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 May 21, 2009 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

    ACA support


    Our bishop has kept the parishes informed regarding how much support has been given to the Annual Catholic Appeal. I find it interesting that of the 27 or so parishes that have so far gone over the top for what was asked of them, all except four are from outside the city of Spokane. Does this mean that the people of the city are not supportive of the ACA?

    Father George Morbeck, Republic, Wash.

    Fighting for life


    Thanks to Catholic Charities and especially Scott Cooper (of the Parish Social Ministries Office) for sponsoring the recent Pro-Life legislative education session in Spokane. Theresa Bock from the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, Washington, D.C. (web site:, gave a riveting, vitally important presentation on the flurry of pro-abortion activities currently be enacted in D.C.

    Even to those present, probably among the most informed, it was disheartening to hear the scope of activity. Miss Bock’s presentation, though discouraging, was a wake-up call for action. Her message was: while it’s bad, we can and must halt this pro-abortion agenda. She referred us to the United States Catholic Bishop’s web site,, and especially their four-part plan, which includes: 


    Care and Services.



    So what can we, the Catholic community of Spokane, do?

    All of us can and should pray. We should become better educated concerning what is happening and more knowledgeable about the issues, such as stem cell research.

    In addition, she gave us ideas on how to advocate for life. She called us to develop plans and form parish Respect Life Committees and to join forces with other churches committed to life.

    Spokane Catholics need to act. We can win only if we fight the battle. A few parishes already have committees. With their expertise, as well as Scott Cooper’s, and our determination, we will win. So let’s get going, Spokane Catholics.

    Joanne McCann, Spokane

    Notre Dame and life issues


    In November of 2004 my wife and I were Eucharistic Ministers at the Parish of St. Michael in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Because of the “Catholic tension” at that time, we approached our parish priest and asked him if we could attend Mass and receive the Eucharist because we did not vote “the party line.” He responded with a question to us: “Did you vote your conscience?”

    Therefore we are very surprised and embarrassed at the brouhaha that has developed over the Notre Dame decision for President Obama to speak at their 2009 graduation. Now I read that the winner of the Laetare Medal (bestowed by the University of Notre Dame) will not accept it because of the invitation to the president. Like our Hawaii parish priest, I ask this question: Isn’t President Obama president of all citizens of the United States of America, not just those of the Catholic Faith? I feel that the Constitution is very clear on that fact.

    Where were all the self-righteous when then-Gov. George Bush approved over 125 executions in the State of Texas? Did the governor forget the Fifth Commandment?

    Where was the cry of protest when President George Bush ignored the plea of the pope not to start the Iraq War?

    My, how memories can be short.

    Respectfully, and vivat Jesus,

    Edward and Carole Sima SFO, Spokane

    More on fellowship


    Recently I read a letter from Fred Warmly in your paper complaining about a Catholic Church he attended where the holding of hands was not practiced during the Lord’s Prayer.

    He should understand that this is not a practice that has been incorporated by the Catholic Church as an official procedure during the Mass. It is certainly fine for families or friends to hold hands during the Lord’s Prayer if they desire to, but I, and many others I know, do not care to hold hands with strangers or casual acquaintances for a prolonged period such as the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer. My reasons are personal, but Mr. Warmly should not take it personally when I decline to hold his hand.

    Many people in my parish do hold hands, so I simply fold my hands in front of me to discourage people that reach out. They usually get the point that I do not wish to hold their hand. Also, with the recent scare about a flu epidemic, he can probably expect more people to not hold hands with strangers.

    Phil Bergin, Spokane

    ‘Fatima Priest’


    Recently, I received in the mail a copy of the book Fatima Priest, a paperback about the situation of Father Nicholas Gruner. Most of us know about Fatima, and many are aware of Father Gruner’s Fatima mission. Therefore, an informative book about both sounded interesting.

    But, as I was about to thumb through this newly arrived “freebie,” my wife, a computer person, had typed in “Father Nicholas Gruner.” Immediately, an article came up confirming that this priest had been suspended! Apparently, the Church had asked him to terminate his missionary work on Fatima, attach himself to a bishop and obediently accept a new assignment. Even though a Canadian bishop offered incardination, he refused. The book, in effect, takes his case to the public forum, where it cries out “injustice” and “conspiracy.”

    After reading only a few chapters, I decided it was yet another one of those subtle attacks on the authority of the Magisterium. Gruner sees himself as obeying Mary, rather than the Church. His logic goes something like this: Mary said such and such. Mary speaks the truth. I must preach the truth. This sounds pretty good as it stands – except that Father Nicholas Gruner’s preaching was as a Catholic priest! And as a Catholic priest, he was “being sent” by the Church – not “sent” by himself. The promise of obedience to a bishop and the humble acceptance of an assignment is essential to being a Catholic priest in good standing.

    Perhaps this letter can be a cautionary note to the reader of Fatima Priest.

    Walter F. Stichart, Colville, Wash.

    Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

    © The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved