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 21, 2011 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

    The gift of prayerful parents


    One of the promises Our Lady gave us at Fatima was if we prayed the rosary often, communism would be defeated without a world war. In the innocent ’50s, many Catholic families respected this promise. My parents made sure we said a daily rosary right after dinner.

    Then communism fell in 1991 like dominos. As my brothers and sisters left the nest, most of us quit praying the rosary. When we had family reunions, I stayed in my parents’ spare room in the old house. Many times before I fell asleep I could hear my parents in their room, saying the rosary together. What a gift they were!

    Name withheld upon request

    Good conscience


    Lately, there seems to be a flurry of political “indiscretions” on the national scene. The subsequent worn-out scenario seems to go like this: “Oh my, it was only a joke; if you want me to do so, I can say, ‘I am sorry for my mistake.’”

    Take, for example, the Congressman who, among other bizarre offenses, displayed his partially-clad body on a Twitter post to a woman. He faithfully adhered to the above scenario. To his constituents’ “Why?” a psychologist answered for him, “Narcissism!”

    Have these political perpetrators ever heard of a good conscience? Benedict XVI said, “Conscience is the place in which to listen to truth and good, the place of responsibility before God and before fellow human beings.” This moral leader was referring to a correct conscience.

    Conscience is not automatically good or correct! In the 16th century, Cardinal Wolsey said, “Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out.” It has to be informed by the truth – what is right and what is wrong. It is presumed that good education will do this.

    Christian consciences have been formed for centuries by the Gospel. Violations of conscience are called sins – not mistakes. The road of repentance runs past the easy mea culpa and arrives at I am a sinner, I am sorry, and I am willing to make restitution.

    Sometimes, the only way a sinful politician can show that his repentance is genuine is by resigning from the office to which the people entrusted him. This might be the ultimate price, but it is being responsible and accepting the consequences. If the sinner is a Christian, he needs to recall his Founder’s words: “Without me, you can do nothing.”

    Walter F. Stichart, Colville, Wash.

    Wrongful obituary


    In regard to the obituary notice in the June 9, 2011 Inland Register, concerning the priest who apparently even lost the title of “Father,” I am wondering what the necessity was of mentioning his removal from ministry and “credible accusations of child sexual abuse”? The last paragraph of the obituary to me seems unnecessary and uncharitable. I was told by a reliable source that he was one of the few offenders that was actually remorseful and truly sorry for what he did. Most of those who knew him already knew of his misfortune; those who didn’t, why is it important for them to know? We learned at an early age it was sinful to unnecessarily talk about the faults of others. As horrible as this whole scandal is, which it certainly is, it seems (to me) that the sin against the Holy Spirit may not be the only unforgivable sin.

    Louise St. Hilaire, Pasco

    ‘Politically correct response’


    Re: David Gibson article: “Misperceptions of abuse problem common, John Jay report says” (IR 6/9/11):

    Whenever anyone, be it an individual or an institution, has a serious problem, the first thing is to identify what that problem is, otherwise proposed solutions may have no effect whatsoever. The article “Misperceptions of abuse problem common, John Jay report says” appears to be a politically correct response to appease homosexual activists. Read on for the full story.

    As the article states, more than 80 percent of all clerical (priests and deacons) abuse involves homosexual acts with males 11 to 17 years old. Thus, the vast majority of cases involve not pedophilia, nor females, but young males from puberty to 17. Some call these perpetrators homosexual predators. (Note: not all homosexuals are predators.)

    The report makes no mention of the Vatican’s renewed investigation, ordered in 2005, of U.S. Catholic seminaries for failure to correct problems addressed in a whitewashed 1981 investigation for the same problems: promotion of homosexuality and teachings at variance with Church doctrines.

    A 1961 Vatican document barred homosexuals and pedarists from seminaries, but it appears politically correct bishops in this country refused to follow this edict.

    However, in spite of the mis-characterizing by this study, the problem has been addressed elsewhere:

    “The Church will no longer be a refuge for homosexuals. The Congregation for Catholic Education has published its ‘Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders,’ another long-titled document with a different conclusion than John Jay’s. ‘[It is] necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called “gay culture.”’” (Brad Miner)

    For more critical articles on the problem, read the book Goodbye, Good Men, by Michael S. Rose. And also: New Oxford Review, April 2009, Volume LXXVI, Number 4: “US Seminaries: Condition Stabilized” (for an update on the more recent investigation); www., Sunday, 28 March, 2010: “Nothing to Do with Homosexuality?” by Brad Miner.

    Richard J. Richard Sr., Spokane


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