Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 31, 2010
WCR Letters to the Editor
Support CCODP and its ongoing work for justice
The headlined article "The Enemy is Within" (WCR May 17) focuses attention on collective sin within the Church.
As a struggling lay Catholic, trying to hang on to the anchors of my faith and Christian belief, I hear Pope Benedict's message and share a sense of collective shame, letdown and anger. Labouring under the guilt and stain of this sin, however, is destructive to the spirit of healing and life.
As well as admitting our own personal inadequacies, we must be inspired by those, perhaps even some "quarrelsome and even rebellious sons and daughters" in our family of faith, who struggle to live and celebrate life with the respect, honesty, integrity, humility and love modeled by Christ.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has been wearing an assortment of hand-me-down boots, depending on the whims of clergy and lay support.
The people wearing these boots, however, have been making big tracks. This continues to inspire the hope, that despite systemic rot in our community, much good is being accomplished.
As a CCODP member, I take heart from this organization's engagement in social justice issues. I am one of 14,000 members, who support this grassroots organization and wish to advocate on its behalf.
My hope is that our Church hierarchy empowers this organization by respecting its democratic nature. Rather than providing oversight and control of its operations, grant it freedom and responsibility to grow in a way consistent with the programs CCODP supports with its partners in the Global South.
The enemy within cannot flourish in a community that respects the democratic rights of its members and the goodness of God's creation.
Canadian Catholics should give whole-hearted support to organizations such as CCODP and support one another in leaving footprints of justice and goodness on the ground upon which we walk.
Graphic GAP signs could distress young children
I attended the final rally of the March for Life on Thursday, May 13 with my two elementary-aged children. In all, I thought it was well attended, and very well executed - the speakers were excellent.
I would like to make one observation, though. The crowd there was of a very mixed age, ranging from toddlers up to seniors. A number of university-aged young adults stood at the front of the crowd, brandishing graphic signs of aborted fetuses (the Genocide Awareness Project).
The families with children were all behind, where the children would be less likely to see the signs.
To my brothers and sisters at the GAP: I realize you have undergone some persecution lately, especially at the University of Calgary. I do defend, with every fibre of my being, your right to free expression in the public sphere.
But I ask you to consider this: When you display graphic signs in the public arena, you are (whether you are aware of it or not) pushing young children and their families away.
I therefore respectfully urge you, when you demonstrate in places where children can be expected, to keep your signs to a PG rating.
Letter to the Editor - 06/14/10
Killing the unborn tells it like it is
The front page feature "The enemy is within" commented on Pope Benedict's recognition that the suffering of the Church comes from inside. It appeared in the same WCR (May 17) as the report on Michael Coren's talk at the May 8 pro-life meeting.
How different our struggle against the culture of death would be if our journalists and editors had the courage to stop perpetuating the great deception that we are dealing only with abortion and not the killing of the unborn?
How different the message would have been with the headline "TV talk show host lays out the case against killing the unborn."
We have grown to accept the idea that killing the unwanted is an acceptable option and we have done this to ourselves by using the language of those that embrace the idea and would have us do the same.
Would we have voted for and elected consecutive federal governments whose aim was to advance the acceptance of the removal of any legal protection of the unborn if our Catholic newspapers had bombarded us with the fact that this was about killing the unwanted?
When was the last interview conducted with a Catholic doctor to address the question of what an abortion really is and then reported on with street language to which readers can relate? As we ponder who the enemy is perhaps we should all look in the mirror.
Gift of tongues helps build God's kingdom
Before Pentecost, it was refreshing to read Glen Argan's article on the Holy Spirit ("Holy Spirit's charismatic gifts," WCR, May 3). It is my conviction that the gift of tongues still exists in the Church.
Argan asserts, "The gift of tongues is a heavenly language for praising God," which is true according to St. Paul. It can also be a gift of prophecy if we have an interpreter in the prayer group.
Romans 8.26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how to pray as we ought. The Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will."
The documents of Vatican II clearly teach that God renews his Church by the Spirit.
The gift of tongues is a useful gift, not to be left out, helpful in the building of the kingdom of God.
Fr. Fernand Ducharme
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