Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 8, 1999
WCR Letters to the Editor
Don't protect Pinochet
I was appalled to read in the secular press recently that the pope intervened to lobby against the extradition of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, now under guard in England while he awaits the House of Lords' judgment on whether he is immune from proceedings against him (WCR, March 1).
Pinochet is responsible for the disappearance, political execution and torture of thousands of people. That the pope has placed the Church behind efforts to mediate Pinochet's release is shocking. As a Catholic, I am outraged and embarrassed.
Until now the Vatican has consistently denied involvement in the Pinochet case. Now Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of the Vatican press office, has confirmed that there was a "diplomatic move from the Holy See to the British government" last November on Pinochet's behalf.
This action on the part of the pope is reminiscent of the situation in Haiti in 1991 when Church leaders supported the bloody coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide and ushered in three years of terror under the cruel military rule of Gen. Raoul Cedras.
The Vatican was the only nation in the world to offer its stamp of approval to this brutal dictatorship. To add insult to injury, Church officials opposed measures to return Aristide to power three years later.
Is this the Church founded by Jesus Christ? Did not Jesus preach love, good will, peace, liberty, justice and equality? These actions on the part of the Catholic hierarchy are in blatant contradiction to the message of the Gospel.
World doesn't revolve around sexual orientation
Re: "Gays no threat to the family" (WCR. Feb. 22).
Gays are no threat to the family when one considers that oil and water do not mix and that it is not possible to compare apples with oranges.
Human rights, spousal rights and parental rights are three distinct issues. Ironically, spousal and parental rights do not define basic human rights.
It is impractical for Canada to re-structure its Constitution and laws and be forced into re-thinking its values simply to appease a specific special interest group, who represent a minority within society.
The gay and lesbian community, by their own choice, choose to separate and segregate themselves from the majority population and defiantly non-conform to the social order that governs the majority of Canadians.
In a democratic society, the population majority dominates. The basic reality is that heterosexuals consist of the majority population and that homosexuals are a minority.
Special interest groups break down and erode Canadian culture and its society. Why should Canada change its cultural customs, values and traditions to accommodate those who freely choose to not conform to Canada's mainstream society?
Why should Canada grant spousal and parental rights to those whose sexual orientation and choice to live lifestyles of same-sex partnerships are not the same level as marriage?
Why should Canada grant parental rights to those who lack the capacity to biologically produce children due to the union of same-sex couples?
The most noticeable irrationality of the gay and lesbian community is that every argument which they present is based upon their sexual orientation.
The major difference is that heterosexuals do not consider the Earth evolves around their sexual orientation.
The gay and lesbian community vigorously promotes "heterophobia" by displaying hostility to those of us who do not regard same-sex unions as being on the same equal playing field as marriage and a family unit.
If it weren't for resorting to us being name-called "homophobic," they would become a non-existent special interest group unable to capture the interest of others.
Dennis Benoit really needs to get out more and expand his horizons by travelling to places like Turkey, Kosovo, Iraq, or even Saudi Arabia.
It would cure his bigotry towards heterosexual Canadians and enlighten him to count his blessings for living in a country that does not torture and execute citizens for being different and unlike others.
The gay and lesbian community need to elevate up to a mature level that is able to distinguish that there is a difference between marriage and same-sex unions and that same-sex unions are not equivalent and equal to the marriage of traditional heterosexual couples.
It is a dead-end zone which is not able to procreate offspring.
Speak against abomination
In response to Dennis Benoit's article: "Gays no threat to the family" (WCR, Feb. 22), I would like to say that equal rights is not the issue here.
"Equal rights" is merely a smokescreen for a much more serious problem - that is the justification and proliferation of sin.
Although, Benoit would likely disagree, God has definitively spoken through his Church: homosexual acts are inherently sinful and do not fulfill the procreative purpose of the genital act, which is to create new life.
This will never change, despite the efforts of reductionist theologians and word playing apologists. As for moral subjectivism, the Bible warns us: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
While we as a Christian family must show compassion towards our fellow brothers and sisters who suffer from a particular manifestation of original sin, we must stand firm and speak out against this abomination.
Why? The "gay rights movement" is: a public health menace, it is predatory (particularly to the youth), it is coercive, it completely disregards the rights of others, it is also extremely violent in nature, it degrades society, it is also superfluous, it is unbiblical and, indeed, actually antithetical to Christianity.
Now for a community which claims to be so "benign," I am surprised to find homosexual flyers laid out in shopping malls with provocative offensive advertising.
And what made me even more upset was the fact that the papers were placed in close proximity to the high school next door. I promptly threw them all into the garbage.
While I agree that the Church has not done enough to minister to the "gay" community, those "gay" Christians intent upon following Christ should take the initiative to set up information centres for the youth, so that they may have a place to go for real help.
Blending in with society is not the answer. Young people need a visible organization when searching for religious truth.
Civilization requires 2-parent families
The WCR's opposition to any bill that supports the blessing of gay marriages (Feb. 8) is the response that should be expected from the Catholic media.
I was offended by Dennis Benoit's accusations of homophobia, while he trumpets his crusade to defy the Scriptures (WCR, Feb. 22). That equates with tearing pages out of the Bible to suit lifestyles.
If I were to add another new word to the dictionary it would be "heterophobia."
Most Christians accept all people saints and sinners alike; they reject the sin.
Marriage is a sacred institution that unites a man and a woman for life. While marriage is on shaky ground in the current permissive society, to alter the fundamental purpose of the sacrament is to destroy it.
To quote a gay journalist John McKellar in Toronto: "I'm a gay man who believes society needs to protect and nurture the heterosexual family. Children need a mother and a father, the survival of civilization depends on it. Anything else is child abuse. I prefer to see civilization endure."
Rose Marie Ruth
We're blinded by material comfort
I'd like to commend Hank Zyp for his lucid columns on the causes and effects of Majority World debt. Hank's explanations are thoroughly informed and right on the money.
The "Third World's" poor people never benefitted from the money their leaders borrowed, but the poor are now suffering the lion's share of the costs of all that unrepayable debt: dislocation from their traditional homes and livelihoods, unemployment, slashing of basic social services, official blindness towards prostitution and murder of destitute street children. . . . The list is long and brutal.
As long as us rich First Worlders believe Majority World poor are responsible for their own condition, we have a moral "out" viz our responsibility to them.
But with Christians like Zyp illuminating the true causes of world poverty it becomes impossible for us to guiltlessly import the works of very poor people's hands without sacrificing any of our personal wealth for their sake.
Jubilee debt relief will not cure everything that spiritually impoverishes our world, but it will help alleviate the worst of the suffering being imposed upon the world's poorest people.
Despite whatever costs it may (or may not) impose on our standard of living, debt relief is the morally right thing to do.
We who can easily afford to sacrifice are called by Christ to do so (Matthew 25:34-40), as John Paul II and the Church urge as well.
Let's not allow our love of material comfort to blind us to the truth of what globalization is doing to the world.
Using the media effectively
Ralph Himsl's article on the Sunday readings (WCR, Feb. 22) gives his confident opinion that Jesus told Peter, James and John to tell no one about the Transfiguration in order that this would ensure "immediate spread of the story."
I would challenge this interpretation of the Scripture. It makes a sweeping statement that is in no way supported by the Gospel of Matthew. It is in keeping with his equally sweeping assessment of the broadcast schedule on the Miracle Channel as flippant Scripture performers.
Himsl must have missed Bishop F.B. Henry, Sister Terese LeBlanc, and Father Dennis McDonald on the Miracle Channel as well as the weekly program Food for Life, not to mention the other excellent well-balanced "non-Catholic" programming.
Himsl, as a retired Catholic school superintendent, knows the importance of using the media effectively. Jesuit Father Avery Dulles ("Church cannot neglect new media," WCR, Feb. 22) says the Church, in its duty to evangelize, has "to find out how the dominant media can be used to transmit the Christian message."
I rejoice in the day when Catholic believers are "on fire with the love of God" and "know or at least seem to know the Scriptures."
Klein's 'internal moral compass'
The United Alternative convention should be viewed with caution by committed anti-abortion conservatives who have been seeking a political movement to support.
Klein's pro-choice stance is well-documented and his rhetoric, applauded enthusiastically by listeners, Reformers and Conservatives alike, as to "woman and her God" endorses nothing that is different from the present Liberal stance.
The sorry spectacle of Reform Christians and Conservatives standing mute whilst the slaughter of unborn children is left to the "internal moral compass" of pro-abortionists is extremely distressful to those of us who hoped for better things.
One can only hope that decent and honourable people come forward within a framework that will encompass protection for the unborn in the political arena.