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 June 11, 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
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    Fax: (509) 358-7302

    No shaking, please


    I was very pleased to read Jodi Wagner’s response (IR 4/30/09) to Fred Warmly’s letter in the previous issue. Like Ms. Wagner, I do not hold hands during the Our Father, either, but I gladly shake hands with people at the Sign of Peace.

    For me, I simply wish to have my hands reverently folded which is indeed not a matter of not showing “solidarity with his or her own neighbor” and being “mandated to remain strangers.” I also do not hold hands with others at grace before meals. After all, I have never seen a painting of Jesus and the twelve apostles holding hands at the last supper.

    So please, Mr. Warmly, do not be offended if another person does not wish to hold hands with you. Some people, like myself, prefer the oratory praying position.

    Patrick Kirlin, Spokane Valley, Wash.

    Greed the problem, education the answer


    I applaud the letter by Edward and Carole Sima in the May 21 issue of the Inland Register. I too was embarrassed at the uproar of the self-righteous when President Obama was asked to speak at Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony.

    Why have these same people not been out protesting the Iraq war as rigorously as they are protesting abortion? What is the difference between abortion and our bombing of Iraq? Think of all of the thousands of innocent people we have killed by our bombing, many of whom no doubt were woman who were pregnant. The killing and maiming of humanity on both sides (our military and the Iraqis alike) is not what Jesus would do! Are we being good Christians by our example of always being the bully on the block? My answer is no , we are not.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Remember that when he was senator, President Obama voted against this invasion and still believes it was the wrong thing to do. The Bush administration, which claimed to be pro-life, made the decision to bomb Iraq. That is not being pro-life. You cannot be pro-war and claim to be pro-life. That is impossible. Wars kill people, people die in wars, or have to live with the suffering from their injuries the rest of their lives. We are all brothers and sisters in this world. The same God created each and every one of us, no matter where we live.

    I do not support abortion, either, but I was so tired of constantly seeing the articles in the Inland Register in regards to abortion, but not once did I see an article protesting the war as vigorously. There is more to the Right to Life than abortion, such as finding shelter for the homeless, making sure everyone has enough to eat, access to medical care, a good education, so they can get jobs and earn a living wage, and so on. President Obama keeps stressing education as the answer to all of these problems, and he is right. When those who are less fortunate can receive a good education then we will see the rate of abortions drop. There is no reason why anyone in our great country can not have all of the above rights, which they deserve. All of the billions of dollars that have been stolen by corporate executives, and many on Wall Street, could have provided the help needed by so many, plus could have sent thousands on to college. Greed is the main reason for our problems today.

    And I don’t think it is anyone’s business how a person votes. That is up to the individual and no one has the right to tell another person how to vote. That is not the American way.

    I am proud to say that in our parish (St. Joseph and St. Mary Mission, Omak) politics is not preached from the pulpit as it is in some parishes. (My Obama stickers are still on my vehicle and they will stay there!)

    Lorraine Derig, Omak, Wash.

    Life, and death


    I am writing this in response to “Notre Dame and life issues” (Letters, IR 5/21/09).

    Forty million unborn have lost their lives since the Supreme Court passed Roe vs. Wade into law in January 1973. The example given was then-Gov. George Bush in the State of Texas. I believe in the seamless garment concept. I do not believe murderers should be executed. There is always a chance that they may repent or, in rare instances, the wrong person may be on death row. I don’t believe that then-Gov. Bush forgot about the Fifth Commandment. Whether we agree or not, many people believe in the justice of taking the life of a human person who has taken the life of other human beings. Also, many Democrats supported President George Bush’s decision to go to war.

    By the way, the drama about Notre Dame centered around Obama receiving an honorary degree. That was not mentioned in the article! Many of the major news stations would talk about President Bush being against stem cell research. That is really inaccurate! President Bush was for adult stem cell research and against embryonic stem cell research because of the destruction of so many embryos, which would result in human beings if allowed to live. (Same view as held by the Catholic Church.)

    What does the statement “Isn’t President Obama president of all citizens of the U.S. of A. and not just those of the Catholic Faith” mean? Does that mean we lower the bar in order to accommodate the masses? Calling people “self-righteous” because they believe in the sanctity of all human life is an affront to the pro-life community and to the Church at large. Please remove the log in your own eye before you point out the speck in your brother’s eye.

    May the Holy Spirit bless us and our church.

    Don Kaufmann, Spokane

    Misplaced priorities


    Over $5 million dollars for a new seminary to house nine men from our diocese plus 11 from elsewhere?

    I grieve at the folly of it, the misplaced priorities! Is it really following the teachings of Jesus to provide luxury housing for his priests in training? A latest state-of-the-art multi-million dollar edifice will “enhance the role of priestly formation?” Hasn’t our organized Church strayed far from the example of Christ who “had no place to lay his head”? Our priests in training assuredly will be well insulated from the poor and homeless, to whom they will be called to minister, as well as to the rich.

    Jesus exhorted us to examine the signs of the times. The choice to build such an expensive structure for priestly formation was no doubt well intentioned, but made in the light of past values and priorities which are no longer relevant to today’s times. Priests no longer are placed on pedestals and seen as “taking the place of Christ,” but as human beings, called by God to be ministers of the Gospel and the altar, and no more important than those called by God to marriage or the single state.

    The organized Church has come a long way since the Inquisition, but still, it seems, has a way to go to truly follow what Jesus taught and embodied. I write this in the hope of initiating a conversation within our Catholic family as to how we might return to the values and priorities of Jesus whom we claim as founder.

    (It’s interesting that the lay people who provided the money, are the very last ones to be able to see the new seminary – four months after the dedication and only after open houses for the priests, nuns, deacons and wives.)

    Bernadine Van Thiel, Spokane

    Pro-life witness


    We were very impressed once again this year by the Crossroads pro-life group as they came through Spokane on their yearly pilgrimage, walking across the United States. It was inspiring to hear them speak after Mass at St. Charles Parish and to meet and visit with them the night before at a potluck hosted by a wonderful Spokane Catholic family.

    Each year three groups of Crossroads walkers set out from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, walking to Washington, D.C. where they participate in a pro-life rally on Aug. 15 before returning to their homes. These dedicated young people devote their time, energy and entire summer vacations to spreading the message of life and love to those they meet along the way.

    Anyone wishing to learn more about Crossroads can visit their website at:

    Dave and Ann Petty, Spokane

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