Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 15, 2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Rights violated in the name of God
As a Latin American and Catholic, I found the arguments presented by Julio Bailon, published in the WCR ("Spaniards civilized the Aztecs," Dec. 25) totally nonsense and deep insult to our Indian and Latin American heritage.
The arguments presented in the letter are totally out of historical context.
For many years after the discovery of America, Indian cultures such as the Aztecs were systematically exterminated by the Spanish conquerors sometimes in the name of religion and sometimes in the name of the needs of the Spanish Crown to pay for its external debt to other European nations (Please see Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano).
Violations of human rights in name the of God are widely documented in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and many other Latin American countries.
One the most disturbing comments in the letter is the argument "the Spaniards took some gold from the Americas, but all the gold that was mined in the Americas will never repay for the immense benefits of the Catholic religion, the European civilization and the language."
This type of rhetorical argument cannot be more insulting to the collective soul of millions of Indians killed during the conquest of the New World, the total destruction of consolidated societies and their way of life in the name of God.
In his letter, Bailon missed a very important fact related to the role of the Catholic Church in the New World. The fact is that the Catholic Church at first did not recognize that the Indians have souls.
Additionally, the Catholic Church was aware of the human rights violations of the Spaniards against the Indians, including slavery, yet did nothing. I am sad that at the turn of the 21st century this kind of vision is still around. It honestly seems to me that we have not learned anything over the years.
Too much indifference to Christ's presence
Jesus, in a just anger, drove the moneychangers from the Temple. He said, "It is written; my house shall be a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves."
I will call it a certain complacency that has crept into our churches, in the form of indifference to the true presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. This is manifest in the lack of genuflections among the laity and even the acolytes, a lack of reverence before and after holy Mass in loudly visiting our neighbour in the main body of the church, and in other subtle ways which must delight Satan.
God is everywhere and he surely likes our company and to have us fellowship with one another. In the Catholic Church, Jesus is truly and substantially present in the tabernacle, and we must be mindful that this is a place to come in reverence and even awe as we witness this greatest miracle of faith.
This is a house of prayer for all people. The red vigil light gives affirmation to the presence of Jesus, our king. How easily we sing, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."
Let us remember to genuflect in the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle and give thanks for the great gift of himself which brings us into his very presence.
Please consider as well that we can visit after Mass outside the main body of the church, where many are still quietly visiting with the Lord. God will surely be pleased with us as we fellowship in consideration and respect for his holy place of prayer.
Prepare well to receive the living body of Jesus in the Eucharist. God dispenses grace to you according to how you are prepared to receive him. Pray often and much and take every opportunity to receive graces of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Jesus said not to harm others
In regards to the letter by Ron Moss on the death penalty (WCR, Dec. 25), I have to say that I agree with the title: a "reality check "is" needed, but one that is higher than our human thoughts, feelings and sense of revenge.
We cannot eliminate the reality of God's will in dealing with human problems. God needs to be put before any sense of human injustice we may feel.
Jesus told us not to do harm to those who do us wrong. He certainly did not say to harm those who do wrong to others.
And frankly, do you believe that Jesus would approve of the death penalty? If not, then neither can we, regardless of the atrocities that occur.
Daisy Witherell Déry
Moneychangers bankrupting world
Re: "Drop the Debt" front page WCR article of Dec. 11.
The majority of Catholics believe that if they say a few prayers and beg for the redemption of Third World debt that the money masters of history will bow down to their terms.
It would be far better if they took Christ's approach and chased the moneylenders out of the temple of modern civilization. It would be far better for us to pray for guidance on how best to rid the world of their treachery, their lies and their hatred of all that is good and true.
This won't happen of course, for the leaders of the Church and as well as the pew-warmers believe that the answer to world hunger and war is through the application of man's law rather than those laws of economics and justice specifically stated in Holy Scripture.
The modern industrial world is awash in debt liability. This Second Great Flood, one of debt, which now covers the entire surface of the earth, is earning countless billions of dollars in interest-earnings for the moneylenders.
Interest-slavery is the plague that is forcing mothers to abandon their children, men to prey on men, hundreds of millions of babies to die of abortion or from hunger and squalid living conditions.
And it is the moneychangers whom Christ so despised who are the money masters of our time who are presently bankrupting all of the debtor nations.
Maynard Keynes boasted that not one in a million would understand the basic economic principle that was debauching all of the socialized nations. Yet, it is simple enough.
The one question that the expert economists will never answer straight up is "How can debt be eliminated when principal is used to pay down interest?" They can't answer it for if they did, the cat would be out of the bag.
The truth is that all bank loans are a fraud.
As Canadians, we have the right to create our own currency without interest. This is God's formula for he has condemned the charging and the paying of interest.
Every nation has the right to base its currency on its productive ability. Every debtor nation would be out of debt within a matter of a few years if a usury-free monetary system were established.
The Catholic Church and its leaders have the duty, the hierarchy and the bureaucracy to force such a change. All that is missing is the will to fight for what is right for "The truth shall set you free!"
We who call ourselves Christian have allowed the problem to occur. Clearly, it is up to the Church to intervene and to call for the removal of the moneychangers' false money schemes before their fraud succeeds in destroying all of Civilization . . . not just the resource-rich, poor people of the Third World.
Western civilization would have done well to have learned from the Muslim world which forbids usury with a passion.
Rocky Mountain House
Prayer against abortion is action
I was edified by the wonderful response of the faithful who turned out for Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 (WCR, Dec. 18).
I was also disappointed by comments made by Archbishop Thomas Collins regarding prayer as "cheap" when not matched by (unspecified) action or discipleship. I can appreciate his zeal in wanting Catholics to act on their faith, but to imply that prayer is not action is simply not true.
It is true that faith without works (action) is dead but prayer is a manifestation of faith, that is, an action. A living faith is fundamental to all sincere Christian works. If we do not believe, we do not act.
In prayers of supplication, we turn our minds and hearts in a spirit of faith, hope and love to God and his saints to answer our requests.
Mary, in her apparitions, makes the constant appeal to pray and fast. You would think that if she considered prayer "not enough" she would have requested, in addition, other specific actions.
Praying and fasting are actions we all can do regardless of our physical disabilities or limited circumstances; if we can do more, then by all means, let us do more.
I know members of the small dedicated group that meet, snow, rain or shine, each Wednesday across the street from the Morgentaler abortion clinic to pray rosaries for an end to abortion.
To imply that it is not enough to meet and pray at a spot where they stand in peaceful and legal protest to abortion is an affront to their efforts.
I would respectfully invite the archbishop to join them one Wednesday morning and see for himself if what they are doing does not constitute action.
Grateful for the Eastern rites
Re: "Eastern Institute launches doctorate" (WCR, Dec. 18).
A year ago, I've been blessed to be invited and made to feel welcome in a Catholic Ukrainian Byzantine church here in the city. I have been a Roman Catholic all my life and knew very little (if at all) about Eastern Christianity.
I must say that having experienced their liturgical celebration and having learned more about Eastern rite Catholicity has enriched the dimension of my Christian-Catholic faith.
I am grateful for the experience and happy to know that the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa is offering a PhD program in Eastern Christian Studies - available for those who wish to further their studies on the fascinating Eastern Christian spirituality and learning, here in Canada. I pray and hope for its success.
Celia de Castro