Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 22, 1999
WCR Letters to the Editor
Gays no threat to the family
Your editorial of Feb. 8, in which you expressed your opposition to the omnibus legal challenge, was certainly a disappointment.
This omnibus suit, launched by the Foundation For Equal Families, is intended to grant equal rights to gay and lesbian couples.
It is not unusual to hear the charge that any legislation that affords rights to gays and lesbians threatens the family, and lesbians and gays are frequently cast in the role of underminers of family values.
Underlying your inaccurate arguments is, of course, the ever-present fear of a threat to the family. There is nothing in that suit that will alter the benefits or protection of the traditional family (consisting of a heterosexual married couple and their offspring).
It's true that the contemporary family is under considerable pressures and strains. But this situation has nothing to do with increased tolerance of gays and lesbians.
If all human rights laws protecting gays and lesbians were abolished overnight, Canadian families would not find themselves under less pressure and stress. There are many threats to families in these difficult, challenging times (e.g. domestic abuse, poverty for many).
Treating gay and lesbian couples in a manner consistent with the numerous court rulings in the last few years, is not one of them.
And sorry, Mr. Argan, to oppose this omnibus suit is to discriminate against homosexually blessed couples.
What is needed more than ever is more honest dialogue between members of the gay community and all others, particularly political and Church leaders, so that the climate of homophobia and injustice may give way to a climate of justice, safety and freedom for all of us.
Many people of the political and religious right know of the existence of the gay community and have heard our voice from time to time, but have they really listened?
Article proclaimed heresy
By reading your article in the Feb. 1 edition on the subject of grace and justification I was shocked and amazed. You are preaching pure Lutheran Protestantism in a Catholic newspaper.
The way we enter heaven is not by doing "good deeds and obeying all the rules, but by becoming like God."
I would like to challenge this statement of yours with some Scripture quotes:
Matthew 25: "Depart from us you wicked men because I was hungry and you did not feed me."
James 2:17: "Faith is like that, if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead."
Luke 9:23: If anyone wants to be a follower of mine let him renounce himself, take up his cross and follow me.
Mark 11:12-14: The barren fig tree - he found nothing but leaves (and he cursed it).
Ecclesiastes 5:5-9: Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin and do not say "His compassion is so great he will forgive me my many sins, for with him is both mercy and wrath and his rage bears heavy on sinners."
You speak about the Pharisee and the tax collector. How do you know that the tax collector comes empty handed. Did you not read the story about Zaccheus who tried very hard to set aright his transgressions.
Today everyone almost goes regularly to Holy Communion but how many go to Confession?
Many of those you justify are truly becoming like God. They set their own rules and standards - "No one tells me what to do or not to do."
The big question today is who is going to hell?
Isaiah 54:1: For the sons of the forsaken one are more in number than the sons of the wedded wife, says Yahweh.
I liked many of your articles in the past but this is a heretical one. You should watch what you are saying.
Commiserating with closing parishes
I want to commiserate with all the small parishes who have probably celebrated their last Christmas Mass in their small parish or mission.
My husband and I spent 17 years in a small parish-mission. They were years of spiritual fulfillment, great involvement in the life of that faith community. We cherish the experience of those years - the love, concern and sense of belonging.
We understand completely the grieving that is taking place. Parishioners see the efforts of years of work to upgrade a church building or install indoor plumbing (not a luxury in our climate) disappear and the ensuing anxiety of both physical and spiritual changes.
Of course, we knew the changes were coming but it is like watching someone declining during a long illness; when the end comes it is still a shock.
Many rural people are concerned about greater distances to travel and uncertain weather or roads. This is a matter of good judgment; you do not subject yourself or your family to hazardous road or weather conditions.
I come from the horse and wagon generation; we did not go out in weather that presented danger . . . and we did not lose our faith.
On the subject of distance to travel, many city people will also suffer. They will need to use cars (finding a place to park), buses (coping with Sunday schedules), a longer distance to walk. Taxi fare will be out of the question for many.
All this will be the concern of individuals, families and the larger parishes.
I would like to say to the large parishes who will receive members from the small parishes, welcome your new members for they will be bringing new talent and skills to your faith community. Get them involved as soon as possible.
To the small parish members who will be joining a larger parish you have much to offer so let your light shine.
To all our brothers and sisters in Christ let us remember the motto: "Let there be peace and love and let it begin with me."
Art and Rita Morin
End times and merging parishes
The end of this era is imminent. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised us signs of events to take place before his Second Coming. When is the Catholic Church going to start teaching us about the terrible events that will take place during the Apocalypse? Or are we to assume Catholics will be immune from the suffering that will take place.
God is the only one who knows when this era will come to an end but is it right to keep our brothers and sisters in the dark of events to come. The early Church used to teach it.
I would like to touch on another subject - the merging of parishes. Have we become so much like Walmart that the Church is only here to serve big centres then pack up and leave. I understand there is a shortage of priests, but I believe our brothers who got the calling from God to teach his word should energize and move forward.
Jesus never said that it was going to be easy to serve in his Church. One could say that the cross gets very heavy at times. The archdiocese should re-think its decision.
Maybe the priests in the city should take the heavier workload since they don't have so far to travel.
Maybe we should be using new tactics to acquire priests, like the parishes taking more responsibility in the education of our young men who get the call to teach. Every parish could adopt a student and be held responsible for his financial needs.
Encourage teens to be altar servers
Re: "A lament for our lack of priests" (letters, Jan. 11). Please Father Gauthier help us encourage young people to the priesthood.
We have a duty to attract teenagers to the altar. The only lay ministers we see reading the word or helping with the Holy Communion are in the 39-to-62 plus bracket. Not that we want to discriminate against them.
But just a short time ago an altar boy who served more than four years could help with almost everything. Getting everything ready on the altar for the Holy Mass and whatever was needed for the Holy Mass.
Besides that they got the chalice with the host, turned pages for the priest, and in youth Masses the older altar boys and older teenage girls helped served the Blessed Sacrament.
But now the altar boys are lucky if they can light or blow out the candles.
How many acolytes will become priests?
We learned from Our Lord himself "Let the young ones come to me." What is going on?
Maybe those teenagers working and helping for Our Lord will be called themselves to be a priest.