Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 17, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
Offer love, not judgment
The God of the universe is the author of life and death.
He gets a lot of help from the abortionists, the economic enslavers who contribute millions of deaths each year in places like Africa, from the war mongers and natural disasters, some of them man-made.
God in his own way will look after all of these deaths. His choices are limited since he respects our free will.
Our tactics in opposing abortions are in part unfair and counterproductive. The onus is put on the women seeking abortions while the men who cause the pregnancies do not enter the picture at all.
Condemning the abortionists, blaming the women is unchristian. God doesn't condemn anybody, so why should we? People, by their own lives, condemn themselves. We know abortion is murder.
Only God-inspired human love will slow down the many diverse killings and transform society. As Christians we have a tremendous responsibility to love.
As for abortion, instead of picketing the abortion sites and condemning literature, why not befriend these women, build up their personal dignity and self esteem as human beings and full members of society?
Motherhood is a natural instinct, so is the preservation and love of their offspring. In a materialist society, the values of human life get distorted and degraded. This is where our responsibility as Christians and as members of God's society lies. Only love in its broadest sense will make a difference.
Instead of condemning our clergy and hierarchy for not doing enough to curtail abortions, why not encourage them to tackle the overall problems local and global affecting human life issues?
Jesus' presence in the Eucharist affirmed
I read in Father Clem Gauthier's letter to the WCR, Feb. 24/03, that "we must realize that Jesus is not physically present in the Eucharist. He is sacramentally present: body-blood-soul and divinity."
While Father Gauthier is correct to affirm Christ's presence sacramentally, he is quite incorrect to deny the reality of Christ's presence physically. The Church has long maintained and defended this reality.
In the 11th century, a French priest named Berengarius promoted a similar view, that Jesus was not physically present in the Eucharist. This teaching became somewhat popular in France at that time and brought about the Church's first definitive statement on the Real Presence. Pope Gregory VII ordered Berengarius to subscribe to a profession of faith which has become a cornerstone of Catholic Eucharistic piety. That profession was worded:
"I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine placed upon the altar are, by the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and that after the Consecration there is present the true body of Christ which was born of the Virgin and offered up for the salvation of the world, hung on the cross and now sits at the right hand of the Father, and that there is present the true blood of Christ which flowed from his side. They are present not only by means of a sign and of the efficacy of the sacrament, but also in the very reality and truth of their nature and substance."
Note then, the final sentence of that declaration. "They are present not only by means of a sign and of the efficacy of the sacrament, but also in the very reality and truth of their nature and substance." In other words, not only is Jesus present sacramentally, but we must realize that Jesus is indeed truly present physically in the Eucharist.
To not believe in the corporeal presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is totally incompatible with the tradition of the Church and the teaching of the magisterium.
The Fourth Lateran Council upheld the truth of Christ's physical presence in the Eucharist, as did the Council of Trent, as did Pope Paul VI in his 1965 encyclical Mysterium Fidei and his 1968 The Credo of the People of God.
Jesus Christ, therefore, according to the teachings of the Church, is indeed physically present in the Eucharist. Any teaching which denies this truth is something other than that of the Holy Catholic Church.
Hank Zyp missed
The wonderful writings of a wise man like the former WCR columnist Hank Zyp are indeed being missed by me, other members of the Council of Canadians and other readers.
In my progressively educated view, Mr. Zyp always brought home quality of life issues from around the world in his column and managed to make the link between the foreign policies of powerful rich countries and the horrible resulting effects on many developing nations.
It takes courage to take a stand for economic justice, ecological justice and in effect social justice, particularly when economic growth is seen as the apex in North America.
Similarly, our personal gain as consumers is often at the expense of plummeting quality of life in other countries, as Hank explains so well.
If we are indeed one humanity on this beautiful Mother Earth, how fair are our foreign policies?
As you may know, Hank Zyp suffered a serious health setback and is recovering slowly but doing quite well for a senior brother, according to his wife Tillie.
I am compelled to express immense gratitude to Hank for his prose, while sharing his vast social awareness with WCR readers and I hope others express how much they miss him, too.
So, Hank, if you are reading this, I send you energy and prayers for continued rapid healing so we can read your wonderful column again!
Columnist responds to readers
As writer of the Q/A column, I would like to make a few observations on the letter ("Several Omissions," WCR Feb. 24) responding to my column on the Communion cup (Feb. 10).
It is good to see someone as qualified as C. McDonald add his comments. Of course, not every aspect of the situation was treated as the response was given to the specific questions being asked.
The "potential for spread of disease" was answered by Dr. Preddy's statement that "there is a risk of contracting infectious disease but the possibility is low" (my quote).
In addition, the statement from Dr. Kolyvas from Montreal gave the reasons for the safety of sharing the common cup: protection because of the polyphenols in the wine and materials from which Communion cups are usually made.
The other issues referred to in McDonald's letter were dealt with, except the dipping of the host which had nothing to do with the query.
Besides, that was treated extensively in a previous column, as was choice in drinking from the cup. However, choice regarding the cup was clear in my Feb. 10 column with the statement from our Canadian bishops "it is up to each one to decide."
The question of the significance of the one cup rather than one for each individual was answered. I doubt there has ever been any discussion by authorities regarding the use of individual disposable glasses. Therefore, any reasons we could suggest would be pure speculation on our part, other than respect for the sacred species which is shown by the precious metals used for the sacred vessels.
My goal is to respond to what is being asked and I have to make a decision what is of greater significance and must be said and what can be omitted because of space limitations. In addition, I try to respond to the intent of the question which, sometimes, is longer than can be published.
Also, in regards to Mary Kelly's March 3, it is most interesting to see how people interpret what they read. My Feb. 10 column used the words "Christ's invitation," but Mary Kelly's letter states: "In no way . . . the faithful are here commanded (my emphasis) to drink of the chalice.
Quite a different tone, I'd say.
Sr. Louise Zdunich
Oblate mission welcomes all
Thank-you very much for your timely and prominent coverage of the Oblate Parish Mission (WCR, March 3), a long-awaited and now imminent celebration at the parishes of St. John the Evangelist and Holy Spirit.
We take the opportunity to also note the mission is meant to be inclusive, a celebration open to all parishioners, not just those who have "fallen away." Every single Catholic in our community, both active and inactive, is most welcome; indeed, through our home visits, every parishioner has already been actively sought out. All of us, regular churchgoers or not, will benefit from the spiritual renewal brought by the mission.
The letter of invitation from Father Jacques Johnson, the mission director, best expresses the spirit and intention of the Mission: "The parish mission is God reaching out with love to his children by visiting them, gathering them, speaking with them, bringing a spiritual renewal to the parish. It is Jesus sharing blessings with the parishioners. It is the Holy Spirit touching our hearts with a new fire."
This letter was sent to everyone, regardless of the extent of his or her Church involvement in our parishes.
Iraq's oil said to be real 'preventive' target
The Americans and the British say that they want to liberate Iraqi people and bring democracy to the country and the Middle East. That is only another excuse to control the oil supply in that region.
In 1951, the Iranian people held their first, and last truly democratic elections and chose Mohammed Mossadegh to lead Iran. His first act was to nationalize the oil industry, which had been under British colonial rule. Sensing it would lose its all-important oil revenue, the British government sought U.S. help in staging a coup to overthrow Mossadegh and return the oil fields to Western control.
Mossadegh was ousted on Aug. 20, 1953 and the Shah of Iran ruled with an iron grip. Mass executions of Mossadegh loyalists followed as Iran was returned to serfdom and a virtual vassal state.
We saw a similar situation in Venezuela recently where the CIA tried to overthrow the democratically-elected government because they perceived that the oil supply from that country could be jeopardized.