Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 9, 2002
WCR Letters to the Editor
Concerning the article "Three things for conservatives to ponder" by Fr. Ron Rolheiser (WCR, Aug. 5):
In contrast to Father Rolheiser's advice in quoting Sally Bingham, I don't think anyone is in a position to judge how "devout" another person is simply by "looking" at them. One may be praying or doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Only God can fathom one's sincerity.
On the other hand we can, and indeed must, assess whether a particular action is right or wrong - in which case there is no such thing as being too conservative with regard to sin; we must express the same lack of tolerance for sin as did Christ in his condemnations of the scribes and Pharisees.
Sometimes this means being actively aggressive. We know, for example, that Christ drove out the money-changers from the temple with a whip.
Father Rolheiser admonishes us, using a rather selective passage from Scripture ("let the weeds and the wheat grow together"), to an inflated level of tolerance for sin.
As a result, he makes the rather ludicrous claim that Holland is a country with a "compassionate and peace-loving culture" even though it has already passed laws to legalize "abortion, euthanasia, prostitution and various drugs."
Father Rolheiser no doubt has a misguided concept of what "equal rights" and "religious and ethic tolerance" means in Holland. They certainly are not the "small moral achievements" he claims them to be. As Holland's laws indicate, they represent freedom without responsibility and moral relativism.
Father Rolheiser claims that "truth is not a sledgehammer." Christ, however, advises us (Matthew 10:34) that he "did not come to bring peace, but a sword" - something for both liberals and conservatives to ponder in regards to tolerance.
U.K. Ukrainian bishop applauds coverage
I recently returned from a month long trip to Ukraine where I attended the synod of Ukrainian Catholic bishops, to find a package on my desk in my new home in London containing about half a dozen copies of the June 17 edition of the Western Catholic reporter. Inside I found numerous articles and photographs concerning the episcopal ordination of myself and Bishop David Motiuk.
I wish to sincerely thank the editorial staff and everyone involved with your stupendous coverage of this event which was so significant for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Ukrainian Catholic faithful in London with whom I shared the newspaper were astonished that such significant and abundant coverage was devoted to an event concerning the Ukrainian Catholic Church by a Roman Catholic newspaper.
Truly, the June 17 edition of the Western Catholic Reporter is proof of the sincere and brotherly spirit of mutual cooperation, respect and sharing which Catholics of all rites enjoy in Canada and particularly in Alberta.
The Western Catholic Reporter has always exemplified this spirit - a spirit that we sometimes take for granted and that we should continue to cherish and cultivate.
Thank you once again for helping make June 11 a truly special day for me and for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Alberta.
Bishop Paul Chomnycky
Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain
WYD coverage lauded
I am one of the youths from Spain who attended World Youth Day in your beautiful country of Canada. I was browsing the Net recently and found your website.
I just wanted to tell you how I am impressed by the coverage of your reporter Renato Gandia. His attention to details was showcased with stories like food at the WYD and the romantic story of three couples.
While reading the food story I came back to my experience of sharing a meal with some people from Australia. Such sharing was really all over the place but while in Toronto I did not come across any story from the local papers with such beautiful imagery.
Only gifted souls will be able to pay attention to details like that because they look and see, listen and hear.
The reporter's journal is also touching. I agree with him saying that stories like Sergio's needed to be told.
I wish the continued success of your newspaper and thanks a million for beautiful stories written with such passion.
Sexual orientation 'gift from God'
Recent writings in the Western Catholic Reporter have allowed some misunderstandings of homosexuality and related matters. This is unfortunate since considerable cruelty can be related to this. I am grateful for the opportunity to contradict these misapprehensions.
Like heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality are gifts from God. Sexual orientation is not subject to human changing. A person does not "choose" his or her innate sexual orientation.
In the eras well before Christianity, religious and non-religious governance were one-and-the-same; and family matters, like almost all matters of culture and behaviour, were objects of this governance's concern.
Pre-Christianity, religious and non-religious (civil) government had become more or less separate in many societies. However, there are innumerable examples of "marriage" being a concern of, and controlled by both civil and by religious government, with civil government predominant in the contracting of marriage.
In the Christian eras, "marriage" has been a major concern of Christian Church teaching and object of sanctification and ceremony.
However, civil governments continued their control and contraction of marriage.
Lesbians do bear children. Homosexual men are siring children. Lesbians are mothering children as well as other human mothers do.
Homosexual men are nurturing children as well as other human fathers do.
Lesbian couples and homosexual men couples, in our own society, have been and are forming family units. Lesbian couples and homosexual men couples are parenting and raising children.
Research has shown that children raised by these families are in every way equally well raised as children raised in families headed by heterosexual couples.
Lesbian couples and homosexual men couples can and are forming loving, lifelong unions - equal in fidelity, loving success, and citizenship to any comparable heterosexual married couples.
I hope this facilitates further discussion on these matters.
Beware of pseudo-science
I would like to assure J.P. Day (Letters, Aug. 5) that I have no intention to argue that God does not exist, or that the human soul with its yearning for infinity isn't a great creation of God.
I am not sure why he has got that impression from my letter (July 29), which simply tried to warn the faithful about the unphilosophical and even devilish pseudo-science we have been fed for over a hundred years.
Sadly, there are fewer and fewer true believers in God, mainly because many succumb to the false prophets of scientism who speak about the empty visions of their own fancy (Jeremiah 23:16).
I would be quite delighted to argue with Mr. Day "how flowers grow" (Luke 12:27), although such a debate might advance from plain gardening into "chaotic" Quantum physics, or into the deadly eternal vortices of the mathematics of infinity. I realize that properly understood, "chaos" in nature safeguards our free will.
Above all, I thank Mr. Day for his suggestion to read Psalm 19. I did, and to my surprise I quickly realized where he, and perhaps many others, make an elementary error. Psalm 19 talks about how the heavens and the firmament proclaim the glory of God's creation, and they certainly do.
However, the word "heavens" in this case does not mean heaven, the glimpses of which Mr. Himsl is searching for, but rather the physical sky in which God has pitched the tent for the sun.
This double meaning of the word "heavens" is clearly explained in the article 326 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
As far as the last big conclusion that Mr. Day presents, that there are some things which we will never be able to understand, I wholeheartedly agree.
From Snowshoes to E-mail brings back memories
I have just finished reading the booklet, From Snowshoes to E-mail by Frank Dolphin on the history of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton (WCR, July 1).
What a treasure it is!
It brought back memories of my early childhood when Archbishop John Hugh MacDonald graced us with his presence at St. Francis Church.
I shyly stepped forward to greet him and kiss his ring. He was most gracious and made me feel quite at ease.
This booklet contains a wealth of information on our archdiocese - past and present.
My thanks to Frank Dolphin for producing this excellent booklet and to Archbishop Collins for offering it free of charge.
It can be obtained from The Pastoral Centre at 8421-101 Ave.