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No Nazis here.

In the editorial "Catholic election follies continue" (NCR, Oct. 22), I read that in the opening paragraphs of his Oct. 1 pastoral letter "On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good," St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke compares today's United States to Nazi Germany.

I read Archbishop Burke's letter and found no such statement. Nowhere does he compare the United States with Nazi Germany. He refers to Nazism in the context of Germans who had moral concerns with events in their own country's past. He complains about the "secularism" of American culture "with its tendency to exaggerated individualism," but there is not even an oblique reference to the Third Reich here.

I write as an outsider, as a Canadian who lobbies neither for nor against Archbishop Burke. I do expect the media, however, especially the Catholic media, to refrain from scurrilous inaccuracy.

HILMAR H. PABEL

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

[Hilmar Pabel is associate professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.] The editors respond: Far from "scurrilous inaccuracy," a fair reading of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke's letter offers more than an "oblique reference to the Third Reich." Burke is clearly equating the evils of Nazism with the evils of abortion in the United States. In the editorial, we said Burke was over the 'top. Mr. Pabel is free to disagree with that characterization, but it is a fair one--even an unavoidable one.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Pabel, Hilmar M.
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Nov 26, 2004
Words:233
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