Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 12, 2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Be wary of fruits of underage bingo
The recent decision by the Alberta government to open bingo games for kids is the best news the gambling community and legal profession have had for a long time.
Mama takes little Joe and Jane to the game.
Some folks think that's a shame.
But mama is well aware of what she is doing.
In a few years her kids can start suing.
The coffers of bingo holders are full to the brim
with money that should have been their win
A kind judge listens to their woe
and decides that they get a huge amount of dough.
Right now bingos and casinos are a very easy way of raising money for all kinds of charitable groups. The old saying "There is no free lunch" might prove itself again true once today's toddlers start suing.
Some parents that take their kids to bingos might keep records of dates, places and people that run the bingos. If their child becomes an addicted gambler, good records will help him win.
Seventeen of the 580 submissions and presentations to the Alberta Bingo Review Committee came from Church groups and Knights of Columbus councils. The result was that bingo for children became legal.
For a diocese to benefit from gambling proceeds, when some of its organizations taught children bingo could become very, very expensive.
Victoria's ex-bishop Remi De Roo's multi-million dollar adventure into horse tracks could then in hindsight look like a small petty cash inaccuracy.
I have never been pestered by a member from another religious denomination that practises tithing, with lottery tickets or urged to attend bingo. They seem to have enough funds through tithing.
How about us Catholics going that route? God blesses a cheerful giver.
Nuncio's lavish home unjustified
Never have I read anything in the WCR which disturbed and disgusted me as much as your recent article (Jan.15) which stated the residence of the pope's representative in Canada is the fourth most expensive piece of property in Ottawa, assessed at $5.3 million with taxes in excess of $100,000.
And while not mentioned, no doubt, operating expenses of this extravagance are also well into the six-figure range annually, all paid for by the Catholics of this country.
How can the Vatican envoy, Archbishop Paolo Romeo, the resident of this property and our shepherd, possibly relate to the average Canadian, where in many cases, both husband and wife need gainful employment in order to provide the necessities of life, food, clothing and shelter for their families or to people losing their homes and/or businesses as they cannot afford the escalating energy costs; how can he relate to the homeless people, those using the food banks and much less, to people in Third World countries?
During the pope's visit to Edmonton in September 1984, he angrily delivered a homily urging a deeper commitment by his comfortable congregation to help the poor in underdeveloped nations and for a worldwide sharing of wealth especially between the nations of the North and those of the South.
In view of the pontiff's message, how can the papal nuncio justify his lavish and extravagant lifestyle? Does the account of Christ's message to the rich man in the Gospels not apply to all of us who profess to be his followers?
Scripture records that Christ frequently criticized and rebuked the lifestyle of religious leaders of his time; has anything changed in 2,000 years?
We must practise what we preach
In your Jan. 15 edition you reported that the Vatican embassy is located in one of the poshest districts in Ottawa even surpassing in value the American embassy.
As Christians we are called to spead the Gospel, the "Good News to the poor," by the example we set. I assumed that also applies to the Vatican.
Isn't the nuncio a representative of God as well as the Church?
I detect a great discrepancy here. We all have to try a little harder to practise what we are preaching. Only then will the world take us a little more seriously.
Interchurch couples living examples of unity
In response to Brian Inglis "Dismayed over article on interchurch couples" I would like to encourage him to witness the hope of unity in the churches which interchurch families are a living example of.
Within these families where two committed Christians from different denominations live out the day-to-day challenges and blessings of double belonging, we see a visible sign of unity, and a glimpse of the hope and promise "that they may be one" (John 17:22).
They perhaps more than most have had to explore and probe deeply their commitment to Jesus Christ, and work out how best to live their commitment together in the Church family.
Rather than criticizing or judging these families who already must struggle with all the inherent divisions and brokenness of the churches, could we not instead direct our energy into seeking ways to encourage and support these families?
If we have eyes to see, we will recognize the prophetic path that these committed Christian families are forging.
Pope John Paul in his apostolic letter As the Third Millennium Draws Near reminds us that "the many areas which unite us; these are unquestionably more numerous than those which divide us" (no. 16).
Why, when you hear an interchurch couple proclaim in their own words this same truth as a lived reality, are you not encouraged with hope?
May their courageous example of unity inspire each one of us to respond with charity and love to the call to pray and work for the unity Christ wills for the Church.
Commission for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
Church sale scatters parish
How are things in Stony Plain since our church was sold? All is quiet. The members of the former OLPH parish are scattered to Spruce Grove, Enoch, Wabamun, Onoway, Ephphatha House, the Carmelite monastery and various places in Edmonton.
We are told that the building of a new church for Stony Plain and Spruce Grove will be proceeding. So who is going to pay for it - Spruce Grove and a reluctant remnant from Stony Plain?
What does everybody say about this? Well, they are very quiet - very quietly sitting on their wallets. Is anyone listening?
Mary Ellen Williams
Zyp should take aim at drug companies
In Hank Zyp's article, Repenting for sins of the father (Jan. 29), we are confronted with the Jobian dialectic in its darkest form.
Hank lies blame south of the 49th parallel. There is nothing new in his opus. However, to blame the Americans who have the ability to turn our greed into guns, torture and murder is an easy leap. The African continent for one is dying of AIDS.
Why doesn't he go after the pharmaceutical companies? They are a smaller target than the U.S. government or military. When a politician in El Salvador wants a U.S. base to stimulate the economy we can give a thousand reasons past and present why it should not go there.
We cannot think of many reasons or under what conditions could it work and who would enforce those conditions.
The Church, the banking system, international aid and of course those little NGOs must work within well-defined parameters. After the first period of play, the U.S. 1,000 and the opposition zero.
The roots of chaos
Over the past several years many dubious and questionable business loans were made by the Alberta government and reported by the various media.
Financial problems arose and cutbacks were made which infringed upon the rights and entitlements of taxpayers; medical services, hospital care facilities, seniors' benefits. These are still chaotic.
Now we have the disastrous deregulation of electrical energy.
Remember, of course, that if you are critical of any of this you are considered a "left-wing nut."
Well, now we have an upcoming provincial election. March, I believe? Perhaps the "ides" will become active.
Perhaps the seniors - the grey wave and the left-wing nuts - will create a Tsunami to shake, even inundate, the supercilious, arrogant government.
Use Internet to spread the faith
I agree with the pope that the Church has to go beyond preaching to the converted and reach out to other people. The most effective way to do this would be to set up discussion groups on the Internet.
Priests and informed Catholics could be assigned to monitor, make comments and respond to questions asked.
Some people who may be interested in the Catholic faith but have doubts about some of the teachings would not go talk to a priest but would ask questions on the Internet in the privacy of their home.
In a democracy politicians have to express the views of most of the people in their constituency to have a hope of getting elected. Some people use the Internet for evil purposes. The Church has a responsibility to change public opinion for the better whether it is on abortion, euthanasia or other issues.
Once this is done the politicians will surely follow.
These discussion groups could be placed in regions of the country where a different language is used and be implemented in all countries.
There is practically no cost involved just the volunteer time. Priests and other monitors could do this from their parish offices or homes.
A plea to send used items
We are grateful to you for all the services rendered to the missionary Church in India. Please help us again in our work for the Lord Jesus in the New Year.
Kindly send us your spare rosaries, statues, medals, scapulars, used Christmas cards, used magazines and other odds. Also: please send ballpoint pens, paper-mate pens, pencils and other helps for our school children.
Your dear intentions will be remembered in our holy Masses and prayers in return.
Please forward items to:
Fr. Paul Cruz
St. Antony's Church
Vaddy, Kollam p.o., 691 013