German Church and morning-after pill

Re: “Germans reflect on pontiff’s resignation” (News Analysis, March 10). 

I was appalled to read that Catholic hospitals in Germany will be able, in special cases, to distribute the morning-after pill preventing impregnation before ovulation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “‘every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible’ is intrinsically evil” (No. 2370). 

The morning-after pill makes the uterus unfriendly to the implantation of the newly-concepted embryo/blastocyst/human, and thus causes it to be expelled/aborted. I suppose this paragraph is unknown to the German bishops, or are they not governed by the same Catechism? 

Marilou Schindler, Natural Bridge, Va.

Escaping it all

We really appreciated “The spiritual benefits of prayerful play” (Faith, March 17). We have operated an outdoor recreation business since the early 1970s. We enjoy sharing the experiences of God’s creations in our beautiful area. 

The contrast in the expectations of our guests over the past 40 years is striking. Most of our early guests were looking for a peaceful experience, away from the cares of the everyday world. No newspapers, no radios or television, and certainly no telephones!  

Internet access and cell phone service are high priorities of today’s vacationers. It’s discouraging to reach a mountain crest with a spectacular view and have the silence broken by a phone ringing. Suddenly someone in the group is no longer part of the group, and no longer experiencing the beauty and peace of the moment.  

Hopefully, Russell Shaw’s reflections will help people re-examine their priorities. 

Monte and Mary Ellen Schnur, Townsend, Mont.

Life-or-death matter

Re: “Handling Abortion” (Pastoral Answers, March 3). 

Human life begins at conception. All humans are created in the image and likeness of God (Gn 1:26). “The Word became flesh to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 460). We are sons of God (1 Jn 3:2). 

If we, as a country and as a Church, are slow to adamantly protect all persons in the womb, in their “terrible twos,” in the rebellious teen years, in a mid-life crisis or in their dependent elderly years from being “legally” killed by having their arms and legs torn from them because they are not “wanted,” we are acting consistently. But of the list above, we only kill preborn children. Why? Is God’s love toward his sons and daughters dependent upon their stage of physical development or age? 

For those of us who are born, the “prudent,” “tactical” “handling” of abortion is a matter of polite editorials and water-cooler conversations about “choice.”  

For our unborn Americans, it is a matter of life and death.  

Joe Marincel, Flower Mound, Texas

Praise for the pope

Re:“Pope Francis: First pope of the New World” (News Analysis, March 24). 

With deep joy I offer Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio my warm congratulations and most fervent good wishes on his election to the papacy. 

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a man rich in spiritual passion, humility, self-denial and love for the cause of God and of man. As Pope Francis, he brings to the papacy a brilliant philosophical and, in particular, theological mind that has embraced a vision of broad spiritual and ecclesiastical horizons: personal holiness, missionary outreach combined with constant concern for unity, and the necessary integration of spirituality and institutional ministry. 

His episcopal motto, “Miserando atque eligendo,” has strengthened and guided him in his tireless and uncompromising efforts aimed at defending and promoting the Catholic faith and its morals against modern errors in an age in which the Catholic Church has suffered unprecedented persecution and martyrdom. 

The new pope has also worked to encourage studies aimed at increasing knowledge of the Faith so that the new problems arising from the progress of science and civilization can be answered in the light of the word of God. 

The aim for which he has always strived has been to serve the truth, seek to know it ever more thoroughly and make it ever more widely known. May the Lord lavish his choicest heavenly reward upon our new Vicar of Christ Francis. 

Paul Kokoski, Ontario, Canada

Pope Francis I?

Re: “Pope Francis: First pope of the New World” (News Analysis, March 24). 

In (the March 24 issue) are several articles in which the new pope is called Pope Francis I. I believe from reading many other publications and articles, he is to be known as just Pope Francis. Is there any reason why you feel it is proper to refer to him as Pope Francis I?  

Dorothy Anderson, St. Louis, Mo.

Editor’s note: The March 24 issue of the OSV Newsweekly went to press on the afternoon of March 13, the day Pope Francis was elected. As the Vatican had not yet clarified the new pope’s name, we chose to call him Francis I to be consistent with other news agencies, both Catholic and secular, at that time. Per the Vatican, we will refer to him as Pope Francis in all future issues.