Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
October 4, 2004
WCR Letters to the Editor
War protects oil interests
I read the letters to the editor in the Sept. 20 WCR where people were trying to justify the war on Iraq. The main reason the United States attacked Iraq is because they wanted to control their oil reserves.
During a previous administration Richard Cheney explained the American rationale for military presence in the Gulf: "Given the enormous resources that exist in that part of the world, and given the fact that those resources are in decline elsewhere, the value of those resources is only to rise in the years ahead, and the United States and our major partners cannot afford to have those resources controlled by somebody who is fundamentally hostile to our interests."
Here is part of a letter written by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz in 1998 to President Clinton: "We believe the U.S. has the authority under the existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf."
On May 29, 1998 Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others wrote another letter stating in part: "The United States should establish and maintain a strong military presence in the region, and be prepared to use force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf - and if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power." The letter went on to say "If Saddam is left in power a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will be put at hazard."
These people just followed through on their beliefs with the consent of the president.
Knights' Bush support endorsed
After reading the letters to the editor regarding the U.S. Knights of Columbus supporting President Bush, I feel compelled to reply.
Before we criticize and condemn the U.S., I think we should look at ourselves first.
We have a prime minister who openly supports same-sex marriages and is pro-abortion. And the latest - it's cute to swear and use God's name on TV. What kind of example are we giving our young people?
Before we point an accusing finger at the U.S. let's take a good look at what's happening in Canada. At least President Bush is not afraid to say the name of God and ask his citizens to pray. Have you ever heard our prime minister do that?
Also, if Canada was ever attacked by terrorists, guess who would offer to help? The U.S.A., of course!
Let's face reality. We had no troops equipped to send to Iraq. It was an easy decision to make. If the Knights of Columbus want to support President Bush, let them.
Supreme Court just asked for its opinion
Re:"Supreme Court Worries Bishop" (WCR, Sept. 27).
Archbishop Adam Exner is being extremely disingenuous in his condemnation of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCOC). In reference to the government's decision to ask the SCOC for its opinion on the constitutionality of the government's proposed legislation to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, Exner is "frightened that the Supreme Court of Canada can decide the legislation that Parliament will pass."
Exner states, "Why do we elect legislators? So that they go to a nine-person court to tell the country what to do?"
The SCOC has not been asked to write the law or tell Parliament what legislation to pass. It has been asked to give an opinion of a draft bill. A bill which was drafted by the government. Indeed, after receiving the SCOC's opinion, the government is under no obligation to submit the bill to Parliament to be voted on.
The SCOC has been asked for its opinion on (1) whether the draft legislation is constitutional, (2) whether it consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and (3) whether it protects religious freedoms. In response to criticism, the government later added a fourth, more direct question, (4) does excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage contravene the charter.
In an attempt to score political points against the government, Archbishop Exner is vilifying the SCOC. Indeed, I would think that Exner should be looking forward to the highest court in the land expressing an opinion that the Catholic Church is not required to perform same-sex marriages.
Dr. Tim Heaman
Letter to the Editor - 10/18/04
Memories of Fr. Gauvreau cherished: Changes made at St. Joseph Seminary
On behalf of the seminarians and priests of St. Joseph Seminary, I want to thank Archbishop Collins, Archbishop MacNeil, the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Edmonton for their prayerful support and presence following the death of our late rector,Sulpician Father Louis-Paul Gauvreau. The faith and expressions of sympathy of the people of God have been a wonderful consolation for all of us.
I would also like to express our appreciation to the Western Catholic Reporter and, specifically, to Ramon Gonzalez for the sensitive article concerning Father Louis-Paul which appeared in the edition following his death.
With the approval of Archbishop Collins, the provincial council of priests of St. Sulpice has made a number of changes to the formation team. The following nominations have been made:
- Father Kevin Beach has been named interim rector to complete Father Gauvreau's term to the end of June 2005.
- Father Michel Wabgou has left the seminary and is returning immediately to Montreal.
- Sulpician Father David Brabant, whom many know from his many years in the West, will return to the seminary as director of pastoral formation. It is expected that Father David will arrive at the beginning of November.
- Sulpician Father Shayne Craig, who was scheduled to leave for studies in Rome at the beginning of October, will remain for the fall semester. He will leave for Rome next January.
- Sulpician Fathers Marco Antonio Forero and Michel Rodrique have been reconfirmed as members of the formation team.
Rev. Kevin Beach
St. Joseph Seminary
Equestrian Order given support
Re:"Church Crusade membership queried" (WCR Letters, Sept. 20).
I do not really know what J. Gubbel's argument against the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is all about. There are many Catholic orders in the world. Do they all need to fit into the same mould?
The fact is Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. The Church had its birth in that region of the world. The Turks came along much later and so did the Islamic faith.
The way Gubbels speaks of the Crusades, you would think it was just the Catholic Church's doing. The Crusades did not happen because of Pope Urban. Centuries of Islamic aggression as well as other factors contributed to their occurrence.
We could also mention the Muslim army that crossed over from North Africa to invade and conquer Spain in the year 711. In the 11th century the Spanish Crusades began in earnest in what became known as the Wars of Reconquest.
They culminated with the Spanish regaining all their land only nine months before Christopher Columbus discovered a New World. Colliers Encyclopedia states, "The expulsion of the Moors from Spain may be considered the last of the many medieval Crusades."
Nobody is supporting any wrong that was done, but to say the Crusades was an unjust war is simplistic and does not even recognize the many different military campaigns, let alone the convoluted dynamics that existed to create them.
Finally, as far as I'm concerned, if the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is OK with Pope John Paul, it's OK with me too. Membership is not obligatory; it is a choice and the Catholic Church is not just a 21st century Church, it is a 2,000-year-old Church.
Bishop Paul O'Byrne ordained in 1948
Re:"'Bishop Paul' had a love for the people" (WCR, Sept. 13).
Paul O'Byrne was ordained a priest on Feb. 21, 1948, not in 1954 as stated in the article, which, otherwise, was a fine article.
Rev. Brian Hubka