Commentary by Judie Brown

December 1, 2008 ( – I couldn’t believe the e-mail that I recently received from a pro-life friend living in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She told me about a letter written by a nun to the archdiocese.

My friend told me she was “disturbed” to read this letter. She said, “I cannot fathom how a religious sister could not only advocate abortion, but also place her pathetic, misguided ideas into print! What a disgrace! And why would our archdiocesan newspaper even print such garbage?”

The Milwaukee archdiocese published this letter in its newspaper, The Catholic Herald


“Even though Catholic bishops are already pressing President-elect Barack Obama on the issue of abortion, it is time they begin to realize that 54% of Catholics who voted for him do not agree with the bishops telling people how to vote.

“Obama may be pro-choice, but so is God. God gave everyone a free will and he does not pressure people into using that free will to do what is right. Obama promised to do what he can to prevent abortion. What more need he do when so many other pressures to make changes are upon him?

“Yes, abortion is the killing of an innocent life. So is war and violent killing on the street. I have often seen many starving babies in hospitals in Honduras and witnessed their pain. In these cases, abortion might have been the lesser of two evils, and even the most merciful alternative.

“I challenge our bishops to dwell more on unjust economic issues that both create and perpetuate the need for children to die of starvation, and for women to choose abortion. It would be better to aim at eliminating poverty rather than focus only on abortion. Poverty in our country and the world at large is a disgrace that cries to heaven for vengeance.

“Sr. Arlene Welding, SSSF; Campellsport, WI”

Well, I am as upset by this as anyone who reads it should be, and, on several levels, it contributes to the ongoing confusion that reigns within Catholic circles across this nation. The first and perhaps most obvious problem with this nun’s letter is that she is clearly not only pro-abortion but feels fine attributing her views to God, the Author of Life!

To suggest to the readers of a Catholic newspaper that the Catholic bishops are out of line for standing up for the innocent preborn child is ludicrous. But it certainly is not as ludicrous as her comments about the number of Catholics who voted for Barack Obama, as opposed to the opinions bishops might have on the direct murder of preborn children by abortion!

To equate the direct murder of a preborn baby with the “lesser of two evils,” thus suggesting that some preborn children would be better off dead than to have to be born into poverty, is about as misguided and ill-conceived a notion as I have ever seen in print. It tops many of the comments I have seen from pro-abortion leaders.

It is astounding to me that a Catholic newspaper would print such garbage and expect silence from all those in the Catholic community who know the truth, defend the truth, and expect to read the truth in a newspaper labeled Catholic! So here is an assignment for you.

First: contact Sister Arlene Welding’s religious congregation and demand an apology from them for her public dissent from the truth of Catholic magisterial teaching.

School Sisters of St. Francis
  Central Offices of the U.S. Province
  1501 S. Layton Boulevard
  Milwaukee, WI 53215

You can also e-mail, though I think letters are best. The e-mail address is [email protected].
  The phone number is (414) 384-4105

Second, please contact the Executive Editor/General Manager of the archdiocesan newspaper and let him know how shocked you were to read this screed in his newspaper.
  Brian T. Olszewski
  The Catholic Herald
  3501 S. Lake Dr.
  Milwaukee, WI 53235-0913
  The phone number is (414) 769-3466
  Mr. Olszewski’s e-mail address is [email protected].

Finally, it would be a very good idea to send copies of your e-mails and/or your letters to the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom I honestly believe would be as shocked as you and I about what was published in his newspaper.

  Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
  3501 S. Lake Dr.
  P.O. Box 070912
  Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912
  Phone: (414) 769-3497
  Email: [email protected]

May you find peace of mind and joy of soul by writing your messages, and feel comfort in knowing that no matter how clearly wrong some things are, even when labeled Catholic, they are all a part of living in a world steeped in the culture of death. Be of good heart, for we are assured of God’s love, regardless of the muck in our midst.