Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
February 27, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Take a read of John Paul I
I have some personal sympathy for M.I DeAbreu ("Speak clearly, Please," WCR Letters, Feb. 13). Advanced education is frequently the enemy of plain and clear speaking and writing. Editors of my letters have no doubt had to reflect on the fact.
Sadly, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI were and are formidable scholars who have laboured long and hard in academies, and it shows in their writing of the two, Pope Benedict is far and away the easier to understand in his writings and speeches.
To the extent that we thought we understood Pope John Paul II, it was because he knew how to preach through the way he lived his life and through an enormous dramatic skill. For non-scholars, his writings are a little like the piece of God to non-professional scholars: they seem to surpass all understanding.
St. Pius X thought that was entirely proper. Theological writing, in his opinion, was something that should only be addressed to fellow scholars, and which should be pretty much incomprehensible to others.
Without a trained background, St. Pius thought most non-professionals would jump to entirely erroneous conclusions from theological speculation. Most of the scholars who did get into trouble in his time were those who wrote far too well.
However, for us who are not so learned, I would humbly suggest that any available writings of Pope John Paul I be carefully considered.
The 33-day pope was not the happy simpleton of myth: he was quite as well cultivated and educated as any other pope in recent times.
But he had a particular genius for taking the very difficult and making it appear very simple. And making it simple with great charity and great orthodoxy.
If you want to understand Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, spend some time with John Paul I. He'll educate you.
John Patrick Day
Education, not legislation, works
There is a major controversy as to what moral values should be enforced through legislation. It is obvious that all Catholic moral values could not be enforced and would not be accepted by the majority in a multicultural and multi-religious country like ours.
For example the sin of adultery, which frequently leads to divorce, the biggest threat to marriage, would be impossible to enforce and would not be accepted by the majority.
The government has a responsibility to enshrine our basic freedoms and to protect minorities from abuse by the majority that is why we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As human beings, we cannot make perfect laws therefore some moral values have to be left to the individual's conscience and judgment by God.
The Church tells us to be Christ like.
When Christ was on earth he did not go to the government leaders and order them to pass laws enforcing his teachings; he told the people to voluntarily accept what he taught.
Teaching moral values to the public by religious leaders through television, radio, Internet, may be the best solution.
Let's clean up our own backyard
Abortion is a tragedy, but where is the church in supporting babies who are born into tragic circumstances in our country or the thousands of babies who are starving to death around the world? We need an answer.
Our public health care system has been eroded during the past 10 years: Where have the bishops been?
We are now shocked to read Bishop Fred Henry's article in theFeb. 13 WCR in which he threw his hands in the air in celebration because Harper said "God bless Canada."
Does Bishop Henry celebrate in the same way every time George Bush, who has turned the planet into a powder keg, says "God bless," as thousands more are killed?
An awful lot of people use the same expression that are not exactly ready for canonization.
This week it was announced that another $80 million were paid out in lawsuits in Kentucky. It has been happening in many other places.
Had our leaders not hidden and protected the molesters but dealt with the problems properly, the hundreds of millions of dollars could have been used to feed the poor.
Bishop Henry talks about the need for accountability in politics.
We wish he would be as concerned about accountability among the hierarchy of the Church and forget about politics.
We might then get people going back to church and provide a reason for young people to enter a vocation - a far more important task for our bishops.
Ponder our ethical dilemmas
Thank goodness, we have a different government. Maybe it is a minority, but it is better than what we did have.
Bishop Fred Henry says, "The government cannot be neutral on the question of abortion" ("Election results won't quell moral concerns," WCR, Jan. 30).
Dear Bishop Henry, all the trouble we got in the government the last 10 or more years was the doing of Catholic prime ministers.
Trudeau gave permission for legal abortion. As a Catholic, was that right? We all know it is killing the unborn. Was that not a public sin? But he did it, killing millions.
To top it off, he got a fancy Catholic funeral. It is still a puzzle to me today.
Then Paul Martin, another Catholic, got same-sex marriage going. The morals have never been lower than when Catholics were running this country.
In European countries, over half the Catholic churches are closed. The reason is that the Catholic Church fails to see women as equal persons to themselves.
The system has to change right here in Alberta. Over 65 per cent of women are the main breadwinners. Don't overlook this. The young people won't take this discrimination: They just leave.
What happened in European countries will happen here too. Our lay-led service was very well attended with young people giving Holy Communion. We did have them involved.
Now they have mostly left the Church, together with 65 to 70 per cent of their parents.
But I guess none of the bishops can see this.
Letters to the Editor
The WCR welcomes your letters. Please write 300 words or less and tell us your name, address and daytime phone number. All letters are subject to editing.
Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily represent the views of the WCR.