No closure

Re: Lets set record straight on papal apologies (June 16):

Fr. Raymond De Souza correctly reports that Chief Phil Fontaine, a residential school survivor and three- time leader of the Assembly of First Nations, met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and spoke positively about the conciliatory and compassionate words of regret expressed by this pope.

A century ago this month, on June 1, 1921, about 400 women from across Canada gathered at Columbus Hall in Toronto for the first national convention of the Catholic Women’s League. The First World War had ended just two and a half years earlier. Arthur Meighen was prime minister, George V was still on the throne and Canada — 8.7-million strong — was a month away from its 54th birthday.

Catchy slogans are fun and helpful: shorthand for complex concepts — except when they’re not.

I am a fifth-generation Irish descendent from Southern Ontario, and a third-generation teacher.

It is heartening to see Catholic clergy calling out the stream of inaccuracies and exaggerations around the Church’s responsibility for the residential schools debacle.

It has been a profoundly difficult few weeks to live in Treaty territory and the homeland of the Métis. To live in a land that welcomes people to safety but cannot guarantee it.

United mothers

Re: Prayers, sorrow for Kamloops children (June 13):

I am a Catholic mother of five. In my 20s, my encounter with Christ changed the course of my life. When I became a mom, I was moved to help shape my culture and actively tried to do so. It is inconceivable to me that other mothers would have had their children ripped from their very arms in the name of this culture, in the name of Christ. 

Racism, Pope Francis said, is “a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting.”

Somehow a story about hundreds of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School became a story about what Pope Francis should do, not a story about the lives lost or why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau only rushed to provide money for documenting such graves when Kamloops was in the headlines, five years after he first promised to do so.

We live in a time in which truth has lost its meaning. We live in a time in which truth is replaced by feelings. When something no longer feels right it cannot be the truth. Every opinion is valid and none is greater than another.

One of the greatest gifts a human being can give is the gift of acknowledgement: a nod, a smile, saying the person’s name out loud.