Regarding “To protect life,” June 5, Page 31:

I am one of the “few local Catholics unnecessarily chary over giving names and contact information when signing up for Mass.” This is not out of fear or a desire for privacy but a matter of principle. My family emigrated from then communist Yugoslavia in 1968 to escape just what you and so many others are so naively willing to do — surrender to the state. What right does the state (or church) have in me registering for Mass? Should we also register for confession? We have the right to go to confession anonymously — this is for our benefit and for the benefit and protection of the confessor.

On May 4, the Archdiocese of Portland issued guidelines for reopening Masses but required the faithful to register. On May 27, the archdiocese modified the guidelines and confirmed registration information would be passed on to the state if requested and that any who are concerned about this should refrain from registering for Mass. I may not like this decision by the archdiocese, but at least it has some consideration for me by not implying I lack charity or am concerned about a right to privacy as your editorial suggests.

The outcome of your position is that concern for the body is more important than concern for the soul and obedience to the state is greater than obedience to God. Now I know a little what it’s like to be a Catholic in China — welcome to the Patriotic Catholic Church of Oregon!

Lucien Fundak


Editor’s note: A few points of clarification are in order. The state did not ask parishioners to register for Mass. The archdiocese did, however, ask people to sign up for a Mass so all would know when the 25-person limit is hit. Most parishioners are already registered with parishes and get contribution envelopes; those who claim such contributions on tax forms already are letting governments know they are Catholic, not to mention the revealing effect of Catholic content posted on social media. Mr. Fundak is correct that there is a sacramental seal of the confessional. But the Mass is not confession. A public Mass is just that — public. Also, unlike Yugoslavia in 1968 or China today, we freely elect our leaders. We must be sensitive to both the government and our faith.