Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 2, 2009
WCR Letters to the Editor
Cornerstone of Faith offers a spiritual investment
Roland Soucy's letter of Oct. 19 ("Parishioner rejects appeal for $15M for seminary") indicates an unfortunate lack of understanding about the financing of the seminary/college construction project.
Most people who have lived in Alberta during the last five years have observed the phenomenon known as "the boom." During that time, labour shortages became acute, house prices rose to new heights, and construction costs skyrocketed.
So while the $42 million proceeds from the sale of the St. Albert property might normally have been sufficient to cover the relocation, the boom was not a normal time and the archdiocese was confronted with sharply escalated costs.
We did not have a choice as to timing of the new construction - that was determined for us by the Henday road project. In fact, the seminary project was scaled down substantially from the original plans to save money, so it is inaccurate to suggest that clergy are not giving a good example of restraint.
A total of 54 seminarians from St. Joseph Seminary have been ordained over the last 10 years, and more ordinations are expected in 2010. The vast majority of these men now serve as parish priests. In our view, every one of these vocations is precious.
We are confident that most parishioners share that opinion, and that they will consider the actual facts when they decide whether to contribute to the Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to the building of a campus that will be not only a landmark into the next century, but a legacy of commitment to the faith of our ancestors.
Co-chairs, Cornerstone of Faith Campaign
Richard Gaillardetz offers his considered opinions
Tom Richardson mistakenly presents Richard Gaillardetz as a "hard-core liberal dissenter" (WCR letters, Oct. 19).
Gaillardetz, chosen to present to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, never rejects the teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, but he fulfills his function by attempting to determine the document's weight.
The Vatican's instruction on the vocation of the theologians speaks of theologians' duty to consider the extent to which the authority of the magisterium is engaged in every exercise it performs, but Richardson sees malice: "No one raises the issue of infallibility regarding women's ordination unless they intend on overthrowing it." Wrong.
Gaillardetz is simply offering his professional expertise regarding the weight a particular teaching has been presented with. Even if Gaillardetz' assessment is wrong, that would not make him a "hard-core liberal dissenter."
Richardson is also bothered that Gaillardetz seems to question the strategy of overturning Roe vs. Wade. However, Gaillardetz is making what he believes to be prudential judgment as to what is the best way to reduce abortions, and his judgment is one that can either be agreed or disagreed with.
In any event, Gaillardetz' judgment is doctrinally irrelevant and so not really that interesting to his status as a "hard-core liberal dissenting" Catholic.
Why is the fact that Gaillardetz sits on Obama's Catholic advisory board so bothersome? Why are his pro-life credentials suddenly in question?
Richardson claims, "everyone knows that Obama only selects to his committees those who will faithfully follow his culture of death agenda."
Is he supposing that Gaillardetz is lying when he claims "I did not support President Obama's position on abortion and when I was asked to be on his advisory board, I made it clear to his senior staff that, were I appointed to the board, I would continue to voice my opposition to the senator on that issue."
Finally, Richardson accuses Gaillardetz of attacking the teaching of Humanae Vitae, yet Gaillardetz has a 3.5-page defence of it in the book criticized by Richardson.
Richardson's criticisms are weak. I think Canadian Catholics would be better off giving the benefit of the doubt to a great number of American bishops who have employed Gaillardetz' services and placed their confidence in him, and to the Canadian bishops who have now done the same.
Newman Theological College
Letter to the Editor - 11/09/09
Call for orthodox voice to be heard by bishops
I endorse Tom Richardson's letter to the editor. (WCR Oct. 19). Why would the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at their plenary invite a man from U.S., Richard Gaillardetz, who is a dissenter from the Catholic Church's teaching?
He attacked the beautiful and truthful encyclical Humanae Vitae in his book on the spirituality of marriage and distorts the truth of the Catholic teaching.
My concern is, who is counselling the Conference of Bishops to invite such a man who would communicate his dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church at their meeting?
What message of hope can he bring to our pastors?
At this time the Conference of Bishops needs true orthodox lay Catholics who abide by the teaching of the Catholic Church, to advise and support them in their ministry and we have many in Canada. Thanks be to God! I pray that our shepherds, in spiritual matters, be our leaders to help us in the battle of good against evil.
I'm proud to say that among the Canadian bishops we do have five good shepherds in Alberta, who support us in the life issues and we thank them for their leadership in guiding us, truthfully according to the magisterium.
Don't we want to fight the good fight? Let those who have ears hear.
Sr. Elisabeth Coulombe
God's presence abides in our homes, at our tables
Re:"Come to the kitchen table and ecclesial altar to be together," WCR, Oct. 19).
I want to thank Father Ron Rolheiser for this insightful article. I agree that too much holiness is reserved for formal worship and the result is that we overlook the presence of God in our own homes and at our own tables.
By giving us the Eucharist Jesus was trying to draw our attention back to fact that God is very much present in the ordinary events of our everyday lives. What is more universally recognized than simple bread?
At tables all over the world each and every day people gather to share their bread and their lives with each other. It is a simple, natural and absolutely necessary part of life to gather and to eat; it is, in a very real way what I would call Communion.
To be in Church and celebrate Communion there is also real and necessary, but it's in our everyday lives that we need God the most.
When we are faced with the many decisions that each day brings, the awareness of God's presence helps us to choose wisely. We are able to choose kindness over cruelty, patience over frustration, creation over destruction. Essentially we are able to choose life over death as Scripture teaches (Deuteronomy 30.19).
Too often in our society what is simple, what is natural, what is less than extravagant is ignored and deemed unimportant. It might be prudent for us to rethink such attitudes as we progress on the spiritual journey.
God went so far as to enter our lives as a helpless infant born into a poor family, to teach us the importance of recognizing the divine in everyday life. It is good for us to encounter God in this way.
Appreciate the joy and love in the Mass and eucharist
It is good for Father Rolheiser to remind us of the social dimension of the Holy Eucharist (WCR, Oct. 19).
Even more meaningful and wondrous is the fact that the Mass/Eucharist is actually the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary - we are literally at the foot of the cross as Jesus, through the anointed and ordained hands of the priest, offers himself once again to his Heavenly Father on our behalf.
We are there! (I always wonder if I would have dared to show up at the original sacrifice.)
Just think about it. What a privilege to kneel with Our Lady, St. John, Mary Magdalen and be touched by even one drop of Christ's Precious Blood! We can immerse ourselves in this divine mystery of redemption, mercy and love.
Christ knew we needed this sacrifice for all time. He arranged for it to be passed on to us through our bishops and priests (who are so much more than "presiders").
How crazy in love God is with us. Are we paying attention?
Pauline Staniland LeBlanc
Editorial on Lahey showed no mercy
I was surprised and disappointed that the editor should have written quite a merciless editorial in your Oct. 12 issue on the subject of Bishop Raymond Lahey ("Criminal charges leave a deep wound in the Body of Christ").
Without underestimating the seriousness of the offence with which Bishop Lahey has been charged, we should still have great compassion for the man himself.
His tragic weakness reminds us of what we are ourselves - weak, fallen, sinners. We too see and approve the better but follow the worse. Who knows what personal issues, pressures, etc., took him in that direction? How overwhelmed he must be with shame, humiliation and a sense of isolation after years of good work for which he was highly esteemed and obviously not harming children.
Further, why should any citizen be subjected to investigation of a personal computer without some reason being given when pornography is alive and flourishing in today's culture?
How many parents express concern about what their children can see of this nature - free range on the Internet? Why is it that we do not reel and be stunned and find unbearable the phenomenon of vicious crime among today's youth who learn from the uncontrolled media?
To the accusers of the woman caught in the act of adultery, Our Lord said, "Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone" and to the sinner herself, he said, "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more."
There is no statement that Bishop Lahey caused children to suffer from his weakness. Let us hold back on judgment and pray for him.
Letter to the Editor - 11/23/09
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