Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 21, 2005
WCR Letters to the Editor
Bring the lost sheep back
Re: "This lay person says she believes in both married and women priests" (WCR Letters, Nov. 7).
I am one of many who also believe in both married and women priests. Like Mary Feddema and as a retired teacher, I have seen tens and hundreds of young people leaving the Holy Mother Church, including good offspring of friends of mine.
At the 2004 convocation of Newman Theological College, Janet Somerville, former general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, honestly pointed out that for every one person newly inducted into the Church, 20 are leaving.
There are many reasons why people leave the Church, one of them being the lack of priests with good leadership. If celibacy or gender is the primary determinant or screening for selecting candidates for the priesthood, it is easy to understand why the response to the vocational call becomes problematic.
In many instances all over the world response to the vocational call is a copout among young single males to get out of undesirable economic or social conditions.
The Irish situation is a good example. Ireland used to export priests to other parts of the world. As the economy in Ireland becomes better and better, the shortage of priests has become more and more acute. When we strive to eliminate poverty, ironically we are not helping to promote celibate priesthood.
Where do we go from here? Jesus wants us to spread the good news of the Gospel to all the people as mentioned in the last chapter of Matthew and this implies that we should have more priests doing good ministry.
If celibacy and gender are stumbling blocks to this call, let us be honest to find out the roots of the problem and reconsider how we can best achieve the mission that was commanded by Jesus.
Necessary change is a consideration for any institution to make progress. Adhering to the past only brings misery and unhappiness. We need to balance the issues of celibacy or gender with the quality of leadership to promote a positive response to priesthood in order to bring the lost sheep back to the fold.
Letter to the Editor - 11/28/05
Letter to the Editor - 12/19/05
Look at abilities, not disabilities
In the Nov. 7 WCR, there was an article entitled "Disabled would face discrimination." Personally I agree with the article 100 per cent. I myself am disabled. I have both lupus and fibromyalgia, and have a hard time getting a part-time job where I can follow my doctor's orders and only work anywhere from four to six hours a day, five days a week.
This is rather frustrating, when employers see my honesty and say (in very nice terms), "Oh, you have a disability, we will have a look at your applications and see where you fit into our company."
I never get a call back, to later find out someone who was less qualified than I got the job, mainly because he/she did not have a disability.
People with disabilities (visible or non-visible) have to be given the chance to show that they can do the job. These people (like myself) want to give back what our wonderful Lord and Saviour gave us - special talents and gifts. Anything less than this, in my opinion, is a true waste.
Quit the blame game
Having read the Nov. 14 editorial, "MPs put their necks on the line," I was frustrated to see, once again, ad hominem rhetoric from Church spokesmen, both lay and clerical, used to attack dissent.
This rhetoric does not persuade, but rather alienates the very people the Church needs to keep it a welcoming institution.
Surely ordinary Catholics and politicians elected from a broader community can hold opinions which differ from an increasingly conservative Church leadership.
The editorial attacking individual Liberal and other federal politicians for voting for same-sex marriage, claiming that this was further evidence of their "efforts to demolish the foundations of civilized society," was not only excessive but dishonest.
Many of the same politicians the editorial attacks voted against Canada's involvement in the Iraq war. Surely war is a greater threat to civilized society. And, the Conservative politicians the editorial embraces would have committed the youth in our military to this unjust war.
Just as the entire Church should not be dismissed because many within and without see the contradictions of restrictions on women's full participation, on the ordination of married men (especially when it is allowed in other rites), on contraception, or full acknowledgement of sexual abuse, so individual politicians should not be drummed out of the Church or denied Communion because they differ on single issues.
You know, they may be right. The Church can and will change. Remember Copernicus and Galileo?
Letter to the Editor - 12/12/05
Priest clarifies his point of view
Regarding theresponse I received from my last letter (
WCR, Oct. 17), it was apparent to me that the point of said letter was not fully understood.
In no way was I saying that the Church shouldn't excommunicate politicians. In fact, I think that we should.
The problem is that we can't, not meaningfully to anyone other than ourselves.
The "cafeteria Catholics" you refer to, who comprise about 86 per cent of the Catholic Church, will either not accept it, or they will ignore it. They will equate us with the Pharisees, dedicated to personal gratification through self-righteousness.
You are right.
The Church is made up of sinners, just like the sinners Jesus himself ate with and associated with. He treated them like they were part of the family, part of the community, despite their sins.
That's what changed them. We would do well to do the same.
Rev. Michael Mireau
Letter to the Editor - 12/12/05
Letters to the Editor
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