Remembering the fallen of Spanish Civil War

Your article on the Spanish Civil War was outstanding (“Catholic persecution in the Spanish Civil War,” July 31). At that time, our media carried the communist propaganda that their war in Spain favored freedom, so thousands of Americans joined the communist side, not knowing any better. 

In 1951, I attended the 15th anniversary of the war. It was held in Barcelona, where a thousand priests had been killed by the Reds. How thrilling it was to see 30 bishops simultaneously ordain a thousand priests at the gathering! 

Today, the former Spanish colony of the Philippines has 800 priests staffing U.S. parishes. God has his ways! 

Daniel Lyons, Bloomsbury, N.J.

Not so magical editorial

In contrast to your usual, thoughtful and generally balanced editorial effort, I found “Magical Ending” (Editorial, July 31) to be an aberration. In fact, I believe the writer(s) did a disservice to Catholic parents who are seeking fantasy literature that is protective of spiritual virtues. 

I have reached this conclusion for these reasons: 

(1) The writer(s) selected only one person opposing the Harry Potter series, while choosing four who were favorably disposed. Is that balanced reporting? Also, this sole source was portrayed to be somewhat of a religious zealot. 

(2) The writer(s) failed to include in the analysis of Harry Potter some very questionable ideas commonly found in the series (use of violence, revenge, class warfare, death, etc.) 

(3) The rationale for endorsing Harry Potter because more children will read is not sound. There are other fantasy works, such as those by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, that offer an opportunity for entertainment without endangering their spiritual growth. 

(4) The works of these two authors, unlike that of J.K. Rowling, are God centered and [do not take] a total self-reliant approach. Harry Potter, however, is not geared to absolutist values. This, I suggest, is a danger to a child’s social and spiritual development. 

Therefore, for the above reasons, I recommend that Catholic parents continue to broaden their search for a more and deeper analysis of Harry Potter. I suggest you start with Michael O’Brien’s book, “Harry Potter and Paganization of Culture” (F&T Press, $12.99). 

Peter J. O’Hara, St. James, N.Y.

No big government

Re “Unconscionable” (Editorial, Aug. 7). 

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is absolutely correct that there is an erosion of religious freedom in the United States. Starting with “Godless” Washington, D.C., that is trying to control every aspect of the citizens’ lives. Washington tells us what kind of light bulbs you can buy, what type of auto you can buy, what you can smoke, what kind of food you can eat and a monolithic health system you can only use. The obvious answer to this control is a much smaller federal government, less federalism and more state control. If “big brother” can give, “big brother” can take. No more big government. 

L. Curley, Dearborn, Mich.

Communion in hand

Re: Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera’s opinion that Communion should be received on the tongue only (This Week, Aug. 14). Wasn’t Communion in the hand established as an acceptable procedure at the Last Supper? 

Mark Weber, Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Don’t use that word

Re: “Is Catholicism in the United States healthy or in decline” (Openers, Aug. 14). Please consider that Catholicism is not a denomination. This is a serious error, and detracts from the Church being the original.  

Denomination refers to Protestant branches and others. Please take note of this. This is a serious mistake that should not happen again in the paper. 

Kimberley Thames, via email

Editor’s note: While it is true that the Catholic Church should not be labeled a denomination, the Catholic News Service stylebook points out the term may be used “loosely in plural references that include Catholic and Orthodox churches along with Protestant churches.” 

Waste of space

I just received and read cover to cover the Aug. 7 issue of OSV. I still do not know the point of “Spectacular Sinners” (Faith, Aug. 7). It is a total waste of ink, paper and space. Blank paper could be used for a to-do list or a grocery list. 

James W. Anderson, Hollis, N.H.

Conversation aid

Most excellent article on what to say when subjects come up on our Church, morality, abortion, etc., when we are in a conversation with others (“Workplace witness,” Aug. 14). It seems I don’t know what to say for fear of saying some thing wrong, then I don’t say anything. This article really helped me. I save articles on stem-cell research, abortion, etc., and mail it to the person later. Then I have the exact explanation on this special subject. This article made me feel that it was all right just to go back to doing it this way and then I have the right words for fear of saying something wrong and I don’t want to get into a confrontation. 

Jackie Baumgartner, Festus, Mo.