Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
April 14, 2008
WCR Letters to the Editor
Married priests place no burden on parish
Re: "Husbands with wives and children have too many obligations" by Frank Smith (WCR Letters, March 24).
I am a married Ukrainian Catholic priest now for 30 years and have served in several different parishes. My family was certainly not rich or poor; money was not an issue. We were never a burden to our parishioners, and no extra taxes were imposed on them.
Where is our faith in God's providence?
There are advantages and disadvantages to being married. Vice-versa, how about many other vocations where people have to often relocate? My family was transferred five times and we were not a burden to our bishops. Yes, it is not always ideal, but that is life.
I never heard of a priest's child being a criminal, but it could happen that some of the priests' children become not good Catholics. But I know many sons of priests that have also become priests.
The Church teaches that the sacramental mystery of marriage is holy. Why would a married priest be torn between Jesus and his wife? A good wife supports her husband in his work and ministry.
If the marriage is not what it is supposed to be, even a carpenter cannot be a good carpenter. In my marriage I have the full support from my wife. The sick dying person in the hospital is always more important than any family duty.
In the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, stated that, "My grandfather was a priest and other members of the family were priests; some were married, others were not.
"If a person is good, he will be a good priest, and this does not depend on the fact that he is married."
Fr. Mihajlo Planchak
St. Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral
Letter to the Editor - 06/02/08
Higher food prices can help the poor
TheWCR editorial of March 24 ("The poor's tortillas lose out in grain grab") is very one-sided and draws a picture of doom of catastrophic proportions.
For the record, I am a farmer in western Canada.
First, we need to understand that continuation of the low prices received by farmers is unsustainable. Low returns discourage production. This is the largest threat to a secure world food supply.
Higher prices will encourage the growth of a more viable agriculture industry in the developing world, which by and large is made up of subsistence farmers.
These farmers will be better positioned to compete in their local markets against subsidized imported food from the western world. As farmers become more profitable in the developing world, they will increase the use of technology.
Illiterate and uneducated people are not in a position to use the equipment that we use for more accurate seed and fertilizer placement and moisture conservation. They do however have the skills to use the technology that comes in seeds that promotes disease and pest resistance, more efficient use of water and nutrients, and in some cases health benefits.
Most of these traits are a result of our development of GMO technology, which is widely used in the developed world. Yet there are organizations and alarmists dedicated to stopping the use of this technology by the most needy.
There is no doubt the climate is changing and will affect world food production. This has happened before. Rather than claim the sky is falling, we should use our technology and resources to develop crops that flourish in the changing climate, be it warmer or colder.
Keeping food prices low may be the greatest disservice we can do to the hungry. Higher food prices may have a silver lining by helping the hungry of the world in a way that lasts longer than handouts.
I believe we do have a responsibility to feed those who do not have enough to eat. I worry, that as we sit down to a full table, we are not up to the paradigm shift that is required.
Albert J. Wagner
AMA president expresses caution about Pringle series
In recent issues of the WCR, Mary Pringle has written articles about her illness and her faith in God to help her to manage it ("A change of mind helps heal the mind," March 17).
While I recognize Ms. Pringle's experience and the importance of people participating in their care, I believe a word of caution is appropriate for readers.
Depression is a very individual illness and should not be over-simplified, since it differs from person to person and can require a vast array of medical treatment approaches.
I would strongly suggest that before an individual with mental illness (or any other condition) adjusts his or her medications, that he or she consult a physician to ensure that it is safe to do so.
Abruptly stopping medications or changing them without a physician's advice is a potentially dangerous practice that could have very serious consequences for the health of the individual. The same advice holds for therapy - it is prudent to consult a health practitioner before discontinuing therapy.
The editor's note accompanying the series of articles: "persons suffering from a mental disease should continue to take their medication unless otherwise advised by their physician" offers sage advice to your readers.
Darryl D. LaBuick, MD, CCFP
Alberta Medical Association
Editor's note:While the WCR sees much of value in Mary Pringle's articles, we are concerned about the effect reading those articles may have on someone who is mentally unstable. Because of that concern, we have discontinued the series.
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