Last Updated: Thursday - 09/30/2010
October 4, 2010
WCR Letters to the Editor
Gambling controversy offers an opportunity
So everyone is in an uproar now over the archbishop's edict, putting an end to stakes gaming revenues for Catholic organizations. Concern over our Catholic schools is ringing the greatest alarm.
So people are angry, because they're afraid. Doom and gloom, they forecast, predicting an end to Catholic education in Alberta.
Personally, I choose not to see it that way. Rather, I prefer to see this as an opportunity, to make the relationship between parish and school into a real one.
I'm surprised that no one from the schools has considered the possibility of connecting with their parishes, to ask for financial help. I'm also surprised that it hasn't occurred to anyone from the parishes that we should direct new funding for our schools.
"But the parish doesn't have any extra money!" most parishes will argue, and accurately so, which demonstrates the real problem - that stewardship is yet to take hold in the hearts of Catholics, that loonies and toonies are still thrown into our collection baskets.
Such fundraising responsibilities may need to be coordinated by the archdiocese itself, with the same commitment that it has had to the Cornerstone Campaign. Surely Catholic education of our children is as high a priority as Newman and the seminary are.
Fact is, if these events were happening to our Protestant sisters and brothers, it would be a non-issue for them, because they already fund their endeavours abundantly.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if, as parish organizations, we took responsibility for the financial needs of our Catholic schools? How much closer a bond would there be between parish and school if we saw them taking care of each other in a real tangible way?
How much more "Catholic" would we really be if we did so?
Rev. Michael Mireau
Edmonton Catholic Schools
Personal witness to faith belongs in public
Re: Father Ron Rolheiser's column "Intimacy of prayer belongs behind closed doors" in the Sept. 13 WCR.
There is certainly a lot to be said about the merits of private prayer. However, Father Rolheiser is incorrect in claiming that Matthew (6.5-6) bans all "public display of piety, however sincere."
It is not for example, "unhealthily exhibitionistic" for priests and nuns to wear their collars and habits in public. Nor is it "bad art" to say the rosary in groups or for the laity to receive Holy Communion on their knees.
Indeed the Church strongly encourages these public displays of piety despite the fact that they are widely disdained by the vast majority of our priests and bishops.
If these things make people like Father Rolheiser "squirm" and become "irritated" and "uncomfortable" they might try examining their own suspicious nature and level of sincerity in regards to their personal piety.
Clearly, and contrary to Father Rolheiser, Matthew 6.5-6 does distinguish between acts that come from a "sincere heart" from those that come from a "false" one.
Father Rolheiser admits this himself where he states that Christ is, in this passage, "admittedly, warning against hypocrisy."
The example Father Rolheiser uses to justify his disdain for public piety - that is, that of an auxiliary bishop placing his arms on the altar in adoration for over a minute - is a bad one because obviously the rubrics of the Mass do not allow priests to invent liturgical practices according to their own whims. This should be cause for concern.
Ultimately, Father Rolheiser's article is nothing more than a submission that he has, himself, succumbed in large part to the prevalent train of thought that has infected most all our politicians today, namely, that religion should be relegated to the private sphere.
It's clear Jesus wanted all-male priesthood
Over the last while I have read a few letters of complaint regard the Vatican's stand on women in the priesthood (WCR, Sept. 13).
Would Jesus not have had women represented among his 12 apostles, or even ordained his holy mother with them at the Last Supper? Since he did not, is it then not reasonable to assume that he wanted male priests only?
Jesus' holy mother nurtured his Church until her death and continues to do so under the official title "Mother of the Church" (Vatican decree, Pope Paul VI).
Mary is the epitome of humility, an example we should try to emulate.
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