Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

It was 56 years ago this week — Oct. 11, 1962 — that the Second Vatican Council began its work of addressing how the Church should adapt to the modern world. Vatican II ended three years later and the changes formed the basis of much of the Church’s liturgy and teaching to this day. The massive task of the council, mandated by Pope John XXIII, began with much pomp and ceremony, as The Register reported in its Oct. 13, 1962 issue.


Lay investigation

Like millions of Catholics I am scandalized by the priests and bishops who have committed heinous acts, especially to children and teenagers. I’m also frustrated and angry that the clergy, including Pope Francis, use terms that are unfamiliar to the average layperson, such as clericalism. 

Pope Paul VI made papal history on Oct. 4, 1965, becoming the first pontiff to ever leave Europe and the first to leave Italy since 1809. His destination (he’s also the first to travel by plane) was New York City, where he spent a grand total of 14 hours on the ground. He packed a lot into the quick trip, including a meeting with President Lyndon Johnson and a speech to the United Nations. Here’s a report in the Oct. 9, 1965 issue of The Register on part of Pope Paul’s historic visit.


What does he want?

Re: Abuse Survivor demands ‘real’ change (Sept. 16):

I am shocked and very much disappointed by your giving publicity to this “abuse victim.” What changes does he really want? When he calls for “real” change founded on “honesty and accountability” does he imply that Pope Francis is dishonest?     

A priest in Windsor, Ont., has been removed from his duties as the Diocese of London investigates  allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Make reparations

There is a time for mercy and a time for turning over the tables of money exchangers. The time for mercy is over! Now is the time to turn over those proverbial tables.

Our shepherds must stop asking for forgiveness and engage in profound reparation (for sexual abuse victims) in the hope of meriting forgiveness. Only then can the abandoned and abused sheep begin to trust the shepherds.  

And, no, the money must not come from the donations of the faithful but rather from the personal pockets of each predator and enabler, including the pockets of those who kept the secrets.

Dona Tiberio-Smith,

Maple, Ont.

Sept. 26 is the feast day of Canada’s martyrs — St. Jean de Brebeuf, St. Noel Chabanel, St. Antoine Daniel, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Jean de Lalande, St. Charles Garnier and St. Gabriel Lalemant — who worked among the Huron-Wendat people in the 1600s. They were canonized in Rome by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930, but the occasion also drew large crowds to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ont. The Register recounted the scene of that special day in this excerpt from the July 3, 1930 issue:

The SS Noronic was called “The Queen of the Lakes” for more than 30 years, cruising to ports around the Great Lakes with hundreds of passengers enjoying her many creature comforts. It all ended in the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 1949 when fire swept through the ship while it was docked in Toronto. The blaze killed 119 and sent the city’s emergency workers scrambling to help. Some of those efforts were recounted on the front page of The Register’s Sept. 24, 1949 issue:


In response to the sexual abuse crisis embroiling the universal Church, Montreal’s archbishop has pledged that crimes committed in his diocese will never be covered up. 

What is clericalism?

My heart goes out to our priests and bishops  — the good ones, which is most of them. To say that the Catholic priests in my life have been beacons of virtue and guidance would be an understatement. 

This is why I get disturbed by the simple use of “clericalism” as  an explanation for the abuse crisis. Perhaps a “policy of maintaining the power of a religious hierarchy” has something to do with this cancer, but I wonder to which “hierarchy” this term refers? 

Is it the majority of good priests and bishops who want nothing more than to serve their parishioners while remaining true to their holy order? Or does “clericalism” refer to those poorly formed bishops and priests who either practice an utter disregard for true Catholic sexual morality in general and celibacy in particular, or cover up for those that do? 

If this second definition is what is referred to by “clericalism,” then I’d have to agree.

Mario Loreto,

Toronto, Ont.