Letter Writer Responds to Ruehlig ad

Editor,
I would like to apologize to the citizens of Antioch for the misrepresentation which took place in a political advertisement published in the Antioch Herald last week.

A photograph of Walter Ruehlig who is running for City Council, was published standing alongside Rudy Fernandez and Michael Manalac. The photograph was taken in front of the grotto at St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church and the endorsement alongside the photograph gives the impression that Mr. Ruehlig is being endorsed by the Catholic Church, St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish,and the Filipino-American Society. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The photograph and endorsement were done without permission and the publishing of this advertisement was very unfortunate. It is an indication of poor judgment that reflects upon the qualifications of the candidate.

Again, my apologies to all those who were offended by this ad.

Father Robert Rien, Parochial Administrator, St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish

 

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4 Comments to “Letter Writer Responds to Ruehlig ad”

  1. Walter Ruehlig says:

    Dear Rev. Rien,

    I am saddened that my ad was interpreted by some as a misrepresentation of endorsement. I can only say with sincerity that I had no such motive. The ad mentioned ‘Filipino supporters’ Rudy and Mike and made no mention of any church, location or endorsement. It merely used the word grotto.

    The ad was donated by Mike and Rudy and,for convenience sake, when we met outside after the same service we looked around and thought of taking the picture in the back with Filipino dress and theme. Faulty judgement but no bad intentions. The buck stops here, though.

    I deeply apologize to you and to anyone else who may have felt I was construing endorsement. I regret any oversight on my part and any offense taken.

    The irony of it all is that I shun endorsements, giving and receiving, because I like to run unencumbered and on my own merits with citizen, not organizational, support. In this case, I wished I had hindsight.

    Walter Ruehlig

  2. Arne Simonsen says:

    I find this statement by Father Robert Rein to be in very poor taste and judgement: “The photograph and endorsement were done without permission and the publishing of this advertisement was very unfortunate. It is an indication of poor judgment that reflects upon the qualifications of the candidate.”

    Walter Ruehlig is an honorable individual with whom I have full confidence as a candidate for the Antioch City Council.

    Perhaps the good Father should have discussed this personally with Walter before submitting his letter to the editor.

  3. Cynthia Ruehlig says:

    I read and re-read the advertisement in question and could not find the endorsement from the Catholic Church, St. Ignatius or Fil-Am Society referred to by Fr. Robert in the Letter to the Editor. The ad merely suggested that my husband, Walter Ruehlig, is a religious individual, inclusive of many cultures and stands in solidarity with the Filipino culture. I don’t understand the perceived offense.

    On Sept. 30, Fr. Robert e-mailed Walter at 1:50 p.m. conveying his disappointment regarding the ad. Unfortunately, when Walter attended the church concert at 4:00 p.m. to take pictures and promote the St. Ignatius’ Music Series to the newspaper, he had not read his e-mail. Fr. Robert saw Walter at this event but chose not take him aside to discuss and clarify the situation. Instead, in his official capacity as parochial administrator, Fr. Robert posted a very personal criticism of Walter at 7:30 p.m. stating “It is an indication of poor judgment that reflects upon the qualifications of the candidate”.

    What puzzles me is that the Guidelines for Pastors and Parishes on Advocacy and Political Action clearly states that “religious leaders, however, should avoid taking positions on candidates . . . even when acting in their individual capacity. Although not prohibited, it may be difficult to separate their personal activity from their public role as a Church leader.”

    John 8:7 – Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Cynthia Ruehlig

  4. Michael Buera says:

    I completely agree with Mr. Arne Simonsen about poor taste and judgment. Furthermore, I cannot find anywhere in the article about a direct endorsement from the Catholic Church.

    I was sitting in my lawn chair, sipping sweet tea when I read the article. It left me with the impression that Mr. Ruehlig is a supporter for diversity and variety of cultures. Moreover, I was never under the impression that it was a “political advertisement”.

    “It is an indication of poor judgment that reflects upon the qualifications of the candidate” -Quoted from Fr. Robert, in my humble opinion, was very harsh and left me with a feeling of disappointment that such a comment came from someone of such caliber.

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