Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
July 16, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Graphic images have great power
I am writing in reply to Janette Bilodeau's letter in theJune 25 WCR regarding Bishop Fred Henry's disagreement with the approach of the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), a photomural exhibit which displays graphic images of abortion.
I agree wholeheartedly with your assertion that an aborted baby is not comparable to the crucified Christ. However, I disagree completely with your assertion that this display violates the dignity of the unborn.
I have seen first hand the power and the effect that graphic images have in pro-life/pro-abortion dialogue, having taken part in a number of GAP displays on college campuses.
You can debate why abortion is wrong until you're blue in the face, but when you're arguing with moral relativism, you aren't going anywhere. To those college students, you are just another argument that they can take or leave.
However, they cannot argue with those pictures, because you can't argue with facts that are staring you in the face. Those pictures open doors to discussion and healing that would never be opened in the first place, because they spark meaningful conversation.
In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King stated, "Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."
I ask you, Miss Bilodeau, what is a greater indignity to the unborn - to display those pictures, or to let this tragedy continue unexposed to our visually stimulated culture who have no concept of what abortion is because they have never "seen" what it is?
KAIROS advocates adroitly
Re: "Council of Churches told to find - and use - its political voice" (WCR, June 11).
Among those featured in Michael Swan's article is Walter McLean, a former federal cabinet minister. According to Swan, McLean singles out KAIROS: "He decried the petition and postcard campaigns of KAIROS . . . as empty theatrics which belie a lack of follow-up or real engagement with the political process".
It is not hard to find examples of KAIROS engaged in precisely the "real engagement with the political process" which McLean advocates.
On May 29, backing campaigns by two of its members, the United Church of Canada and Development and Peace, among others, KAIROS organized a sustained lobby on Parliament Hill for corporate accountability for human rights and environmental concerns in the overseas operations of Canadian mining companies.
With the participation of Church leaders and six key partners from the Global South, the lobby included a press conference; a breakfast meeting for parliamentarians; meetings at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and CIDA; meetings with MPs from every political party, including Helena Guergis, the secretary of state for foreign affairs and international development.
Hansard records interventions by 12 MPs in support of this work.
KAIROS and its members do have campaigns in which Church congregations and networks across the country send postcards and petitions to government.
However, KAIROS grassroots advocacy does not stand alone - it is supported by direct contact with cabinet ministers, members of Parliament and media work.
While KAIROS regularly assesses the effectiveness of its strategies for change, we must never dismiss the deep and sustained engagement that we as grassroots activists, staff, and Church leadership already undertake with our partners in Canada and overseas.
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
We cannot let our God go unworshipped
Our priests today are becoming older and fewer in number. Obviously, the writing is on the wall. This situation simply cannot continue.
Parishes, which have had resident priests, are facing the grim fact that that situation will not last. There will come a time when most parishes will not have a priest as we have come to expect in the past.
We can spend much time bemoaning the reasons why this is occurring but solutions can be disturbing.
We can find a worship service offered by other Christian brethren, which fills our need. To many this option is totally unsatisfactory but one that many fellow Catholics are embracing. Witness the growth of evangelical churches in our country and abroad.
We can hire our own priest to serve our needs. Most non-Catholic congregations already do this. We could pay them appropriately and provide the benefits that would entice worthwhile priests to serve our parish. The hierarchy in the Church would object most strenuously to this idea.
We can simply accept that our parish will not have a priest any longer and exist as congregation without a priest. Those who do this are generally referred to as "nominal" or "lapsed" Catholics.
We can pray for more young people to enter the seminary.
We can pray that women be allowed to be priests.
We can pray that married men/women be allowed to be priests.
The bottom line is that we are being faced with the question of how do we, as individuals, worship God. For most Catholics this has been the Mass. But as things progress we may not have that option much longer. Does that mean that we simply stop worshipping completely?
We cannot allow our God to go unworshipped!
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.