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 Aug. 21, 2008 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
  • E-mail:
    Fax: (509) 358-7302

    Political advertising


    In Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici, he writes that all of our rights given in this life, the right to health, home, work, et. al., are all false and illusory if “the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.... The human being is entitled to such rights, in every phase of development, from conception until natural death.”

    It is with this understanding that I am sickened and outraged that my Roman Catholic newspaper, the Inland Register, is allowed to print a campaign ad from the (former) Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, Kim Thorburn, who is running for office in (Spokane) county.

    Yes, I understand that to allow one political ad you must allow all. If that is the case, then I opt for none at all, even with your excuse absolving you of any responsibility because the law says we have to. When we in this diocese cannot distribute the voters’ pamphlets to parishioners from the Priests for Life group because it would upset too many people to tell the truth as to where certain candidates stand on the issues, then what good is having any stand at all? As Jesus said, that if you are lukewarm then you will be spit out, would he stand for allowing his church to promote the values and campaign of the (former) Medical Director of Planned Parenthood?

    I in no way expect this letter to get printed in the Inland Register, but if it is, I suspect it will be printed next to a petition drive promoting the assisted suicide ballot measure (Initiative 1000).

    Jeff Newcomb, Spokane


    I do not believe that you should accept ads for any political candidates from any party in a diocesan paper. This may violate certain laws and endanger our tax status and it does not seem appropriate.

    Even if this were appropriate, how in the world can the Spokane Diocese’s newspaper sell advertising space to a candidate, Dr. Kim Thorburn, who is identified in her own resume as having been the Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest?

    I would be incredulous if you were to tell me that you are not aware that Planned Parenthood is an ardent supporter of contraception and abortion on demand and frequently speaks out in favor of family planning methods that are contrary to Catholic teaching.

    Are there not standards as to who may/my not advertise in this newspaper? It does not seem appropriate for the Church to be involved thusly in a political campaign season.

    In any case, we should not sell advertising space for candidates who support abortion and contraception. You do not need money from this source. Worse yet, this ad was placed apparently by a Mr. Tom Westbrook, a member of St. Ann Parish (Spokane).

    What on earth does this mean? How does this portray the Church? I certainly hope this is an oversight. Please clarify, or explain this to me.

    William R. Mann, Davenport, Wash.

    Expression of thanks

    (Editor’s note: The Inland Register was asked to share the following message with the Catholic community of Eastern Washington.)

    To the People of the Diocese of Spokane,

    On behalf of men and women Religious throughout the United States, I extend heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the annual appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious in 2007. Your generous donations totaled $5,000. We know this represents great sacrifice on the part of many in these difficult economic times, and we are deeply grateful.

    Your generosity helps to provide care for more than 37,500 Religious in the United States who are past age 70, including more than 4,900 who need skilled nursing care. These women and men pray daily for your intentions, asking God to bless you abundantly.

    The funds from the 2007 appeal were distributed to Religious institutes at the end of June, and I am confident that they will be received with profound gratitude for every donor. Our annual report details the distribution of funds, and it will be available on our website on September 1. We invite you to visit www.

    Sister Janice Bader CPPS, Washington, D.C.

    (Sister Janice is Executive Director of the National Religious Retirement Office.)

    Father Rolheiser’s ‘compassion’


    Father Ron Rolheiser writes with great compassion and understanding in presenting “Some Guidelines for Service” (IR 7/31/08). Anyone missing this article should consider acquiring a copy. (Editor’s note: A link to the article can be found on the Inland Register’s web site:

    His lessons are excellent compositions embedded in pearls of wisdom. Each piece of instruction is priceless.

    While Father Rolheiser makes no reference to the Angelic realm, his guidelines invoke a vision of their service to God and humanity. It is in similar posture that Father Rolheiser encourages us to serve others. He impresses upon our hearts how beautiful is our service, when we aspire to the same loving, non-judgmental attitude toward others that is shown us by God.

    The Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, is fortunate to have Father Rolheiser for its president. We are thankful for his constant service in writing a column that provides a window through which we continue to reap an abundance of blessings.

    Connie Pomeroy, Spokane, Wash.

    Qualifying for Jesus’ team


    What kind of a batting average does it take to play on Jesus’ team? How good a batting average is needed to avoid being cut for poor performance during pre-season training?

    In baseball, a 0.300 lifetime batting average is considered very good. That does not seem to be good enough for a disciple. So, what is?

    Kenneth Lindblad, College Place, Wash.

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