Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
October 5, 2009
WCR Letters to the Editor
Catholic voice of experience speaks about divorce
Re:"Divorce denigrates the sacrament of marriage" (WCR, Sept. 7).
"There are no winners in divorce, only losers," Mark Pickup writes.
As one of the leaders of a widowed, separated and divorced Catholics' group several years ago, I can assure him that many divorced Catholics don't consider themselves to be losers.
Among them are those who have extricated themselves - and their children - from years of physical, emotional or sexual abuse from their spouse, often amid pressure from family and Church to stay together at all costs.
The Catholic Church doesn't recognize divorce. However, it does give it de facto recognition by requiring a couple to get a divorce before the Church's annulment process can begin.
If and when the Church grants an annulment, the individuals are free to marry again. How does divorce in these instances denigrate the sacrament of marriage?
Mr. Pickup also writes, "The key to a successful marriage is to follow Christ, renounce self-interest and place the interests of one's spouse before oneself." Unfortunately, this platitudinous key rarely works when only one party is using it.
He also refers to Matthew 19.6 ("What God has joined together let no human being separate"). However, no one knows with certainty which couples God has actually joined together the day they get married - the Church included. If so, annulment tribunals wouldn't be needed.
As one who was married in the Catholic Church, legally divorced and whose marriage was annulled by the Church, I can't help but rejoice that sometimes it appears that what human beings have joined together, God is able to separate.
Ron Rolheiser clarifies column on euthanasia
Re:Leters to the Editor - Sept. 14.
I am sorry that some bad wording in my Aug. 24 column ("Most tears we cry are for ourselves, not for others") might have given the impression that the injection given to the woman who was terminally ill in some way hastened her death or was in some way a form of euthanasia.
Here is the background to that injection:
The woman's system was already shutting down and she had only hours to live. The injection given to her in no way hastened the death process - it only lessened her pain.
Indeed it probably lengthened her life since it took her out of excruciating pain (which her body would have tried to escape from).
The choice was not between hurrying the moment of death or delaying it, only whether she would be conscious or not conscious during her last hours.
I want to assure the readers that the injection didn't speed up the death process in any way. I am a very strong opponent to euthanasia of any kind and apologize for this misunderstanding.
Ron Rolheiser, omi
San Antonio, Texas
Alberta Hospital patients concern chaplain intern
Mary O'Neill, former MLA of the PC party, has blasted Pierre Ducharme's article because he is challenging the status quo concerning politics relating to health care in Alberta (WCR letters Sept 28).
I agree there is a difference between federal and provincial politics. However, to say that the Alberta government is working hard for the "betterment" of the vulnerable is, at the very least, naive.
Having served as a chaplain intern at Alberta Hospital, I know that if the "so-called" restructuring plan of Alberta Hospital continues, it will be at the expense of the patients.
I knew of several cases where, had patients been discharged from the hospital, they would have killed themselves - these cases demand the care of several professionals for patients; no group home can handle this.
To discharge these patients would be like handing them a loaded gun. In other cases, the drugs that patients must take have strong adverse consequences which can affect their health to the point of death if they are not closely monitored in specialized care facilities.
The government should know this because they were going to consult the medical professionals at the hospital before restructuring. They did not, however, follow through on this (see Edmonton Journal, Aug. 18).
Instead, the government determined a course of action without recourse to competent medical advice.
The doctors have protested and demanded other solutions; the government, however, will not respond. How can one not ask this question: where are the government's priorities - people or money, life or death?
Although Pierre Ducharme did not himself choose the headline above his article (this was an editorial decision), perhaps it was an appropriate choice.
Why? The government's decision to reduce drastically the number of beds at Alberta Hospital does in fact place a number of patients' lives at risk.
Billy Isenor, ofm
Excommunicating activistis harmful to Church life
Re:"Double standard for excommunications leaves activist on outside."
Glen Argan's editorial in the Sept. 21 WCR concerning the institutional misjudgment involved in the excommunication of Father Roy Bourgeois was excellent.
Excommunicating outstanding people such as Roy Bourgeois over a matter of theological conscience is harmful to Church life. Surely there can be a better way to deal with theological disagreements than expulsion.
Standing up for injusticeearns reader's applause
I am happy to see you speaking out against the injustice served to Father Roy Bourgeois (WCR editorial, Sept. 21,"Double standard for excommunications leaves activist on outside").
My only objection to your editorial is your comment that he no doubt erred in his enthusiasm for the cause of women's ordination. I believe that he did not err in the least in his show of support for half of the world's population that the Catholic Church continues to treat as second class citizens.
The Church preaches justice and equality but continues to fail to practise it. I say bravo to any person who has the guts to stand up and be counted.
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