The tone of Father De Souza's commentary on the canonization of St. Kateri discredits the patient work of reconciliation with our First Nations people called for by our bishops. ("The making of saints should not be used for partisan interests," WCR, Oct. 29.)
It is fair to debate the politicization of a canonization (this in itself politicizes the event.) Every canonization probably does have political dimensions.
However, given the confession of our failures towards our aboriginal peoples by our bishops and devoted Oblate missionaries, the article's tone of attack, triumphalism and bombast is a poor exercise of judgment.
Even more troubling is the not so subtle sophistry that St. Kateri had to choose between being Christian or aboriginal. Kateri had no such choice. Hers was a choice of one form of aboriginal life over another. She is an aboriginal saint.
Does one get a whiff here of the attitude that to become Christian is to become European?
I fear that in De Souza's comments, First Nations people will find more of that which they have already had to forgive.