Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 10, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
Christ's presence debated
Not only does Father Clem Gauthier's (WCR, Feb. 24) letter seem to downplay the "real" part of the Real Presence of Christ (reverting it to some kind of "transignification"), it also attempts to dissolve the delicate paradoxical tension that exists in incarnational philosophy. In fact, one almost gets the sense that doctrine of the Mystical Body is being denied.
To separate the objective element of the redemption (John 19:30) from its subjective dimension (Colossians 1:24) ultimately distorts it. Christians would thus be tempted to enter into this mystery as spectator rather than as co-participant. Furthermore, this dualistic mentality leads to a lessening of Christian moral responsibility, and the diminishment of the sense of the seriousness of sin.
As Joshua 1:7 points out, all the errors which mankind has ever made has been in this: by abandoning the centre - God's Revelation - and turning to the right or to the left; separating it from itself or "fusing" it together (e.g. God/creation; spirit/matter; masculinity/femininity, etc.)
Juxtaposing the "physical" vs. the "sacramental" presence of Christ creates all kinds of theological problems and is not compatible with Catholic dogmatics. How it is possible for the quantity and other dimensions of Christ's body to be present without also being extended in space and therefore visible, etc., is of the very essence of the mystery of the Eucharist.
For those who have problems with Jesus appearing to visionaries and in a suffering disposition, I would offer the following thought: when our Lord appears to us in this way - showing us his bleeding Sacred Heart - it is not meant to deceive or to admit an (objectively) incomplete redemption, but rather, to encourage us to change and to turn us away from the path of sin and spare his sacred humanity from "further" suffering. "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4)
To use an Old Testament parallel: God could foresee from all eternity that he would not destroy the city of Nineveh (at the time of Jonah), but that fact didn't stop him from sending Jonah. On the contrary, if he would not have sent Jonah he would have ended up destroying the city (Jonah 3:10).
And his presence is debated yet again
Quote from Father Clem Gauthier in his letter to the editor on Feb 24: "Jesus is not physically present in the Eucharist."
How does one get to be a priest and come out with a statement like that?
If I could talk to him, I would suggest that he reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He might have skimmed it, but I refuse to believe that he read it seriously.
Even if he just reads the articles on the catechism that you the editor wrote, he would surely quickly realize his error.
I would also like to mention that Victor Fedyna of Edmonton might know about prayer, but because prayer may happen in a liturgical setting, he confounds prayer and liturgy.
While praying, Jesus knelt, Sts. Peter and Paul (if not all the saints) knelt, the pope kneels, I am then in pretty good company when I kneel to pray.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (no mere bystander) wrote very cogently on the matter.
Amazing the logical length people will go to excuse their prideful attitude toward God.
Why would anyone have to defend kneeling in front of God? What a time we live in!
Who runs Alberta's Catholic schools?
Re: "Shared Facilities etc.," Feb. 24
The WCR basically made the same mistake as the Edmonton Journal did 10 days earlier. Schools sharing facilities is headlined as the key issue ("Shared facilities wording argued," WCR, Feb. 24). The subhead is more to the point. The Edmonton Journal's subhead was: "Edmonton board fights move to give Church final say." Your sub head: "Trustees meet to sort out approval criteria," points to the underlying basic issue.
The basic issue is: "Who runs the Catholic school systems in Alberta?" The issue of sharing facilities was merely one item that turned the spotlight on the main issue.
Charlie Koester and the Edmonton Catholic School board are to be congratulated. They appear to be the only Catholic school trustees who understand the Alberta School Act. Charlie is absolutely right: trustees have the final decision. There is no way that trustees have to "seek and receive support of the local bishop." We have to protect our status as a publicly funded, separate but public school system.
If bishops are allowed to "approve criteria" for anything at all, it will not be long before we are relegated to the parochial school diaspora.
I sincerely hope that the ACSTA will have the moral integrity to admit the error of its ways and to congratulate our E.C.S. board for showing them the way.
God bless you Charlie! Hang in there, man. We are with you. Bishops are keen on authority, but they tend to avoid responsibility. Consultation is fine, but that's it.
MLA defends government's attitude
When I read your Feb. 24 editorial ("Pinched pennies stunt students"), I came to the end of my tether of tolerance for your frequently inaccurate and presumptuous statements about our Alberta government.
The topic this time was education.
But before I respond to your false allegation that we "never see schools as an investment," I think it is appropriate to remind everyone that Alberta, unlike many other provinces, has two equally-funded and publicly-funded school systems: public and separate. We are proud to meet our constitutional obligation by fully and equitably funding our Catholic schools. Perhaps only Catholics who have lived elsewhere in Canada can appreciate the full measure of that fact.
I know, for certain, our provincial government is committed to education. We see it as an investment. Most government members are parents; some of us are Catholics; and all of us care about children and their education. We believe that by providing students with educational opportunities today, they will fulfill our shared vision of a healthy, caring and prosperous future for all Albertans. For you to say that we view education otherwise is simply wrong.
Our Learning Department partners with all school boards in this province to provide for the best educational opportunities possible for our children. That is a fact that I believe should not be diminished by less-than-accurate comments.
Mary O'Neill, MLA