Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
October 20, 2008
WCR Letters to the Editor
Fossil fuels are good stewardship
Observing the current financial turmoil, it is clear the credit card economy is nearing collapse and American consumers will have to severely reduce their consumption of non-essentials for a long time.
Exports to the U.S. account for one-third of the Canadian economy so this is going to seriously dampen the ability of Canada’s governments to collect taxes and pay for program spending.
The major export we ship to the U.S. is energy, increasingly from the tarsands. The gasoline and diesel that are made from oil are essential to the shipment of goods and people. If you run out of oil, there is no diesel for the trucks that haul food to your grocery store.
If Alberta were to shut down “dirty” coal-fired electricity production west of Edmonton, we would all have to move south. Our furnaces won’t run and we will freeze to death in winter.
Our lives depend on energy use. Solar power stops working every night and when it’s cloudy. Wind power doesn’t work if it’s not windy. Nuclear power generates spent fuel that is radioactive for tens of thousands of years and there is no known way to safely dispose of it.
Nobody, despite all the theories and hysteria, has ever shown a single piece of scientific evidence that CO2 causes global warming. In fact the geological record shows that CO2 levels rise 800 years after a spell of global warming.
Higher CO2 levels enhance plant growth, which is good for agriculture and green cover.
We are working on cleaner ways to use fossil fuels, because there are real “pollutants” (not including CO2) in fossil fuel emissions.
Like open pit coal mines, tarsands mines are eventually reclaimed and restored to their original condition.
Let’s stop pretending we have any realistic immediate alternative to fossil fuels. We don’t.
Body Works provided good value for doctors, nurses
Re: Cecily Mills’ applause for Body Works (WCR Letters, Sept. 8). After seeing Body Works, I agree with you completely about the impact that the whole display has on you. The entire display is being viewed with awe and respect and amazement at the way our body is put together.
Re: Sonia Clouthier’s letter (WCR Letters, Sept. 29). I cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Seeing this display, I cannot figure out why Catholics were told not to go and see this display.
There is nothing endorsing pornography in seeing the insides and outsides of the human body. Does Ms. Clouther think Catholic doctors and nurses and undertakers should not practise their profession because they are looking inside human bodies?
Ms. Clouthier needs to realize that this is 2008 and medical science needs all the sources it can get to deal with current disease, injuries and conditions.
I would bet that this display was invaluable to student nurses and doctors and anyone involved with the human body on a medical level. The display of embryos and fetuses might make someone think twice about getting an abortion.
Nothing more beautiful than laity’s contribution
In the early summer of 2008, Archbishop Richard Smith extended a challenge in his pastoral letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Nothing More Beautiful.
The archbishop signified his gratitude for the commitment of so many faith-filled and committed laypeople in the diocese. My experience is that there is nothing more beautiful.
I have been blessed to have worked with five archbishops in the diocese in a variety of wonderful ministries.
I was initiated in a farm family community, was challenged as a pastor in the early years of the oil and gas exploration and production industry (first Baptisms, marriages, funerals), was missioned in the inner city when three elder Sisters of Providence were the intermediary agents in founding the McCauley Centre, the Friendship Centre and the Pioneer House (residence for elders in the inner city).
In 1971, as pastor of Sacred Heart, there was a critical need for public housing and a voice for aboriginal parishioners and new Canadians -- the years of the arrival of many from Portugal, Serbia, Croatia, Chile, Guatemala, Italy, and the holy land (Nova Scotia). I was elected to the Edmonton Catholic school board as a voice.
I have the privilege of being missioned to work as chapain in the prison system and eight plus years in health care as hospital chaplain. My ministry has been blessed with support, prayer and joy-filled servants of Jesus. Nothing more beautiful!
My guess is that more than 10,000 faithful laity are deeply involved in parish ministry, health care, education, social justice, i.e. family life support, assisted living, counselling services, etc.
These have been Gospel responses to community needs for many years. May we give continued support to the ongoing faith growth in our diocese.
Fr. Leo Floyd
Evolution not in conflict with faith
As a lifetime Catholic and master of science graduate, I have never felt any conflict with my faith and science (WCR Letters, Sept. 29). To me, many books in the Old Testament were written as metaphor of our own lives, much the same as Jesus’ parables.
The many layers of meaning in the stories of the Bible cannot be fully understood if the Bible is interpreted strictly as literal truth. In my view, God created the laws of physics and let the world unfold. He loves us the way we are, even if we evolved with five tentacles.
Members of the Catholic clergy have a long and rich history of scientific achievement.
Gregor Mendel, who once lived as a Catholic monk, is often referred to as the father of genetics; Father Georges Lemaître proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe; Father Roger Boscovich has often been referred to as the father of modern atomic theory and the first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body was Father Giambattista Riccioli. The man who has been called the father of Egyptology was Father Athanasius Kircher.
Let us not fear the teaching of evolution. It is entirely consistent with Catholic teaching. Instead, let us remember that God loves us just the way we are. And let us follow the advice of John Paul II and leave science to its own merits.
Applause for Alta. bishops on vaccine
Re: “Voice of experience pleads for vaccine for Grade 5 girls” (WCR, Oct. 6).
The stand taken by Mrs. Harder in the above-mentioned article stating that it is “negligent on the part of Alberta’s bishops” to write a letter opposing the Gardasil vaccine is so typical of current thought. “If it doesn’t produce enough, put more chemicals into it.”
What will it give us, Mrs. Harder, to have our daughters and granddaughters given the Gardasil vaccine? It will protect them from a few strains of papillomavirus.
What about all the other STDs? Are we to throw more and more drugs into our young people to protect them from those?
What will be the long-term effect of ever more drugs being put into human beings? Is that what we were created for? Is there not a better way?
As our Church continues to affirm, the best is still abstinence. I applaud with a standing ovation the stand taken by our Alberta bishops. For our bishops to have remained silent on this issue, Mrs. Harder, that would have been not only negligent but also tragic.
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