Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 12, 2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Church right to condemn homosexual behaviour
Re: "Disappointed by Church hypocrisy" (WCR, Feb. 26).
So William Crossfield believes that the Church's stand against homosexual marriages would not be shared by Jesus, undoubtedly because of Jesus' great compassion, as Crossfield states in his letter "Jesus would not turn his back . . .".
The problem with his contention is that he is confusing acceptance of behaviour with compassion for people as though the two were synonomous and co-dependent. They are not.
What would Jesus really do? Maybe a clue is found in John 8:2-11. It is the account of the woman caught in adultery whom some wanted to stone under the law of Moses.
Jesus did not turn his back on her but defended her. However, after the crowd left, Jesus also told her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on do not sin anymore."
Clearly Jesus did not condone or accept her behaviour in adultery despite his compassion for her. He did not condemn her but he did condemn her behaviour. So where is this supposed hypocrisy of the Church in opposing homosexual behaviour? I don't see it.
On Crossfield's other point regarding the value of some Church properties, it should be observed that even if the Church sold all its properties and gave all the money to the poor, conditions that create poverty, that is, human conflicts, injustice, greed and other sins in general would not disappear.
The poor would thus reappear quickly, but this time without much of the Church's strength to help them. As the Church also consists of untold charitable organizations throughout the world, the sum of $100,000 a year, quoted in the aforementioned story are peanuts compared to what the Church does for the poor here and in dozens of other nations every year.
Even as we see things as imperfect, it is better to keep them in perspective.
The Church is not a democracy
Judging by their letters, (WCR, Feb. 26) J. Gubbels and William Crossfield have an understanding of Catholicism considerably different from my own. I respect their need to voice their subjective concerns but am also compelled to inform them of the differences in our respective interpretations.
Contrary to what Gubbels has written ("People favour married priests"), I believe that the Catholic faith is not, nor has ever aspired to be a democracy. I don't recall ever even being asked for my opinion on the first several commandments.
If Catholic teaching on faith and morals were decided by popular vote, I would hate to think what the new "popular" teaching on issues such as contraception would be. I agree with Gubbels that praying for the Church is a noble action. Praying that the Church submit to the will of the majority reminds me of the popular movement to crown Jesus king of the Jews.
This same theme of "devout yet contrary" follows in Crossfield's letter of accusation ("Disappointed by Church hypocrisy"). Crossfield by his own accord is a "very devout, practising Catholic."
By his protestations he also presents himself as a very devout practising homosexual. What Crossfield wants to know is how can he in good conscience be both? I am sorry William, but the answer is simple, you cannot. You cannot both practise the fullness of homosexuality and participate fully in the sacraments of the Church.
There are many reasons why the Catholic Church considers homosexuality an objective moral disorder. Crossfield's letter exemplifies several of them.
In Crossfield's defence, he may be righteously confused. "State of mortal sin" as an impediment to the receiving of the Eucharist has long been practised more in the breech than in the observance.
For my part I pray that we each look to our catechism with humility and discover the ever loving and guiding hand of God.
Vegreville looks forward to refreshing change
I believe many Catholic school students and parents of Vegreville will be very happy to amalgamate with Elk Island Catholic School division for the following reasons:
1. We have more in common with a more rural-minded school division such as transportation issues and school closures due to weather. The Elk Island Catholic Board will understand the farming issues and small-town concerns that affect their students.
2. We may be able to attract community-minded teachers who choose to live and teach in Vegreville. Currently we have several teachers commuting daily from their Edmonton area homes, perhaps using Vegreville as a stepping-stone until they get their permanent contracts.
3. As some of the students expressed, "Maybe now we can control our own heating!" Believe it or not, despite numerous complaints, phone calls, and "focus sessions," students often have to wear their jackets in the classrooms due to a simple inability to control the temperature locally. This may seem petty, but it indicates the difficulties that arise due to the logistics.
4. Vegreville residents' often travel west towards Edmonton for personal and business purposes. Therefore, joining with Elk Island Catholic seems like a natural, reasonable choice, considering geography and traffic flow.
I believe Edmonton Catholic has done the right thing in directing their resources to their city schools. From a parent point of view, the relationship was fine while it lasted; however, I am very optimistic that our relationship with Elk Island Catholic will be a refreshing change.
Maybe we can focus on strong academics and Catholic education with Elk Island Catholic and not concern ourselves with the power and politics.
Men fear women's equality
I was disturbed when I read the letter to the editor titled "The evil fruits of feminism" (WCR, March 5). I totally disagree with the author on women forgetting their nurturing role.
Men must also accept their unique responsibilities as well in the upbringing of children.
I believe the root of the problem is men's fear of becoming equal to women. They want us "put in our place" and themselves free to do what they please.
The feminist movement does have its weak spots, but the message is clear: All we want is a little more respect.
Men, it seems, are afraid of that. It is not a sin for women to move one step ahead of men when it means making us better people. Since when did spiritual improvement become a sin?
Angelina De Sousa
God encountered on TV and Internet
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Archbishop Thomas Collins preach at the RCIA Rite of Election at St. Joseph's Basilica. He is a wonderful speaker. I was delighted when he referred to a scene from the Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade.
Clearly, he had the congregation in the palm of his hand as he spoke of the quest for the Holy Grail, the problem of mistaking illusion for reality, and the need to choose wisely.
A few moments later, he spoke of the Internet and television as "time vacuums." While I have experienced that myself, I have also found that there are opportunities, on TV and the Internet, just as everywhere else in creation, to encounter the divine.
Two recent examples come to mind. The first is an episode of E.R. A Croatian doctor had lost his entire family due to the war in his homeland, and was carrying twin burdens of guilt and anger around for a long time.
Finally, he experienced the healing of the sacrament of Reconciliation at the hands of a dying Catholic bishop who was his patient. How many Catholics watched that episode, and were moved to tears as I was? Isn't it possible that some of them were moved to return "home" to the Church, to seek the healing and release of the sacraments?
A second example is a website maintained by the Irish Jesuits - www.sacredspace.ie. It provides a wonderful opportunity for daily prayer to the millions of people around the world who are hooked up to the Internet.
Perhaps it will be the beginning of a prayer life for some who would not otherwise make such a beginning.
As in the rest of the world, we need to seek the Lord where he may be found. The same God who reaches out to us in movie theatres and in the basilica may sometimes be encountered on TV and on the Internet as well.
Chretien, Clark excommunicated
Bravo to Bishop Fred Henry for his Feb. 26 article in the WCR ("On 'pro-choice' Catholics") reproving Jean Chretien and Joe Clark for their hypocritical and scandalous stand on the issue of human life.
However, Bishop Henry did not include in his statement that any Catholic who deliberately and knowingly chooses abortion over human life becomes an enemy of Christ and excommunicates himself from his Church.
In other words, Chretien and Clark are no longer Catholics. By their position they have renounced their Christian faith.
If they dare to receive Communion in the Catholic Church without having first publicly repented of their pro-abortion stand and reconciled themselves with the Church, they are committing a sacrilege against Christ who said, "What you do to the least of mine you do to me."