Volume > Issue > Letter to the Editor: June 2001

June 2001

Not Credible

Regarding the letters from Robert Fastiggi (Feb.) and from Gerald Gawronski and David Hudgins (March) defending the orthodoxy of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit: We know a man who was booted out of that seminary for being too orthodox and had to flee to the Diocese of Arlington in order to finish up his seminary training and be ordained.

Mr. & Mrs. Edward Polakowski

American Life League

Clinton Township, Michigan

"Grave Damage" To the Liturgy

Stephen Hand, in his review entitled “Cardinal Ratzinger vs. St. Bozo’s Parish” (Jan.), tells us that the Cardinal, in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, “does not reject the Novus Ordo rite of the Mass.”

However, the Cardinal has indicated in his autobiography that although he accepts the Novus Ordo rite as legitimate, he does so without enthusiasm: “I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today results in large part from the collapse of the liturgy. The liturgical reform has produced extremely grave damage for the Church.” This is not surprising, for the group headed by Archbishop Bugnini that was entrusted with the task of fulfilling the requests of the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium went far beyond what the Council had asked for, and produced a new liturgical rite that was truly revolutionary, something unheard of in the history of the Church before 1969.

To assert, as Hand does, that the liturgy has been preserved from “substantial damage” is to fly in the face of what is so evident and what the Cardinal says about the “extremely grave damage” it has caused. While the new Mass is of course valid, it serves very poorly as a means of expressing the tremendous truth that the Mass is the sacramental renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, as St. Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 11:26.

Nor can there be much doubt that the Novus Ordo in the vernacular has opened the door to the aberrations described by Eric J. Scheske in his article in the same issue of the NOR.

G.H. Duggan, S.M.

Men's Defense Association

Marist Community

Silverstream New Zealand Darkbloat Responds

As was the case for Eugene Hoyas (“The Bileworm Memorandum,” Feb.), I found a memo in my e-mail, but could not trace its source or destination. The memo Hoyas found in his e-mail was from Bileworm to Darkbloat. The one I found was from Darkbloat to Bileworm, dated March 2, 2001 C.E., so presumably it was a response to the one Hoyas found. It reads as follows:

Your draft of our proposed business plan appears reasonably comprehensive, however, there are a few points which should have been incorporated, to remind His Satanic Majesty of our efforts in accordance with his strategic guidance.

As to Strategy #4, Infiltration, you forgot to give credit to our leader’s dictum that “He who controls the present controls the past; he who controls the past controls the future.” Surely you recall that is why we made such an effort to infiltrate the Catholic Theological Society, and why our effort there has yielded such a high return.

More importantly, you squishy fool, you left out a key strategy, currently one of the most successful, namely, Corruption. Again, credit our leader and the maxim that “The corruption of the best, is the worst!” That’s been a tactic since His Satanic Majesty won his initial victory in the Garden. We’ve been able to neutralize, or even turn to our interests, a pope here, a few bishops there, over the ages. Now we are succeeding en masse with the clergy and religious thanks to the gay liberation movement. No longer do many priests repress or control their homosexual desires when we incite them to this mortal sin; instead, they band together and threaten to “out” their bishop. Isn’t that delicious?

Many priests not only demand freedom for their lustful desires; they also acquiesce in the rest of their (our) agenda, such as the abolition of sin and “judgmentalism.” By the way, make a note to step up recruitment efforts, as we have lost too many of these lovely priests to AIDS.

Bileworm, send me a new draft with the above changes.

Hurd Baruch

Tucson, Arizona

The Catechism: The Flag Of Catholic Scoundrels

Your diatribe, “Fetch Your Pooper-Scooper” (New Oxford Notes, Jan.) was quite crappy!

Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, whom you criticized, is in distinguished company when he contemplates the sense of motherly love that Jesus Christ has for every individual in creation. St. John Chrysostom received this inspiration in communion with and from Christ: “I am a friend, an associate and head, and a brother and sister, and a mother; I am everything, and all I want is an intimate friendship with you….” Christ as mother produces no “sexual confusion” or “mental cramps,” as you put it, for me.

St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in April 2000, only 62 years after her death, received this divine revelation from Christ: “How painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion…. In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love.”

I am sorry that the macho editors at the NOR get their underwear tied in a knot when their concept of a physically masculine Christ is challenged by Christ’s inconceivable maternal tenderness. You seem to be riveted to some fundamentalist “power and glory” stereotype of a Christ chomping at the bit to judge people as you would have them judged.

For you to declare that “Jesus as ‘mother’ signifies nothing — well, nothing worthwhile or wholesome” is sarcastic, offensive, superficial — and defiant of the revelations provided by saints. Not only are you disrespectful of the testimony of the cloud of witnesses in communion with Jesus, but you impugn their testimony with your vulgar and neurotic preoccupation with sex.

The haughty intellectual is deaf to the effusions of saints, has an impoverished heart and an arid soul.

I phoned your Editor, Dale Vree, to rebuke him for saying Christ-as-mother is “p.c. gender-bending, the root of which is homosexual perversity.” He yielded to my point that inclusive language in the liturgy has more to do with the feminist movement and has nothing at all to do with homosexual issues or gay people. And when I asked him if he was implying that St. Anselm was homosexual or St. Hildegard of Bingen a lesbian, he temporized like a schoolboy in flagrante. He came up with incomplete sentences about no such thing, or no clear distinction about homosexuality “in those days.”

When I pressed him as to why he injected that thoughtless and erroneous calumny against gay people, the coward made excuses. And when I suggested that a retraction might be warranted, he wrapped himself in the flag of Catholic scoundrels: “I take as my bottom line the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Pray, where does the Catechism mandate gay-bashing?

Vree is stuck in a nasty bigotry that delights in shouting “Pervert!” The amusing irony is that when he points a finger, he has three pointing back at himself.

So there you are, everyone. If you displease the self-anointed Inquisitor at the NOR, you are perverse, and the NOR has the Catechism’s misguided paragraph 2357 to root you out.

But keep to your positions, everyone. You have the heart-teaching of Christ Himself: “I am a friend, an associate and head, and a brother and sister, and a mother.”

Ronald Deziel

Richmond, California


Msgr. Mannion did more than refer to the “motherly love” of Jesus. He said it’s fine to call Jesus “mother.” You too say it’s fine to call Jesus “mother,” citing an “inspiration” received by St. John Chrysostom. Sorry, but when the Church canonizes someone, she does not guarantee that everything he said is authentically Catholic.

If you had read that New Oxford Note attentively, you should have known that I would have no problem with St. Faustina’s words, “imagine the most tender of mothers…,” for I approvingly quoted Our Lord’s scriptural words in that Note: “O Jerusalem…. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks….” As I said in the Note, that’s a simile. And what St. Faustina said is akin to a simile (“a feeble image,” as she reports Christ told her). But Christ never said in Scripture, “I am a hen” or “I am a mother” — both of which would be metaphors, and a metaphor is very different theologically from a simile. As I said in the Note: “Is it impossible for a male to be tender and devoted [in a motherly manner]? Of course not. But let’s say your father was being particularly tender and devoted toward you: Would you suddenly call him ‘mother’? You wouldn’t….”

As for our phone conversation: I was, as is my usual manner when listening to an angry complaint, trying to understand what you were saying, hear you out, and avoid engaging in a shouting match (even at the risk of being labeled a “coward”). I agreed with you that, in terms of origins, the root of p.c. gender-bending is feminism. However, gender-bending has lots to do with homosexuality too — a topic I didn’t care to get into with you at the time. Proponents of both feminism and homosexuality argue that male and female are not complementary, but identical and interchangeable, and they seek to deconstruct masculinity and femininity. Jesus as “mother” would be an outright falsification of history, otherwise an androgynous Jesus. My dictionary defines androgynous as “being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.” Do you believe that such a Jesus would appeal only to feminists and not to homosexual activists?

The words in the Note that annoyed you were: “Poetics…must aptly signify. Jesus as ‘mother’ [metaphor] signifies nothing — well, nothing worthwhile or wholesome…. The only thing it signifies in this day and age is p.c. gender-bending, the root of which is homosexual perversity.” Now, the word root has several meanings. It can mean “the origin” of something. In that sense, I agreed with you. But that’s not the way I was using the word root in the Note. Rather, I was using it to mean “the basic core,” and my dictionary gives an example of such usage: “I finally got to the root of the problem.” In terms of wholesomeness, the root of the problem with gender-bending for a Catholic is not feminism, but homosexuality. One can debate whether feminism — in one or another of its varieties — is “wholesome,” whereas homosexual perversity (i.e., homosexual activity) is always unwholesome, to say the least.

Of course, you apparently disagree, given that you say that number 2357 of the Catechism is “misguided.” Number 2357 says homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” (depravity and perversity being synonyms), are “intrinsically disordered,” violate “sexual complementarity” (which is one way in which homosexual depravity relates to gender-bending), and “under no circumstances can they [homosexual acts] be approved.”

As for St. Anselm and St. Hildegard, I did not “temporize.” What I said to you was that in their day and age speaking of Jesus as a “mother” would likely not have had any homosexual associations, contrary to our day and age.

You suggest that I engaged in “gay-bashing” in the Note. You are of course referring to my words, “homosexual perversity,” for that is the only reference to homosexuality I made in the entire Note. Well, if that constitutes “gay-bashing,” then the Catechism is a “gay-bashing” book, for it says the same thing. And, sorry, Christ did not teach that He is a mother — that was Chrysostom’s “inspiration,” as you call it, and is not part of revealed truth.

It is always wise for Catholics to be guarded about so-called private revelations (such as Chrysostom’s) and to check such “mystical” utterances against public revelation, as interpreted by the Magisterium. As the Catechism teaches (no. 968 & no. 654), Mary is our mother (in the order of grace) and Jesus is our brother (by adoption). Since you think Jesus is our mother, and since a priest acts in persona Christi, then why shouldn’t we have priestesses? And if the Catechism is wrong about homosexuality…? You are swimming in dangerous currents, even in your appeal to mysticism, for as Fr. Alexander Schmemann warned, mysticism all too often “begins in mist and ends in schism.”

Munroe Falls, Ohio

"The Rooster May Crow…"

It seems that these days the Church is “blessed” with an army of women who believe their calling in life can only be fulfilled if they are ordained. I’ve read their arguments about inequality and discrimination with a certain amount of incredulity because, fool that I am, I feel completely fulfilled as a Catholic woman without being offered the priesthood option. I figure that if being wife and mother was good enough for the greatest woman who ever lived, I should sit down and take note. I certainly have no desire to wear the title “Father” or redefine God in terms of my own gender. I guess I must have a screw loose — at least in their eyes.

Or perhaps I remember a secret they’ve forgotten. If we womenfolk abdicate our God-given role of motherhood, there will be virtually no Catholics left in a hundred years, and probably no priests, at least in the Western world. Historically, large families produce an abundance of vocations.

We womenfolk may not be priests, but God put us in charge of making them.

What’s more, it just might be that the reason God gave the priesthood — His redemptive activity — to men is that He gave motherhood — His creative activity — to women. That seems fair — indeed, more than fair. As the piece of needlework hanging in my kitchen says, “The rooster may crow, but the hen delivers the goods.”

Carrie Tomko

Lincoln, Nebraska

Slouching Toward Bethlehem?

Why don’t Catholics dress better when they go to Mass on Sunday? Almost everyone wears blue jeans, sweatshirts, or other everyday clothes, even shorts.

If President Bush invited these people to dinner at the White House, would they dress this way? I don’t think so. Yet we have Someone greater than any president in our churches.

Protestants dress better than Catholics when they go to church, but they don’t have Christ physically present in their churches as we do. How sad that most Catholics don’t show greater respect for our Lord.

(What I’m saying here refers only to Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass, not to those who go to the Traditional Latin Mass.)

Donna Kruger

Van Nuys, California

Woe to Sodomites & Those Who Condone Sodomy

In his article “Homosexuality & Catholic Doctrine” (March), Bishop Bruskewitz cited Romans 1, but did not quote from it. Allow me to do so: “God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And in like manner the men also. Leaving the natural use of the woman, they have turned in their lusts towards one another, men with men doing that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error” (Rom. 1:26-27). And St. Paul continues, warning that those “who do such things are worthy of death; and not only they who do them, but they also who approve of them that do them” (Rom. 1:32).

God has compassion only for the repentant; for the unrepentant He has only wrath. And God’s wrath is directed not only against those who practice sodomy, but also against those who condone it.

Adam Burdell

Athen, Greece

Not Here!

Regarding Fr. Ralph Federico’s letter (Apribpwhich repeats the claim made by Frank Kimball (article, Nov.) that Eastern Orthodoxy approves of contraception: As a member of the clergy of the Orthodox Church in Greece, I can assure your readers that none of the 78 bishops who make up our Holy Synod of Bishops would ever approve of contraception.

Archimandrite Irenaeus

St. David's, Pennsylvania

As for Fr. Ralph Federico’s response (Apribpto my letter (Jan.) regarding Frank Kimball’s article (Nov.): I did not write the sentence on contraception quite the way the NOR printed it (“Frank Kimball is right about Orthodox deviation from Holy Tradition regarding contraception”). I wrote: “Frank Kimball is right about many Orthodox’ [sic — Ed.] deviation from Holy Tradition regarding contraception.” Note the difference. Many Roman Catholics dissent from Holy Tradition on such matters too, but this has nothing to do with the essence of Catholicism. So it is with Orthodoxy.

Serge Beeler

Hobbs, New Mexico

Privett Should Be Fired

Regarding your editorial “Blitzkrieg on the Western Front” (Apribpdefending the St. Ignatius Institute (SII) and discussing the firing of the directors of the SII by Fr. Stephen Privett of the University of San Francisco: It is Fr. Privett who should be fired.

I propose that loyal Catholics file suit against any Catholic agency, organization, or university that advertises itself as authentically Catholic while doing such things as persecuting orthodox Catholics. Catholics have the right — as the Pope has said — to receive the authentic product. Our society calls it “truth in advertising.”

Reyes C. Rodriguez

Brunswick, Georgia

Fr. Privett invokes “the blood of the Jesuit martyrs over the ages” to fend off charges that Jesuits of his type are not loyal to the Church. He really needs to contemplate the witness of St. Edmund Campion and other such blessed Jesuit martyrs. The writings of those martyrs were part of the curriculum of the St. Ignatius Institute, and Privett has disemboweled the Institute just as surely as King Henry VIII’s henchman disemboweled Edmund Campion.

John E. Covell

Davis, California

Let's Not Imitate The Loudmouths

In my guest column on vouchers (Jan.), I suggested that rich and middle class parents should pay for the religious portion of a Catholic education while vouchers should pay for the secular portion. I also suggested that either the parish or the rich parents should pay for the religious portion of the education of poor children.

In the April issue there were letters objecting to my piece. Rupert Ederer wrote that “we should imitate other minority groups that demand what they consider their due.” But those minority groups that are demanding their due have not done well economically or politically. We should neither imitate nor envy them.

Martin Luther King Jr. made a lot of progress in the late 1950s and early 60s by starting small — a seat at the lunch counter — and then building from there.

I have no great objection to more radical voucher proposals, but I am anxious to see even a small program implemented. When the public sees that the scare stories of the teachers’ unions are false, we can build on the success. The teachers’ unions seem to think vouchers will work, for they seem desperate to stop even pilot programs.

Ederer says that Catholic education evangelizes even when the subject is secular and therefore the secularist will object to my proposal. Yes, but so what? We do not need the hard-core secularists to win elections.

Richard Bruce

Fairchild, Wisconsin

Voting for Pro-abortion Politicians — a Sin?

In your Editor’s Note on page 16 of the April issue, you said you’d be happy to receive letters from readers responding to the question, “Should the Church say that it’s a sin for Catholics to vote for any pro-abortion politician?”

I say yes. When one votes for a “pro-choice” candidate, one makes oneself a party to abortion. One may not approve of abortion, but by one’s vote one condones it. One sells one’s soul for, say, a thriving economy and good times — which will buy one nothing in the hereafter. One will have to stand in front of God and defend one’s vote.

Some Catholics would leave the Church as a result, but we’ve already lost them and we should be concerned about saving the rest.

Jerome Kavaney

East Setauket, New York

To Replace the Term "Homophobe," How About…

In discussing the problems with the term “homophobe,” the Editor (in his reply [April] to the letter from John C. Morris [April]) asked readers to send in suggestions for a more accurate term, a word or neologism that “would be appropriate to designate people who oppose the homosexual agenda, who have moral objections to homosexual behavior.”

Here are a few neologisms to consider: orthophile, rectiphile, and heterophile.

Cornelius McDonnell

Stafford, Virginia


To paraphrase St. Paul, all three are legitimate, but not all are expedient (1 Cor. 6:12 KJV). Orthophile would likely connote orthodoxy, and is therefore too broad. Rectiphile is much too erudite. Recti is the plural of rectus, which our dictionary says is “any of various straight muscles, as of the abdomen, eye, neck, and thigh.” Unfortunately, most people would think recti is the plural of rectum, which would make rectiphile totally inexpedient. ‘Nuff said.

But heterophile just might do it. For most people, “hetero” suggests heterosexuality (not heterodoxy!) — indeed, the noun hetero is in our dictionary, meaning “a heterosexual person.” The suffix –phile means having a strong affinity or preference for something. (Francophiles have a strong affinity for things French.) So we’d be saying we have a strong preference for heterosexuality. But is “strong preference” strong enough? Probably. A problem with the term homophobe which we didn’t mention is that it suggests that we fear (or dislike) anything associated with homosexuality, whereas we have admiration for homosexuals who are trying to be celibate and enormous admiration for those who succeed.

A possible problem with heterophile is that it might possibly suggest approval of everything that’s heterosexual (including fornication and adultery, etc.). But orthoheterophile would be just too cumbersome. Moreover, just as no one would expect a Francophile to like absolutely everything French, from the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the degenerate writings of the Marquis de Sade, so heterophile would likely not be understood in an indiscriminate manner.

Heterophile is also winsome because it defines us by what we’re supporting rather than what we’re opposing, which is why prolife is a much more effective term than anti-abortion. Also, heterophile is linguistically and rhetorically an apt and readily understood counter to homophobe.

Should the NOR start the ball rolling and use the term heterophile? Readers, speak now or forever hold your peace!

Hudson, Wisconsin

We Apologize

In his letter (Aprib| Fr. James Downey took us at the American Life League to task for saying “A teenage girl [Mary] is pregnant. She’s not married (reprinted as a sidebar in the Jan. NOR, p. 19). As a result, we launched an investigation into the subject and spoke with several priests who are experts in the history and language of the Bible.

We humbly accept Fr. Downey’s criticism. We have corrected our text on the subject and are printing an apology with the correction in our magazine, Celebrate Life. We also apologize to NOR readers.

We are deeply sorry for the confusion, and will never again refer to Mary, the mother of God, as an unwed mother.

Judie Brown

Menlo Park, California

I Forgive You, But Will God?

John Thienes, in his letter “Fight on, but Good-bye!” (Aprib| says he became a Catholic after being an evangelical Protestant and an Episcopalian. But he then moved to Eastern Orthodoxy because he found dancing girls, clowns, and rock bands in some Catholic churches.

But why, oh why, did he move into schism and heresy when all he had to do was move into an Eastern-rite Catholic Church, where there are no such aberrations?

He says he hopes NOR readers will forgive his departure. Well, I do, but will God forgive his renunciation of the Catholic Faith and his embrace of the errors of Eastern Orthodoxy? I should think that God looks favorably on those who remain faithful to His true Church in the face of her many travails.

Thienes also says he is not renewing his subscription to the NOR. Why? Is he afraid that continuing to read the NOR will be a constant reminder to him that he has made a frightful mistake?

Walter G. Perry

Forest Lake, Minnesota

Gays Are Okay, But Freemasons Aren't

I have decided not to take sides. Please cancel my subscription!

Gays have a great cross to bear, and Jesus said “Judge not!” Jesus hung on the cross for sinners. He forgave sinners. The NOR is too narrow on this issue.

I am definitely a pre-Vatican II Catholic, and I adore the Tridentine Latin Mass. But the traditional way is not the only way.

Unless we all quit fighting, give a little, and keep our eyes on Jesus, the Catholic Church will disintegrate. It is the Freemasons who want us to war with ourselves.

Musette Buckley

Corona, California

"No-Fault" Greed

“No-fault” divorce, which caused the marriage dissolution rate to explode, is slowly being recognized as the enabling monster it is — recognized too late, unfortunately, to preserve hundreds of thousands of families and prevent millions of children from being fatherless.

As with any law, there is no perfect criterion for divorce. Bad as the old “fault” criterion was, with its mudslinging, “no-fault” is even worse. Fault at least permits the constitutional right of innocent parties to redress their grievances in court. Without the criterion of morality upon which to make awards of children, money, and property, there is only one other criterion — need. We all know which gender is in “need,” don’t we? Therefore, we likewise know where most of the goodies go, deserved or not. This transfer of funds (the largest form of wealth redistribution extant) serves as a virtual bribe to divorce, often with very little justification, thus explaining why women initiate over two-thirds of divorces.

Arguing against “no-fault” divorce when it was coming into vogue many years ago, the Men’s Defense Association (www.mensdefense.org) vainly suggested creating, but not mandating, a no-fault option. This concept retains the best and eliminates the worst aspects of both criteria. Fault-option’s merits are now becoming recognized.

Under fault-option, either party could choose the fault option; alternatively, the no-fault option would apply. If certain reasonable criteria were met, such as non-involvement of children, no-fault dissolutions could be obtained from a Clerk of Court, much as are marriage licenses. O.K., it isn’t perfect either, but it’s infinitely better than what we have.

Richard F. Doyle

Colorado Springs, Colorado

In Defense of Mrs. Cheney

I’m puzzled by your comments on Mrs. Dick Cheney being the first presidential or vice-presidential wife to work outside her “oppressive mansion,” as you put it (New Oxford Note, “Put Not Your Trust in Vice Princesses,” Aprib~ Mrs. Cheney is in her late 50s and has raised two children who are now in their late 30s and on their own. She has had a long, devoted, and obviously happy marriage. Had she said that all women, even those with little children, should seek work outside the home, there may have been reason for your intense dislike of her. But you anger seems inappropriate.

That Mrs. Cheney works outside her “mansion,” even though she is the wife of the Vice President, doesn’t offend me at all. There are numerous well-known Catholic women in the public eye, with families, who enjoy high-paying professional jobs even though their husbands also have high-paying jobs. These women can well afford to stay at home, but choose not to. I don’t begrudge them their decision.

As for Mrs. Al Gore, she didn’t seek a paying job outside the home when Al was Vice President. But she also didn’t do anything to stop homosexuals from booing and humiliating the Boy Scouts of America as they entered the hall of the Democratic Convention. I’m sure that, as the wife of the Democratic presidential nominee, she had some say about the numerous homosexual groups that were invited to that convention and their mindless behavior toward the Boy Scouts. So is a woman with grown children who works outside the home more egregious than this?

Mrs. John Hofflinger


Since you’re puzzled: Our point was that “spokesmen for traditional values can strike some of the mightiest blows for the Cultural Revolution.” We cited four instances where Ronald Reagan did so. Mrs. Cheney is a critic of feminism, and yet by being the first presidential or vice-presidential wife to work outside the home, she made herself a feminist pathfinder. Agreed, Mrs. Cheney did not say all women should work outside the home, but that feminist dogma seems embedded in her highly symbolic “first,” for, as we noted, Time magazine emphasized that if Lynne Cheney didn’t work outside her home, she wouldn’t “have a life.” The wife of the Vice President of the mightiest country in the world wouldn’t have a life unless she works outside her mansion? Oh, puh-leez! But if that’s so, any ordinary wife who stays at home to raise children wouldn’t have a life either.

Shall we rejoice that Mrs. Cheney has a life? Well, her husband might literally lose his one day soon. Maybe if the Mrs. had more time to pay attention to her hubby and his health problems, the Vice President would have a longer life expectancy.

While we’re on the subject: Bob Dole is another example of a spokesman for traditional values striking a mighty blow for the Cultural Revolution. In 1995, when Dole was running for the Republican presidential nomination, he blasted Hollywood for promoting “loveless sex” and for “mainstreaming deviancy.” But Dole will be remembered in American folklore, not as a noble statesman but as a TV huckster for sundry products and services. Dole has been immortalized, as John J. Miller tells it (in National Review, April 30), as the “poster boy for Viagra.” Miller quotes Dole’s words in the commercial: “You know, it’s a little embarrassing to talk about E.D. [erectile dysfunction], but it’s so important to millions of men and their partners that I decided to talk about it publicly.” Miller comments: “What’s this business about men and their ‘partners’? Would it be too judgmental and exclusionary simply to say ‘wives’?” Of course, “partner” is the term of choice for enthusiasts of the Cultural Revolution who are into “loveless sex” and “mainstreaming deviancy.” More recently, Dole has been playing a dirty old man in a Pepsi commercial — that’s his persona, after all.

Surely Bob Dole, like Mrs. Cheney, is happily married and a decent person. But both are, willingly or not, acting like “useful idiots” of the Cultural Revolution.

Fasting to End Abortion

Recently a colleague who prays the Rosary at our local abortuary seemed near despair. Despite all our prayers and activism, he grieved that the Culture of Death seems to be making steady progress.

I do wonder whether we Catholics are employing all of the spiritual weapons in our arsenal against abortion. I am thinking of weekly fasting. Fasting is commended throughout sacred Scripture and in the spiritual tradition of the Church. St. Peter Chrysologus in the Office of Readings for Tuesday of the third week in Lent reminds us of this fact: “There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other…. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated…. Let prayer, mercy, fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor.”

Perhaps, it may be argued, that for our bishops to ask Catholics to fast each week to end abortion would be too demanding, too inconvenient — just like asking us to attend Mass on Thursday to commemorate the Ascension of Our Lord. As St. Paul might say, weekly fasting — like the cross of Christ — may be foolishness….

Michael T. Barry

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