May 2, 2016

I am discouraged that many Catholics, including our bishops, are only now expressing their concerns regarding two important moral issues - gender identity and euthanasia.

What concerns me is that the bishops, Christian communities and the provincial government are fixated on these two issues in isolation.

These issues do not exist in a vacuum; they exist precisely because we as Christians and as citizens refuse to acknowledge the larger issue of social justice.

When was the last time we wrote letters to our politicians and demonstrated on the steps of the Legislature in support of the mentally ill, the sick and dying, the homeless, the hungry children, the unemployed, family violence, the causes of family violence, bombing helpless citizens in Syria or Iraq, or any other issue of social justice.

Our record as a society, and as a Christian community shows more concern with our own issues and individual circumstances. I am afraid we are more likely to protest wage cutbacks, worker's compensation coverage, automotive recalls, increases in resource royalties, increases in individual taxation or campaigning for millions of dollars for a new seminary.

My friends, ill people, are suffering needlessly; mentally ill people continue to be ignored; homeless people exist; 50,000 plus children go to school hungry in the Greater Edmonton area.

What do we do? We blame these people for their own misfortune. We soothe ourselves by saying let them live with their decisions. Oh yes, we offer them charity, but only enough to soothe our consciences.

I suggest that the longer we allow ourselves to confront only the symptoms of an immoral society, the more numerous moral challenges will arise.

Make no mistake about it our moral self-righteous positions in relation to these issues are only disguising our deeper communal sin of social injustice; the reason Christ died for all of us.

Tom Turner