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 July 29, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for style or space. Please limit letters to 500 words or less. Although names will be withheld upon request, letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number.

Address letters to:

Inland Register
P.O. Box 48
Spokane, WA 99210-0048


Fax: (509) 358-7302.



In reading the July 1, 2004 Inland Register article “In our full humanity” by Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, I was very surprised and disappointed at his attitude. Whatever happened to self-discipline and self-control?

They certainly aren’t taught anymore, at home or in school.

Rosalie Dunn, Curlew, Wash.

Don’t exclude me


Re: “Letters to the Editor,” IR 7/1/04:

Who are these Republican Catholics who want to exclude me from my church because I refuse to vote for George Bush? My conscience will not allow me to vote for a man I consider the worst president we ever had.

I say, keep religion out of politics and keep politics out of our religion! They are using this issue to influence our votes and this is wrong. There are many things to be considered – what about the destruction of innocent Iraqi children?

You can’t rate victims on a scale of 1-10. Who is qualified to make that kind of judgment? Only God, and I do not believe these people speak for him.

Dorothy Carter, Spokane

Letter to mothers


My name is Rachel Phillips and I am a 24-year-old, stay-at-home mom. I am very blessed with a wonderful loving husband and our 10-month-old, beautiful son, Kolbe Damian. We reside in Cheney, as my husband is a full-time student, with one more year remaining.

I am writing to all mothers specifically because I feel we have an important role as mothers to teach our children what it means to be pro-life. As Catholics, we believe abortion, as well as contraception, are morally wrong – no exception. I am tired of hearing fellow Catholic moms saying to me, “Oh, you are one of those people,” or, “contraception is our only option” when Natural Family Planning is available and an option. Abortion is killing our children’s friends and many forms of contraception are abortifacients as well. No one has the right to stand in the way of God creating the most beautiful gift: life.

And so I write to you fellow mothers, because my son and I are trying to do something to stand up for life and I invite you to join us. Every Friday from noon-1 p.m. a very faithful, small group of people gather outside the Planned Parenthood office on Indiana to pray a rosary against abortion. Planned Parenthood performs abortions on site. I heard about this rosary from the advertisement in the Inland Register and decided we would go.

Sadly, I was the only young mother there. This started me thinking what a witness it would be to those frightened and confused mothers to see us with our children for whom we chose life. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings God can work miracles.

And so I am asking that if you are able, please come to this rosary, just once a week, and stand up for life. We are called to be doers of the Word and our children will only learn that from our example.

Thank you for reading this letter and I can’t wait to see you there!

Rachel C. Phillips, Cheney, Wash.

Single-issue voting


Like most Catholics, I do not want legalized abortion, nor do I want a single issue to be able to force the vote of any serious-minded person to support a campaign that encompasses many other issues equal to, if not worse, that could penalize all of us, including those who vote merely for that one issue.

I wish to commend our bishop on the manner in which he handled a most difficult decision that was dropped in his lap (“From the Bishop: Engaging the culture,” IR 6/10/04). He could have gone along with the flow, as many of his brother bishops had. But he evidently felt that it wasn’t correct that the Church be forced into a political issue that had the potential of causing more problems than it solved.

We indeed have a major problem in that we have a man hiding behind that issue, a man who has repeatedly proven that he cannot be held to the truth and has reneged on many promises: education for all; health care, retirement and other benefits for retired citizens, both civilian and military.

Review the devious methods he used to wage war against Iraq; the thousands of civilians who have paid with their lives for his actions to protect his oil interests; the number of U.S. military lives being lost daily, unnecessarily.

That single issue benefits one who has maliciously used any method to gain his aims while raping this nation to pay for them, and is now trying to use a single issue to gain the Catholic vote.

That’s a very unfair issue that should not have been placed upon the shoulders of the many fine bishops of the Church – of whom we have on e of the finest heading our own diocese.

I hope no one is criticizing Bishop Skylstad, for who would dare say he is not against abortion? He merely is weighing the entire picture of what could happen if the Church were to use our holy sacraments in the unholy area of politics.

I thank God that we have such a strong bishop. He could have taken the easy route rather than facing it head on as he did.

Andy Kelly, Spokane

Anti-war, anti-abortion


Being pro-war is the same as being pro-abortion. Wars kill innocent people the same as abortion kills.

I am anti-abortion, but I am also anti-war and against this administration’s invasion of Iraq and the murdering of thousands of innocent victims who are also God’s people the same as we are. They are our brothers and sisters too. We just happen to live in different parts of the world.

I wonder how many people who are busy condemning those who are pro-choice are themselves pro-war? If someone who believes in killing innocent people in a war is allowed to receive the Eucharist, then why not those who believe in killing the innocent victims who are still inside the womb? What is the difference? Both are against God’s law. Murder is murder, whether it is committed inside the womb or outside the womb.

Before condemning others lets take the splinters out of our own eyes first. None of us is ever truly worthy of receiving the sacraments, no matter how worthy we may think we are. But God loves us anyway.

I was pleased with our bishop’s statement about not using the Eucharist as a club because that is exactly what is happening (“From the Bishop: Engaging the culture,” IR 6/10/04). We are fortunate to have such a fine man as Bishop Skylstad.

Lorraine Derig, Omak Wash.

Politics and valuing life


I would like to respond to the four letters in the July 1, 2004 issue of the Inland Register regarding Catholics being excommunicated for supporting pro-choice politicians.

First, contrary to what these men claim, abortion is not the only issue the Catholic Church cares about. The Church values all human life - whether unborn or born. It also teaches concern for the poor, the environment, education, human rights, the sick and the dying, and many other issues which have to do with all human beings, not just fetuses.

Second, the bishops who are demanding excommunication of pro-choice Catholics are blackmailing their congregations. They are telling them they have three choices: vote Republican, don’t vote at all, or leave the church. The Republican Party is well aware that abortion is a “hot button” for Catholics and they use it to get your vote and then proceed to push forward their other agendas. It worked in 2000 with millions of Catholics blindly voting Republican by thinking they would stop abortion, but four years later abortion is still legal and thousands of abortions have been performed in the U.S. Plus, President Bush’s wars have killed even more thousands of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. How many of them do you think were pregnant women? Are their unborn babies any less precious in the sight of God? Voting Republican does not make you innocent of violations against human life.

Finally, I think it is the height of hypocrisy for clergy to tell us we cannot receive Communion because of support of a pro-choice candidate. I and my family received Communion for years from priests who were evidently in a state of mortal sin while they were consecrating the Eucharist. Were all of the sacraments we received from them invalid? God only knows, but I applaud Bishop Skylstad for not supporting these radical bishops and for recognizing that they are using the Eucharist as a weapon. The Eucharist has already been violated enough.

Doris M. Butler, Spokane

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