Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 19, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Speak up against pornography
Society's casual view of sexuality is an insidious one that is directly opposed to our human dignity. It is also offside with many of the values (our children, families, the dignity of others to name but a few) that we purport to hold.
In pursuit of economic gain, we are pleased to trade off the dignity and often the physical and psychological health of others. It is often the most weak and vulnerable in society that are the targets of pornography.
Those without other sources of income, those struggling with addictions, those with low self-esteem, the young and the trusting are those that are lured into its web. This is far from the promotion of freedom that we assert is underlying the availability of these offensive materials.
There are plenty of examples of the proliferation of pornography. Many members of society are opposed to this expansion of pornography, yet often we are willing to leave it to the discretion of individuals to choose not to purchase pornography or support the providers of it.
Those that profit from the sale and distribution of it are counting on our silence. The 103 members of Knights of Columbus Council 6363 in Fort Saskatchewan have chosen to not be silent on this issue.
However, there are some examples of success stories where businesses choose not to proliferate pornography. The recent decision by Telus to not sell pornographic images through its cellphones is a clear example of a company making the right choice. Telus deserves credit for this, and other firms should see this example and follow it. Making money this way is inappropriate and just wrong.
You can find many examples of well-articulated articles describing the evils of pornography. Just a simple search for the "impact of pornography" on any Internet search engine will bring up thousands of articles on this subject; some of these articles are peer reviewed scientific studies, while others are simple observations made by those that encounter these impacts on a day to day basis.
It is hard to ignore this growing evidence, yet many still do choose to believe that pornography has benefits that may outweigh these social costs.
Pornography is becoming almost commonplace in society. It is marketed through every means possible, until it has gained social acceptance that it is almost impossible to avoid.
Even now access to pornography is too easy. Under the guise of personal choice and freedom of choice and speech, pornographic materials that were once thought to be shameful have become mainstream entertainment.
If we as a society truly hold as values our children, families, and the dignity of all members of society then we can no longer allow this casual attitude towards sex and pornography to persist unchallenged.
There must be a coordinated effort to rebuild the negative stigma that used to exist with regards to pornographic materials. While it may be convenient for some to suggest that new laws get formed to prohibit the making and distribution of pornography, this is potentially a dangerous course of action to limit freedoms and choices. Legislating behaviour often has far worse impacts than it cures.
This brings up the question of what are we to do. I suggest that the first course of action is to stop being users of pornography.
Secondly, let vendors know directly that they must choose whether they will sell pornography or retain our business.
Finally, we ought to take active steps to be vocal, encouraging and persuading others to respect our children, our wives, our families, our society and ultimately ourselves.
On behalf of Knights of
Columbus Council 6363
The biggest gamblers are the biggest losers
In response to Bishop Luc Bouchard's pastoral letter (WCR Feb. 26 & March 5) and the gambling issue here in Alberta (and elsewhere), I'd like to offer some non-scientific but personal insights to the issue in regards to why people gamble.
If one is honest with oneself, it is about gaining material riches, small or large, to better oneself and one's family. It is, in my view, a temptation to make it in this world without working for it.
Most people who gamble either feel the time pressure to perform in modern society overburdening or don't see any other means to make ends meet at the end of the month.
In turn, after losing some money, they feel obligated to their families and others to gain it back or, after winning something, it seems to be either a legitimate means of earning their living or just maximizing their luck.
In either case, there is no societal value in this activity, since all money to be won comes from the losers (always with a big gain for operators and the government). Money was invented to simplify trade (see topic of usury in recent publications), not to accumulate wealth. This is an add-on purpose misusing the instrument of money.
People often refer to the leisure value of gambling, like the social gathering of bingos and the freedom of choice to spend their earned money wherever they want. Leisure in this context however still means trying to get rich on the back of others, regardless whether they are the misfortunate or just one's regular neighbour.
Chances are those two groups coincide anyway, given the numbers mentioned in the pastoral letter.
If 80 per cent of Canadians gamble and 5 per cent of those encounter serious problems, then about 150,000 Albertans "experience serious difficulties" affecting directly at least half a million Albertans negatively in their families and relatives.
I think the issue cannot and must not be ignored any longer!
Lac La Nonne
A priest is offered in sacrifice to God
In response to Roger Rouleau in his letter "Encourage men to consider the priesthood" (WCR Letters, March 5), I find something lacking in his argument. He failed to define the priesthood and to tell that there is no greater vocation possible for a young man in this life. I will try to do so for him.
A priest is one who offers and is offered in sacrifice to God. This may sound simple but it is actually quite profound. Our Lady gives us the first example of this in her fiat. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to your word."
She may just as well have said "This is my body which is given up for you" for that is precisely what she has done and it is what each Christian is called to do; to give oneself to God without reservation.
Each time a priest says the words of consecration he stands in the person of Christ (in persona Christi) offering himself to the Father through the Holy Spirit but he is also renewing his fiat with the words "This is my body which is given up for you."
I should point out that this fiat is also what makes the charism of celibacy so efficacious and so cherished among those who have received it from the Father. At the moment of Consecration the very power that created all things is at work in the mystery of faith.
The bread and wine are no longer but all that remains is the living glorified Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It should no longer be called a host for it is the Lord and nothing else.
There is no greater call in this world than to be invited to be an alter Christ in such a special way.
Parents want their children to be successful. What greater success in life than holiness? A priest is not only called to holiness, as are we all, but he is called to be an example of holiness. Please teach your children the greatness of this calling.
To Roger go my prayers and encouragement too in his discernment and his "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum."
Tread unity path carefully
In response to Richard Kabaroff's letter ("Catholics would welcome moderate Anglican voice," WCR, March 5), I would like to raise the following concerns.
Regarding the union of the Anglican Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church, it would be advantageous to keep the Catholic priesthood (Latin rite) designated for only single celibate men because Jesus himself was celibate and we have a long history in the Church for this requirement.
The allowance of women priests in the Church is an outrageous and absurd notion that does no good for Church unity and only undermines the very teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church.
After all, it was Our Lord himself who chose men for apostles.
Furthermore, Kabaroff states that the Church should "hold more realistic views on contraception" and this is once again an attack on sound Catholic teaching.
Popes over the past 40 years have been unambiguous in teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil.
It has been stated that abortion follows contraception like night follows day.
Lastly, Kabaroff states that the Church should "be more welcoming to gay communities."
This could not be further from the truth because the Church has always welcomed the sinner; she only condemns the lifestyle/sin.
The best means we have for welcoming either Anglicans or any Protestant brother or sister back to the Catholic Church under our head the pope is through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary by praying the holy rosary.
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