Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
May 22, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Welcome diverse voices
I have just returned from Rediscovering & Claiming the Feminine Soul, a retreat for women by Edwina Gateley at Providence Renewal Centre. I was disappointed to hear that a large number of letters were received by the board of PRC protesting the presence of Edwina Gateley at a Catholic retreat centre.
Bishops of a number of dioceses in the USA ordered Catholic organizations that had booked Edwina to cancel the engagement. I thought we were a different, a more open Catholic Church in Canada.
I go to Universal Church Supplies quite often. Usually, I have a book in mind but I always walk out with a few more. I gravitate to certain authors. Other sections of the store offer nothing of interest to me. Other Catholics will enter the same store and visit only the sections I omit and shun my favourite authors.
That's OK. We are all Catholics, we are individuals, adults, with different things that move our minds and hearts. We can make choices for ourselves. We don't have to buy books we don't want.
I have been to PRC several times a year ever since I arrived in Alberta in 1969. I want to congratulate PRC for their excellent work. Especially, I want to congratulate them for risking the ire of certain Catholics by refusing to cancel this retreat. We need to maintain a certain diversity whether it be in a Catholic bookstore, a Catholic retreat centre, a Catholic parish.
The retreat at PRC was moving. All were mesmerized - religious sisters, mothers, young women, older women, lay ministers. Edwina worked for several years with women prostitutes in Chicago, founded Genesis House and regularly holds retreats for former prostitutes and addicts. These are financed by her speaking engagements.
I was not surprised that a couple of women associated with PAAFE immediately related to her.
Sometimes, I feel critical of what happens in the Catholic Church. I'm tempted to dissect what peeves me, to reject the whole package.
Then I realize that it's not the way to act. Jesus faced a bunch of nitpickers in the Pharisees. According to them he just wasn't a good Jew. They reproached him of associating with Samaritans, tax collectors and prostitutes.
In the same way, a Catholic prophet is never accepted in a rigid Catholic Church. It's not helpful to pick out of context certain things Edwina has said or done to judge her as unworthy to be received at PRC.
Yesteryear's news has perennial value
The Da Vinci Code - again. The entire front page of the
April 3 WCR and now the bottom portion of the front page of the May 8 edition of the WCR discuss the Da Vinci Code. I find myself longing for the good old days when issues such as social justice would be seen as newsworthy of front-page coverage.
Here are some of the headlines of the March 28, 1968 WCR: "Why Catholics aid North Vietnam," "New Czech regime is challenged on religion," "Powell, King clash on Negro non-violence," "Brief urges full women's equality," "Chaplains support IHM nuns in reform," "Diocese tithes 10 per cent for the poor," and "Should churches pay property taxes? Probe under way."
There is also an index to local and other news stories and where they can be found in the paper.
If the 2006 Da Vinci "news" stories tried to grab my attention, they have. To say that "Catholics line up to battle Da Vinci Code" (April 3) is perhaps overstated. I know many Catholics who are not lining up to battle the Da Vinci Code. Many Catholics have not read the book.
As a result of this front page coverage, I wonder how many Catholics will now go out and buy a copy of Dan Brown's book and read it? Even more might go to the movie when it is released.
While some discussion of the Da Vinci Code is necessary, the front-page coverage by the WCR gives even more publicity to this type of literature.
Let's get back to the good old days when there were issues more important than a book of fiction.
Rev. Leo F. Hofmann
Reader defends resource companies
I enjoy the WCR very much and read it carefully every week. Your balance is usually good. However, over the past while, I have noticed a change with articles like "Waste not, want not" (April 10). Then, "Our garbage creates our own Hades (alsoApril 10) and finally "Today's oil revenues spell future losses" (May 1).
None of us want to see the destruction of our beautiful earth and we admire responsible usage. But there is no question that these articles smack of environmentalist extremism. We will be out of (conventional) oil in seven years? And out of gas in nine? And we will be running out of water if we permit the development of the tar sands? We are also "running out of space" for our garbage?
New oil reserves are still being found. Pulp mills don't "dump" their effluent into the waterways before they are well treated. Their reforestation projects are immense.
The tar sand projects are willing to use dirty water if they can. Our garbage dumps are so organized now that we are not permitted to take from them what we may be able to use. No picking allowed.
Wouldn't you say the greatest harm to our faith and society and the greatest evil in the world is contraception and abortion? What about the link between breast cancer and abortion and the dangers of RU486?
Wouldn't it be more sensible to explore and make people aware that in actuality the human race is in great danger of implosion? Although many would venture that we are overpopulated, the opposite is in fact true.
Health care staff shortages appal visitor
I've recently been visiting a senior relative of mine in a sub-acute health care facility in the city of Edmonton. I'm impressed with the high standard of accommodation and equipment provided at that facility. The only thing missing is adequate staff.
The staff that are there are doing a commendable job in trying to cope with the needs of patients, however, there is a limit to the amount of time that they can allot each patient.
On my last visit, my relative told me : "I thought that I had already lived through the worst times in my life, but this is much worse than anything I've experienced before!"
It is a sad commentary that citizens who have worked hard to develop our modern society to its present stage cannot enjoy their final years in comfort and dignity, because our political leaders set their priorities according to vote potential rather than meeting basic needs of minority groups.
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