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 Sept. 9, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

(The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed, and include a phone number and address should we need to contact the writer.
Send letters to:
Editor, Inland Register
P.O. Box 48
Spokane, WA 99210-0048
Fax: (509) 358-7302)

Consistent ethic of life


Over a year ago, when it looked as though we might invade Iraq, I took the opportunity to preach against the idea. I used the maxim “Evil may not be done that good might result.” (Or, the opposite of “The end justifies the means.”)

Now that the deed is done, we are reaping the whirlwind. What to do now? It isn’t my call, so I can only pray for peace and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, the maxim still applies – for instance, to fetal stem cell research. “Evil may not be done that good might result.” Remember, every one of us was an embryo at one time. You don’t kill some people to save other people.

Same with abortion. You don’t kill unborn babies so that women (and men) can correct what they see as mistakes. The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (surely no right-wing fanatic) originated the concept of the Consistent Ethic of Life. He said at one point, “The one issue is life in all its manifestations. We must be consistent in our support of all life’s issues. To ignore one is to place all in jeopardy. It is that very consistency which demands that we be absolutely uncompromising in our defense of life of the unborn.”

Deacon Walt Weid, Spokane

Politics vs. morals


I was born into the Catholic Church, raised as a Catholic and try to practice as one. I attended Catholic schools until graduate school and am intellectually convinced our church is the true Church. But our present Church can be quite confusing in certain areas, such as the pro-life and priest abuse matters, among others. The recent article about the young lady in New Jersey being denied her First Communion because she cannot absorb the standard host with wheat because of a medical condition is mind-boggling to me. My studies of Jesus during his life on Earth show him to be the most compassionate of the compassionate. I cannot believe for an instant that Jesus would not have allowed the young lady to receive Communion in a different format because of her health, that he would have preferred form over substance.

And I have read about two bishops from different dioceses in Colorado espousing different positions for the members of the respective dioceses relating to the pro-life issue. I am strongly pro-life but I cannot vote as a one-issue voter. A recent article in the local press relates to the bishop of the Baker, Ore., Diocese requiring an “affirmation of faith” from lay leaders in the diocese, some of whom referred to the situation as focusing on “pelvic issues.”

Granted these so-called “pelvic issues” are important, but so are other issues, such as concern for the poor, something I do not hear some of the so-called strong pro-life advocates mention. I say a prayer which asks us to “bless the poor whom Jesus loves.” And there are Christ’s own words about what we do for the last of his brethren, we do for him, and the words in the Gospel of St. Matthew in which Jesus said, “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

All of these are important issues for practicing Catholics in our great country. Let us pray for guidance for ourselves and the hierarchy.

Mike McKinnon, Spokane


When political considerations become more important than moral convictions in our daily lives, then politics (i.e., that process that keeps our society working for the common good), the politician, and the voter begin the process of destroying the pillars on which the moral compass of our society and the church should rest.

Moral courage in our society is becoming dangerously rare after Roe vs. Wade. That decision gave political and social license to the sin of abortions on a national scale. Bishop Skylstad’s decision to give Communion to politicians (or others) who favor abortions has the effect of saying, “it’s okay, as a matter of personal choice, to go out and commit this mortal sin.” In this case, the bishop, and the voter who votes their convictions in favor of abortions, are both wrong – one for his lack of moral leadership, and the other for his/her lack of moral convictions as prescribed by the church.

I say, “bravo” to those who show both their moral convictions and political considerations in favor of life over abortions. These are the people who will make both our church and our government morally strong, and our society politically right – you know, “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” – even liberty and justice for the unborn.

May God bless America.

Andy Rustemeyer, Sprague, Wash.

Addressing the issue


In the Aug. 19 issue of the Inland Register I read the “Letters to the Editor,” as I usually do. In them I found, as usual, interesting comments from concerned Catholics.

The last letter caught my eye regarding abortion and the refusal of Catholics to stand up for a basic church teaching.

I wonder if what is being spoken here is an inability to read the Catholic pulse in this area. What could be said is that the way in which the abortion issue is addressed at times polarizes many of us.

Let me suggest a few questions: How is it that any of us see and know in our own heart, that the ending of an innocent human life that has no voice as morally abhorrent? What opens your eyes to abortion’s evil? Could it be said that it is a grace or blessing to see what we see ... hear what we hear? Could it be a surprise to know that nowhere in Scripture does Jesus have anything negative to say to any non-Jew (non-family/clan member, so to speak)?

A pressing question for me back in the ’80’s and still today is why are the folks seeking or being seduced into abortion not attracted to us for information and support? Jesus found crowds attracted to him ... we’re supposed to be him! What’s happening?


Michael H. Walters, Spokane

Engaging the culture


We should never separate our faith from politics. A faith separated from any aspect of our life is a faith that lacks conviction! We become a swaying tree in the wind.

Do atheists separate their faith from their politics? Or do they just want to convince everyone else to?

The upcoming election in many ways is about conviction. Who has more conviction? Will we embrace the culture of life, or the culture of death? It is part of the continuing battle for the soul of our country.

Our Christian faith invites us to respect the sanctity of life and the institution of marriage. Charity demands that we convince others to do the same! Our faith has to take concrete form in our works.

The atheistic faith wants every Godly standard thrown out. They embrace the culture of death. Their faith (in no God) is showing very strongly in their works. As misguided as their intentions are, we have much we can learn from their conviction.

We cannot be afraid to use our faith to engage the culture. That is the only way truth can win out in a democracy. This is not the time for weakness.

Anyone, be they a bishop, politician or a voter, who can justify separating their faith from their politics is a person of little faith and no conviction. A faith apart from works is dead according to the book of James.

The greatest need of our nation is for faith-filled Christians to give authentic witness to our brothers and sisters. We must embrace the culture of life. And out of love for our country, we must convince our brothers and sisters to do the same.

Greg Fazzari, Walla Walla, Wash.

Inconsistent candidate


Dr. Mike Casey, a candidate for Washington State Senate District 3, ran an advertisement in the Aug. 19, 2004 edition of the Inland Register that is not consistent with his campaign web site.

In his August 19, 2004 advertisement on page 9 of the Inland Register, he indicates that he is “strongly pro-life” and that text is placed prominently toward the top of the advertisement. Yet, his web site,, provides no information on his position on abortion. I find it quite ironic that in the Register, a publication targeted to the Catholic community, he makes prominent display of purported pro-life sympathies, yet in his public web site, the issue is not mentioned, even though he is a Republic candidate in a socially conservative area in which he could be reasonably expected to improve his electoral chances by asserting pro-life policies.

A political candidate who is truly committed to an issue will not shirk from taking every opportunity in every forum to publicize his views. Dr. Mike Casey’s inconsistency in bringing attention to his policies on abortion calls into question his true stance on abortion.

Michael Smith, Spokane

Inland Register archives

Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved