Friday, October 29, 2010

Dear Editor

Oh how I hate to foray into politics on this blog, but I simply must, for I cannot keep quiet about this issue which has kept me awake with boiling blood these past few nights. Senator Russ Feingold from Wisconsin has a long-standing and proven anti-life track record. He would allow for abortions all the way through the end of a term pregnancy. The Milwaukee Catholic Herald, which is published by Archbishop Listecki (whom I cannot fathom would approve of this), placed an advertisement for him in their October 21st issue, stating that they were not endorsing him, but by law, if they were to allow one politician to advertise, then they had to allow all politicians to advertise. That didn't sit too well with me or with my son, John, so we both wrote letters to the editor complaining about how it felt like a slap in the face to open our Catholic newspaper and see a pro-abortion politician staring out at us. We received replies letting us know that our letters were appreciated and that after the upcoming November election they will decide whether or not they will print political advertising in the future. This is my response to his letter.

Dear Brian,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns about the advertisement for Senator Russ Feingold in the October 21st issue of the Catholic Herald. In the secular business world, your letter makes perfect sense, but in the world of Catholicism it makes no sense at all. It was the following two lines that really struck a raw nerve with me: "we solicited advertising" and "the decision to accept or not accept all political ours." It didn't take me too long to find the solicitation to which you refer on the Catholic Herald's web page:

“Let the Catholic Herald and "help you win" your next election.”

Is that really the Catholic Herald's goal, to help political candidates win the election? The fact that the Catholic Herald has offered their help to all candidates regardless of whether or not their positions fall in line with Catholic teaching by publishing their political advertisements, tells me that the Catholic Herald does not care whether or not Catholic values are upheld. It also tells me that the Catholic Herald doesn’t care whether or not Catholics are informed of their duty to vote based on the values of the Catholic Church, but rather, that the Catholic Herald is concerned about making the most money that it possibly can. Publishing an advertisement for an anti-life politician feels like blood money to me!

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

Just who is it that the Catholic Herald chooses to serve, God or mammon? You can't have both! From the placement of this advertisement in your periodical it seems to me that the Catholic Herald is more concerned with the almighty dollar than it is with the Almighty Father! How very un-Catholic! I can just picture Jesus turning over the desks and computers at the Catholic Herald in a rage over the fact that this periodical doesn't care whether or not it's readers are led astray from Catholic teaching so long as they can keep their heads above water financially. Didn't Jesus tell us that our Heavenly Father knows what we need, and as long as we put our faith first, all of our needs will be met?

"Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:31-33

As Catholics, aren't we all called to sacrifice for our faith? It is a huge financial sacrifice for my husband and I to send our children to Catholic Schools so that they may be educated in the faith, but we feel that we are best serving God by doing without some of the nicer things in life so that our children may someday enter into the heavenly kingdom. How is it that the Catholic Herald cannot make the financial sacrifice of doing without political advertising that is contrary to Catholic teaching so that it's readers may someday enter into the heavenly kingdom? I fear that the Russ Feingold ad sends mixed messages about living our faith to vulnerable Catholics who may not clearly understand church teaching about pro-life issues. In today's issue of the National Catholic Register, Cindy Wooden from CNS quotes Pope Benedict during his recent visit to Brazil as saying: “Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking.”

You say that you will evaluate your decision to run political ads in the future. I pray that a deep love for the Lord and His teachings will prevail in your heart and your future decision will be to eliminate ALL political advertising since there is not and never has been, one political candidate who upholds all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Herald should focus on educating Catholics on the true faith of the Church as upheld by Pope Benedict XVI instead of advertising for the current political candidates.

In Christ, Anne Bender


  1. Go get 'em, tiger! Way to go, Anne. (Let me get out of your way, please, I don't want to get hurt.) :-)

    Our local diocese magazine, Faith, accepts no political ads, is loyal to the Magisterium in all its articles, and now publishes magazines and papers for a number of other dioceses around the country. If you print good stuff, it will be in demand.

  2. Anne,
    I suspect that the reason behind this is so that the church does not go against the laws that keep it tax exempt. I believe the most moral way to do that is the way Do not be anxious' diocese handled it- just don't accept any.
    Good for you for speaking out! More of us need to.
    God bless!

  3. Thanks for the support! Check out Badger Catholic for more and please, keep this issue in your prayers!

  4. I've been pretty shocked by what passes as "advertisement" in Catholic papers (i.e. ads for the "National Catholic Church" and the "American Catholic Church"). It's sad that I'm not surprised, so thank you for doing your part in challenging that.

  5. Well said. Thanks for sticking up for the truth, especially in a Catholic media source. We certainly don't need more confusion amongst Catholics about their voting responsibilities.

  6. Anne, Your letter to the editor is fabulous. We are called to stand up for the faith and to defend life. You did both of these things in an informed and honorable way, thank you.

    I think that Karinann had a point about the tax exempt issue, unfortunately! I think that one of the many reasons I appreciate Fr. John Corapi is that he is not tax exempt and speaks his mind regardless...

    I am glad you political...God bless!

  7. AMEN - preach it, sister!

    It's a shame when a purportedly-Catholic publication will sell its soul for money.

  8. My blood's boiling and I didn't even open the same paper as you and John...but GOOD FOR YOU both...and, as always, your letter is sooo
    well-written. May God help Catholics in the media to TRULY search their hearts before publishing!

  9. Amen, Amen! You said it. Let us pray that they will listen.

  10. excellent letter. did you copy Archbishop Listecki on it? I would if you have not already. Our diocese paper accepts no political ads, and I agree with you that that ad had to be a slap in the face when you opened the paper. You are right not to let this die. blessings.

  11. Bravo, my friend! Yes, I wanted to cheer when I read your letter :) Well done!

  12. I love the image of the overturned computers!

  13. Yes, good for you for speaking up! It's shameful what they are doing!

  14. I COMPLETELY agree. Our Catholic newspaper used to accept political ads in the interest of "freedom of the press"...which is really misguided to bind the Church paper to the secular conventions of our society. But, alas, for non-profit status, equal opportunity for political candidates is required, so NO political ads should ever be accepted. It used to be that I couldn't even read our paper around election time because it would often push me over the line of righteous anger into the realm of contemplating plots and schemes to cause the downfall of those responsible.

    Thankfully, I have the grace of marriage, and in listening to my husband, I prayed about it, and the good old HS eventually put the smackdown on it.

    I thank God for you, Anne, because you are in a position to say something about it, and you do it so well. More people need to continue to hold Catholic papers responsible for their actions. They need to be called to task. There is no excuse in this day and age to conjure up an ambiguity of Church teaching. The Church is extremely clear and consistent. One cannot claim the life of Catholic identity while supporting the license of death.

    Accepting political ads from this infamously avid supporter of a woman's right to kill her child is a complete lack of discretion at best, and at worst it is an action that intentionally attempts to undermind the moral duty of Catholics to vote in protection of human life.