Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
June 23, 2003
WCR Letters to the Editor
WYD celebration was not a reunion
The May 18, World Youth Day celebration at J.J. Bowlen J. High School was much more than a reunion of WYD pilgrims as suggested by the June 2 WCR article. While many of the young adults that were present had attended WYD in Toronto, many had not.
The day celebrated the 18th World Youth Day, a continuation, not a reunion, of the journey of faith for the young adults of our archdiocese. In attendance were not only members of those young adult groups mentioned in the article, but representatives from throughout the archdiocese and one group had with them people from across Canada.
The subtitle "many parish groups have dispersed" does not reflect the spirit of the day nor that which is being seen in our archdiocese. The workshops that were offered were in response to the increase in the desire of the young adults of our archdiocese to learn more on ways in which they can respond to the call of service.
Those by Catholic Social Services, L'Arche, St. Vincent de Paul, Inner-city Ministries, and Child Care International reflected ways in which young adults could become involved with local agencies, while the workshops on the rosary, Mary, the saints, music liturgy and leadership offered an opportunity for participants to reflect on that call at a more personal level.
World Youth Day, when not an international event, is an annual event that in Canada we celebrate on the fifth Sunday of Easter. On May 18 we celebrated that occasion. See you next year.
Ontario needs civil marriage officiants
In your reprint of the article "Church slams gay marriage ruling" by Art Babych, Canadian Catholic News, it quotes Evangelical Fellowship of Canada president Bruce Clemenger reasoning since "over 90 per cent of marriages in Ontario are solemnized by clergy," the ruling allowing same-sex marriage "will have a negative impact on churches and religious communities."
This is skewed logic that I cannot let slide without speaking up. I was married in Ontario last year. Perhaps you don't know this but Ontario currently has no civil marriage officiants who perform ceremonies at large (although some are on the way). To get other authorized officiants (judges etc.) to perform your ceremony outside of their chambers, you have to personally know the officiant.
I'm a lawyer, yet I know no judges personally. Therefore, I was forced to have a minister officiate at my ceremony although I am an atheist. I hired a minister off of the Internet and told her that I did not want the "G" word spoken when not necessary. The minister told me that this is a common request.
It is under these circumstances that I had my marriage "solemnized by clergy." I don't think same-sex marriages will have any more "negative impact on churches and religious communities" than having them marry atheists who have no other means to marry. Perhaps you would not allow me to marry either to avoid this negative impact.
Besides, the Catholic Church doesn't marry divorced people (who do not have an annulment), or people that don't take their marriage preparation classes. I do not think they should be forced to. Why then would they be forced to marry same-sex couples?
The answer is not to discriminate against people who want to marry, it is to ensure that churches are not forced to marry people they do not wish to marry. Part of that is to provide civil officiants to marry people in Ontario.
Let us hope the government has the courage to let all of us pursue what we believe in and not just those who belong to a church.
Money well spent on war
I would like to rebut Bishop Henry's article on AIDS funding versus the war in Iraq (WCR, May 19). He stated that the money spent on the war in Iraq would be better spent on HIV.
Well, I disagree. The war in Iraq has stopped a terrible genocidal dictator and hopefully will promote democracy in the Mid-East. On the other side of the bishop's argument is AIDS. AIDS is a terrible disease but it is preventable. If you keep your relationships with your spouse and don't share needles, you will not get AIDS. People around the world need to be told this and if they practise this, HIV will not ever affect them.
The Church promoting AIDS/HIV research seems to be hypocritical as we do not promote safe sex, we promote abstinence!
Bible school plans reunion
In August 2004, John Paul II Catholic Bible School in Radway, celebrates its 20th anniversary and festivities are planned for the week of Aug. 2-8, 2004.
In order to contact as many grads as possible, we are asking graduates of the school to contact us with their updated addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Please contact us at 780-736-3833, Box 99, Radway, AB, T0A 2V0, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to celebrating Christ's bounty in our lives next August.