(Editor’s note: Father Birk’s visits to Guatemala are at his own expense, not the expense of funds otherwise used for mission activity.)

Respectful disagreement


I respect Al Mangan’s sentiments (“Spokane peace activist hopes protests raise public awareness,” IR 5/20/04), but if he had his way we would all be enslaved by those who believe only in power. The world would be like George Orwell’s 1984.

Martin J. Owens, Walla Walla, Wash.

Catholicism and politicians


As a result of having been taught by Catholic nuns in elementary school, I was always advised to give my troubles to the Church. However, recently these troubles are being created by the Church. Now who do I turn to?

The Catholic Church is placing many of its members in the untenable position of either supporting the Church’s ban on abortion, by turning the nation over to a group who, while giving verbal support to opposing abortion, are supporting and practicing actions equal to, if not worse, than the act of abortion.

My question is: How can the Church enforce only the ban on abortion while not placing bans upon legalized murder, lying, torture and suppression, plus spending the nation into bankruptcy, and so on, on an equal basis?

The Church is, inadvertently, I hope, endorsing a man whose personal traits and past history are far worse than his rival’s for the presidency. This will cause great dissension within the Church’s membership and force many to cross, very apprehensively, the line to vote for the better man.

How can we gain the attention of our Church leaders to make them realize the quandary they are placing both the Church and us in, and of the resultant damage, not only to this nation but to the entire world? By their actions, inadvertently or not, that will affect both this nation and the world most adversely while making the pedophile issue pale in comparison?

While correct in enforcing the ban on abortion, the Church has evidently overlooked the myriad of problems it is placing upon its most faithful members and the resultant negative effects their actions will create around the entire world.

Our Church leaders are placing us in a “no win” position of supporting corruption, or abortion?

Andy Kelly, Spokane

(The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for style or space. Please limit letters to 500 words or less. Letters should be typed and although signatures will be withheld upon request, must be signed and include an address and telephone number. Above all, please try to be civil.

Address letters to:

Inland Register
P.O. Box 48
Spokane, WA 99210-0048
Fax: (509) 358-7302.

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