Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 10, 2008
WCR Letters to the Editor
Don’t use fear to control our children
I need to register a serious concern surrounding the Gardasil vaccination discussion.
I agree that abstinence should be strongly advocated and encouraged among all our young people, and abstinence is certainly the safest guard against STDs, like the HPV.
It is certainly the case that the pharmaceutical industry is amping up the fear of disease in order to sell its products.
Nonetheless, this issue is making some think that we Catholics would rather that our children be exposed to a life-threatening illness than that they be promiscuous. This has me deeply concerned.
Equally troubling is the notion that some might use the fear of such a disease to control our children’s behaviour. Controlling our children with fear is a form of abuse, no matter what the issue is.
While this might not be the intention of Catholics choosing against the vaccination, it certainly is what the media thinks our intention is.
I think Mrs. Robinson’s letter, while affirming good values, presupposes levels of control that aren’t always possible, and comes across very judgmental. How can she guarantee the behaviour of her children or grandchildren to the degree she believes she can?
I think it is wrong to judge someone who chooses to love another that might not have a “pure” past — to set such high standards for others will only cut oneself off from knowing and loving a lot of wonderful people.
I hope they find a cure to all STDs some day. If we as a Church viewed this as a bad thing, as something that will only invite further promiscuity, then we need to reexamine our methods.
There are a lot better reasons to argue in favour of abstinence than the fear of STDs. Let’s stick with those reasons.
Fr. Michael Mireau
St. Michael’s Parish
Even children of devout parents stray occasionally
I ask parents to choose both abstinence and Gardasil. Do not see this as a choice between two incompatible options.
There are many good reasons for abstinence. I speak from experience as I naively believed the lies of this world and for a long time, thought Catholic sexual morality was hopelessly outdated.
The most significant reasons for abstinence are emotional and spiritual health. Although temporary sexual relationships can cause significant physical problems, emotional injuries are common and hard to treat.
Often, people end up feeling like they were used and then tossed away like some disposable product. A subsequent marriage is less likely to be that unique, intimate relationship offered by God. Worse yet, the spiritual damage of physical intimacy without commitment can be devastating.
The reason for the Gardasil vaccine is physical health. The letter from Dr. Denis Vincent (WCR letters, Nov. 3) makes the case well.
Adultery and fornication occur all too frequently. A recent WCR article tells of a chaste woman infected by a husband who was not. Sadly, the incident of sexual assault, especially “date rape,” is staggering.
How do I respond to Claire Robinson’s letter to the editor (Oct. 27)? In essence, the letter claimed that parents can teach their children to be pure and to pick partners that are likewise.
Mrs. Robinson, I suggest you thank God for the blessing of four children that followed your advice. Many devout Catholic parents have had children that strayed for an hour or a month or a decade.
Even if a young lady is chaste, will her partner be? To insure this, we could insist that everyone seeing our daughters provide a blood sample in advance and monthly thereafter.
Teach the merits of chastity to your children. At the same time, arrange for them to receive the Gardasil vaccine.
Schools the major field for evangelization
Thanks for the reflection on the role of schools in evangelization (“Overcome cultural divide in the Church,” Editorial, Oct. 27).
I believe they are the major field for evangelization. I have deep respect and admiration for the, at times, heroic efforts of administrators and teachers in evangelization and catechesis. We are not getting it done, however.
Each school needs a competent mission team, reaching out to both staff and students. This energy has to come from the dioceses and the parishes -- schools are vastly overloaded with expectations from every part of society. It is currently unrealistic to expect them to find the evangelizing energy from within.
The Gardasil controversy is, I believe, very revealing on a number of fronts -- among them, the need to be very aware of the culture of our parents and in authentic dialogue with them. I find very little energy being spent in that direction.
Standing back after 12 years in the education system, I’m finding truth in the old song, “They’re only putting in a nickel, and they want a dollar song.”
Conservatives worship dollar, forget Jesus
Re: “Tories our only hope” (WCR letters, Nov. 3).
Let those who have ears hear! The conservatives, (Republicans in the U.S.) are, from my blessedly brief work with them, basically not interested in people, but in principle.
The federal government under Harper has eliminated the COLA provision for both OAS and CPP, as has the provincial government to their Seniors Benefit package.
These governments are only interested in economics as their god. They worship the Bible but want nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus — so they are willing to “sacrifice” seniors and the destitute for the sake of population explosion, while rents in seniors’ homes and nursing homes are rising at unconscionable rates.
The dualistic-conservative mindset will bring about the extinction of homo sapiens with help from a beset nature, as envisioned by a growing number of credible authors.
Hope is simply postponed disappointment.
Coffee, CDs of the monks available in Edson
My husband and I just read your article “Wyoming Monks are Full of Beans” (WCR, Oct. 27).
We are a homeschool family of 14 who just started our home-based business, which interestingly enough distributes organic Mystic Monk coffee and their Mystical Chant of Carmel CDs.
If any of your readers would like to try these “beans”, give us a call at (780) 693-2596 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Real Monks. Real coffee!
Curtis & Lorretta Hiatt
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