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 5, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Regarding Letters to the Editor

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.

Send letters to:

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

    Gratitude for youth ministry support


    On behalf of the Diocesan Youth Council (DYC) I would like to thank all of our sponsors for the role that they played in helping to make the March Catholic Youth Celebration (CYC) a successful event. I am submitting this letter to the Inland Register so that those who contributed anonymous donations may particularly know how much they are appreciated.

    I apologize for my tardiness in expressing our extreme gratitude to you for helping to make CYC 2007 a reality. Without the generous donations from you and others who have been faithful supporters of our diocesan youth ministry this event would not have been possible.

    The theme for CYC this year was: “Sinners Anonymous: The Lost and Found,” based on the Scripture of the lost sheep. This theme surfaced from our Diocesan Youth Council, who felt the strong need for the youth of our diocese to come together as a community and help one another live for God. Youth are keenly aware that they need a community of believers for support in their journey of faith in order to avoid being that lost sheep. That’s why youth ministry is so important, especially in these difficult times in our diocese. They are also astutely aware that as they gather together, especially for events such as CYC, they are among the found sheep who can rejoice that they are full of God’s love and have eternal life.

    I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to witness the leadership that has developed in the DYC team over this past year and twice blessed to observe their leadership in action at CYC as youth from throughout the diocese truly rejoiced in being together as the young Church of the Diocese of Spokane.

    We are grateful that for the past two years financial supporters such as you have enabled us to plan, organized and facilitate the Catholic Youth Celebration for hundreds of youth in spite of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and settlement issues which have depleted all funding from the diocese. Your support shows us that the “people in the pews” endorse youth ministry and are willing to give of your resources so that the youth of our diocese may continue to be served. You bring hope to us through your prayerful support and financial assistance or donations of goods, supplies or resources. May God bless you, as God has blessed the DYC and all participants of CYC, for your generosity.

    Jackie Keyes, Pasco, Wash.

    (Keyes, youth minister for St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, was facilitator for this year’s Catholic Youth Celebration.)

    ‘God holds the sky up’


    Recent letters to the editor depict an interesting interplay between religion and the environmental movement. It looks like they feel they should hold hands in order to help each other get to the future.

    However, I find it painfully ironic to see avowed Christians, plus a Catholic nun (Letters, IR 5/3/07) defending the environmental agenda that includes population control and neglecting an appropriate stand against abortion, or even more religiously illogical, unwittingly condoning abortion in the name of “keeping God’s creation from being overpopulated and thus destroyed,” as if this is somehow doing God’s will. Worshiping the created is a poor substitute for worshiping the Creator.

    It now appears the tenets of environmentalism are luring our Christian inclination for worship to the environmental agenda. However, for Christians, that is a dangerous trap to be lured into. Such tenets promote population control by any means, including abortion, which is inherently, socially, and religiously wrong. It would seem the good Sister of the OCDH Religious order in her letter to the Editor is trying to have it both ways. It just isn’t possible to simultaneously worship God and the modern environmental agenda in the name of traditional religion. First you worship God, then respect his creation. Not the other way around.

    The good Sister and the avowed Christians have fallen into the trap of relying on God’s creation, as if it is somehow a separate entity and we need to suddenly on our own invent some way to properly connect to it, and that is where they have embraced the environmental movement, not realizing God has already figured that out for us without a modern environmental agenda, and his way is working just fine.

    They seem to think their brand of environmental Christianity and claiming to “understand the interconnection of all beings” and quoting the Bible puts them on a higher plane than the rest of us and therefore God is on their side. Then they proceed to castigate those who do not believe as they do. This is the tactic used by people whose position is not well grounded in fact but long on environmental opinion.

    From that basis they launch into the environmental party line listing all the perceived things going wrong with planet earth and imply their religion and ideas for survival need to be followed. They quote the Bible, use quasi-religious logic and pseudo-scientific statements in an attempt to sound credible. Yet they sound like the alarmists who say “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.” They simply don’t realize that God holds the sky up and sees to it that all matters of nature (including we humans) are under his caring plan.

    Their quasi-religious and pseudo-scientific agenda is too politically oriented for their kind of hand holding to fit comfortably with traditional Christianity. It only complicates or interferes with God’s plan for our journey on this planet.

    Andy Rustemeyer, Sprague, Wash.

    Stem cell research


    Opinions differ about the war in Iraq and other areas of President Bush’s administration. But one recent action of his surely deserves the thanks of Catholic citizens.

    In an executive order on June 21, he prohibited federal funding of research that may injure or kill human embryos. At the same time, in support of the sick, he also increased funding priority for research that has proven to have scientific benefits – and done so without needing to destroy the unborn.

    As President Bush said, “No life should be used as a mere means for achieving the medical benefit of another.” He continued, “Human embryos and fetuses, as living members of the human species, are not raw materials to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold.”

    After all, an embryo is just a very young human being. An embryo is not unidentifiable “tissue”: Each embryo has a unique identity that differs from its parents’. So age is the only difference between an embryo deliberately destroyed for research and a murder victim. The Nazis routinely used to do medical research that killed the unborn, children, and adults. Thus it is great news that after helping defeat them not so long ago, the U.S. remains officially committed not to fund research that involves murder, embryonic or otherwise!

    Given the lobbying pressure from those with economic interests to sell embryos as raw material, including Planned Parenthood (whose founder the Nazis invoked for support), it would be great if all of us former embryos wrote letters of support to the President! E-mail: comments@; Telephone (202) 456-1111, or write: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.

    (The Senate passed a funding bill consistent with the president’s order, S. 30, the HOPE act, but it is tabled in the House; encourage your representative to advocate for it, too!)

    Dr. Alyssa Pitstick, Spokane

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