Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
October 1, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Reader wants an 'orthodox' slant
Re: "Despite Early Concerns, Paper Posts a Surplus" (WCR, Sept. 17).
For those who appreciate the WCR's typically heterodox perspective, the fact that the newspaper recently posted a surplus must be good news indeed.
But others who would prefer to see the WCR taking a more orthodox direction might have a less favourable reaction.
It is one thing for the federal government to provide postal subsidies for Canadian periodicals; if one does not agree with their tax money be used to support publications that undermine their own beliefs, they may resort to political action.
However, when the contributions one makes to their parish are assessed by the archdiocese to support a newspaper whose writers and correspondents so often contradict the teachings of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, one finds themselves with far fewer options in that regard.
I would not foist the Western Standard upon a liberal, nor demand that a conservative support the Globe and Mail, for as Thomas Jefferson once said, "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
For orthodox Catholics who have no choice but to support the WCR, it is also a grave injustice.
Trent's liturgical reform limited by 16th century understanding
In a recent letter (WCR, Sept. 10), Paul Kokoski, expresses his satisfaction with "Pope Benedict XVI's decision to loosen restrictions on the use of the Latin Mass," adding immediately: "The Second Vatican Council, in fact never called for the elimination of Latin."
This is exact. It is the original Latin texts that can be (and eventually were) translated, primarily for pastoral reasons, in the languages of the various Roman Catholic communities.
So what Pope Benedict did "loosen" were the restrictions on the use, not of the "Latin Mass," but of the so-called "Tridentine liturgy" (including the Mass), that is, the pre-Vatican II version of the Roman rites.
What would be important to realize is that the Council of Trent, wanting to deal with at least the more serious criticisms of the reformers, did mandate a revision of the Roman rites. The Tridentine liturgy is the result of this reform.
But its authors were seriously limited in their task (as also were the reformers in their criticisms) by their lack of knowledge with regard to the history of the Roman liturgy. They did the best they could at the time.
But a more or less complete reconstruction of the history of the Roman rites became possible only with the development of historical research in the 1700s. And the theological and pastoral implications of this new information really came to the fore only in the first half of the last century.
So, in fact, what Vatican II decided was to continue what the Tridentine reform could not fully accomplish in its day. Vatican II's reform of the Roman Catholic liturgy may not be ideal. The 16th century reform, however, was still less ideal, simply because of historical limitations. The ideal will only be reached in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Roman Catholics who feel more at ease with the Tridentine liturgy should at least realize that what they prefer is, well, a liturgy that had been only partly reformed.
Laurent Gallant, ofm
Letter to the Editor - 10/15/07
No legalized harems in Canada
Re" "Polygamy Oozed on to Public Square" (WCR, Sept. 17). Your reporter has not done her research. Neither has Dr. Margaret Somerville.
Polygamy can never be legalized in Canada because on Oct. 18, 2002, Canada ratified the Protocol on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminating Against Women (Equality in Marriage and Family Relations). Sections 14 and 39 condemn polygamy as a contravention of women's equality rights that impoverishes them and also harms their children. Canada is legally obligated to uphold this document.
As well, on May 19, 1976, Canada ratified the Protocol on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states in Article 18 (3) that everyone is entitled to practise their religion, but only up to that point where those practices start to contravene the rights of others.
Again, Canada is legally obligated to uphold this document, and use it in order to allow surgeons to give blood transfusions to the babies of Jehovah's Witnesses. Finally, sections 15 and 28 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee women equality with men.
Please stop giving your readers misinformation that frightens your female readers. Concubines and harems will never be legalized in Canada.
Jancis M. Andrews
A quizzical interpretation
Lisa Petsche seems to have been duped by the new packaging of the decades old and rabidly anti-Catholic population control rhetoric ("Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz,"WCR Sept. 17).
It does not take a giant leap to see in this article everything Catholics should abhor. For charities' sake I will assume Mrs. Petsche has not fully followed the logic (or her own links) but let's look at the quiz again.
Had she stopped to think that if she put zero in the first calculation of this quiz (household size) she would have achieved her utopian "footprint" of zero.
By simply eliminating herself and her family she would be doing David Suzuki and the whole world a big favour. She would be freeing up 6.5 hectares of precious biologically productive land for some other more worthy (and hopefully more sterile) person.
Mrs. Petsche may be genuine in her ecological zeal. But she must be made aware, that while she wanders through these websites, innocently pondering the elimination of her family's consumables, the purveyors of this quiz are only interested in eliminating the consumer.
I am sorry, but I think Mrs. Petsche missed the point of the footprint quiz - the problem is us! We are not seen as children of God, our worth is being measured on a wholly different scale. And that scale is leaning heavily in favour of coercive and diabolical population reduction programs all around our apparently suffering globe.
Sure, plant a garden. Recycle your containers. But for the love of God, do not ever contemplate (or print) articles that lead readers directly or indirectly to question the value of human life . . . in Thailand, Africa or Canada.
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