Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 20, 2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Stand up for miracle of life
Mary Wagner is a Vancouver woman who is again serving a prison term (sentenced on July 19, to three months in jail) for defending our unborn brothers and sisters from murder most foul by abortionists.
Mary is unable to speak for herself so I will speak for her. The first thing that reporters or ordinary people ask is, "Why are you here?"
I think Mary would say, "Why are you not here?" "How can we live and live it up when so many of our people are dying?"
Our Canada has entered this century and the new millennium as the most pagan and morally depraved nation in history. Opposition to the culture of death is the pre-eminent issue in all of history. It is truly a crossroads moment in our history, a turning point, a day of decision.
Historians will some day look back on these days and ask the inevitable questions: Did you know? Did you speak up for life? Or did you turn your head, pretending to be an innocent bystander?
And those of us who believe in a day of divine judgment know that these questions will be asked also by the Lord of Life who takes as done to himself whatever we do for the least of his children. Were you there? Did you see? Did you care?
For myself, I have left all timetables and final results in God's hands but however and whenever we come to the moment of our enlightenment and the end of the struggle, when human historians and the angel of God record those who spoke up for the babies, the handicapped, retarded, the aged and forgotten, I hope my name will be written on that scroll in bold letters.
I want my life to be a voice for the voiceless, a defence for the defenceless and a caring love for the unloved and unwanted.
I do believe that no matter how long it takes to see the truth as a human family, we will find our way into the light. We will someday see each life as a unique and unrepeatable image and likeness of God, a fragile miracle of his love, bringing us a special message from God himself.
We will realize that our lives are shaped by those who love us . . . and by those who refuse to love us.
I think that this is what the poet, John Donne meant when he wrote, "No man is an island" and what Jesus meant when he said, "All I ask of you is that you love one another."
If we are faithful, someday . . . someday the rose of life will bloom in all of its magnificent beauty, for all of us to behold and to love.
Pope sought forgiveness for Polish-Ukrainian conflict
Regarding "Pope should apologize to Ukrainians" (Letters, WCR, July 16), I would submit this response.
I would remind Richard Eliuk that the pope went as a pastor, to visit members of his flock. Like popes before him, he has a strong sense of the value of all God's children. He plays no favourites.
He went to plead for unity, "That all may be one." In Kiev (June 24) addressing himself particularly to Ukrainian Christians, the pope requested that God help them "to rediscover together the solid grounds for a respectful and courageous ecumenical journey, a journey of coming closer and of mutual understanding, favoured by good will on the part of everyone. May the day of restored communion among all the disciples of Christ come soon."
Speaking to those who greeted him on June 25, in Boryspil airport Pope John Paul admitted that in the past Catholics and Orthodox have obfuscated "the image of Christ's love."
"Bowing before our one Lord, let us recognize our faults," he proposed. "As we ask forgiveness for the errors committed in both the distant and recent past, let us turn in forgiveness for the wrongs endured. The most fervent wish that rises from my heart is that the errors of times past will not be repeated in the future."
Then on June 26, the occasion of the beatification of Archbishop Jozef Bilczewski of Lviv and Father Zygmunt Gorazdowski, he affirmed that "in praising God for the indomitable fidelity to the Gospel of these his servants, let us feel ourselves gently nudged to recognize the infidelties to the Gospel of not a few Christians of both Polish and Ukrainian origin living in these parts.
"It is time to leave behind the sorrowful past. The Christians of the two nations must walk together in the name of the one Christ. . . . May the purification of historical memories lead everyone to work for the triumph of what unites over what divides, in order to build together a future of mutual respect, fraternal cooperation and true solidarity."
He is speaking to all of us to live the Our Father, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
Don't criticize pope for earlier conflicts
I was quite surprised when I read a letter to the editor of the WCR that mentioned the pope should apologize to the Ukrainian people for past mistakes made by Polish rulers of the Ukraine from the 1100s to the 1600s (WCR, July 16).
The pope's visit to the Ukraine was not a visit to rekindle cultural differences but to unite all Christians.
The pope did not want to discuss Catholic-Orthodox tensions because we simply cannot focus on the faults of past ancestors, we must put those dark chapters behind us and focus on the future relationships that we can develop with all Christians, including the Orthodox people.
It is people such as the gentleman who wrote this letter in the first place that prevent Christians from uniting by constantly pointing out cultural mishaps and mistakes.
Our pope has done so well in uniting Christians that he does not deserve such criticism for not recognizing past conflicts of his ancestors. Dwelling on the past does not bring progress in the future.
Angelina De Sousa
Papal visit had enormous impact
Having settled down somewhat after my trip to Ukraine, I want to take this opportunity to thank you and the staff of the WCR for your excellent coverage of the pastoral visit of Pope John Paul to Ukraine.
This includes as well the coverage leading up to his visit and the items on the Blessed Nykyta Budka, the first Ukrainian Catholic bishop in Canada.
As a member of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, I took part in the Holy Father's visit and both saw and heard this historic event from the pope's arrival in Kyiv to his departure from Lviv.
The spiritual impact this visit had on the people in Ukraine whether they were Ukrainian Catholic, Roman Catholic, Orthodox or from other faiths, was so evident and hard to describe. Thank you for helping your readers feel at least some of that impact.
May Christ Our Saviour, through the prayers of the Mother of God and the new blessed martyrs of Ukraine bless you in your work.
Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, OSBM
Bishop of the Edmonton Eparchy
The real cause of the AIDS/HIV epidemic
Bishop Fred Henry's article and Keith Johnson's letter (WCR, July 16) blended well to expose the real cause of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The situation would seem desperate if we did not believe that God is in charge and that he alone is able to dig out the splinters of good from the unbelievable evils that we encounter in our society and all over the world.
The HIV/AIDS phenomenon is but the tip of the iceberg. Let's consider the epidemic of out of wedlock pregnancies, and consequently, the epidemic of abortion, or again, of the many other sexually transmitted diseases which have now reached epidemic proportions as well.
The ever-increasing number of co-habitators disregard the institution of marriage. The contraceptive mentality has become so incrusted in the minds that very few now know about, or bother to look into, the natural alternative available to married couples. One could go on and on.
It would be so wonderful if we had a parade to truly celebrate life instead of mocking it.
At the parade on Whyte Avenue this past Canada Day, we were subjected to view floats promoting the "gay life", one for males, one for females. Everything is attempted to push the acceptance of immoral lifestyles. I have not heard of any protest; we have become too complacent to show disapproval in any way.
Interestingly, this took place at the very spot of the outrageous destruction on Whyte Avenue the following night. Wonder if that means anything? Evil breeding evil maybe?
Well, we have a long, long way to go it seems. Maybe we should put on sackcloths and sit in ashes to ward off some well-deserved chastisement. And plead God for his mercy.
A need for Christian values
Re: Canada Day Celebrations
Congratulations to all who contributed creatively to Canada's 134th birthday. Birthdays give us opportunities to sing, dance and enjoy each other constructively.
Unfortunately, some chose to act destructively and created chaotic problems. If these destructive people wanted to be the life of the party, they should have respected the people and environment on Whyte Avenue.
Whether they come from the upper or lower class is not the problem, what is crucial is do they have any Christian values?
Christian values motivate me to act responsibly.
Mind pollution is no solution.
Every place in Canada should be a great place to celebrate.
Sr. Elizabeth Elniski
Information on personal directives
We at St. Joseph's College Ethics Centre have received a great deal of response from your article printed on July 16 about the personal directives package that we have developed. It has been brought to our attention that our location and contact information was not included in the article.
We would like to apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused anyone and invite anyone who would like to know more about the personal directive packages or obtain a personal directive package to contact or visit us: phone: (780) 439-2422; fax: 432-0245; Email: email@example.com; Mail: 402, 8215-112 St., Edmonton T6G 2C8; website: www.connect.ab.ca/ethics.
St. Joseph's College Ethics Centre