There’s nothing like a feel-good story to kick off a new year, and stories seldom get more uplifting than a dramatic rescue involving a teenage girl who feared for her life.

Lack of respect

Re: Van Hee launches a constitutional challenge of bubble zone law (Dec. 2):

Thank you for the good coverage of pro-life hero Fr. Tony Van Hee.

The undemocratic bubble-zone law, in effect forbidding helpful outreach to pregnant women seeking an abortion, really needs to be challenged. But I have one question about the headline in The Register, in reference to Fr. Tony Van Hee as simply “Van Hee.” This sounds cold and disrespectful.

I am aware it is standard practice in the media to refer to people in headlines by only their surnames, and not their titles. But might not this lack of respect also tie into society’s disrespect of human life, and even God Himself? Just musing.

Yvonne Dienesch,

Eganville, Ont.

After an extraordinary year of bickering and division in the U.S. Church, some 200 American bishops have listened to Pope Francis and taken a timeout. They gathered in early January for a six-day retreat near Chicago where they were encouraged to be silent and to pray.

Blame the culture

I salute St. Michael’s College School for their deft handling of the sexual bullying scandal. The alacrity and transparency displayed should be used as a template by all Catholic institutions.

One way to view world history could be through a lens of justice. In courts, on battlefields, in parliaments and in many other settings where humans interact, justice has been a constant pursuit — but remains elusive in so many ways.

No memories are so sweet as those which cluster round the Infant Saviour’s festive season.

Hopes dashed

I was filled with hope when I read that the federal government plans to drop the contentious anti-abortion test for summer job funding. But on further reading, my hopes were dashed. 

In order to receive summer-job funding for students, groups no longer have to attest to supporting reproductive rights, but the new wording is just as restrictive and just as vile. Applicants must declare they won’t work to infringe on any Canadian legal rights. 

Keep in mind that Canada has no laws on abortion. Abortion is not illegal but there are no laws or statutes giving women the legal right to kill their unborn child.

Other changes still deny pro-life groups from accessing summer-job funding. Any project or summer job that tries to “restrict access for a woman’s ability to access sexual or reproductive health services” (a euphemism for abortion) will be disqualified.

I see this as a ploy to divide faith-based groups from pro-life groups. Trudeau and the Liberals are concerned about public opinion before the next election. This is just a way to appease faith groups until the election. Then, should the Liberals win, we can expect the full weight of government to come down on faith groups.

Margaret Mountain,

North Gower, Ont.


Far too late to save the summer jobs of thousands of students who went unemployed last summer, the government has finally conceded a heavy handed edict to link a public grant with Liberal Party ideology was a dumb idea.

Too much intrusion

Re: Lay chaplains (Letter to the Editor, Dec. 2):

There are two aspects of Mr. Klaassen’s letter which deserve comment. The first is his suggestion for lay chaplains is in direct contradiction of the Code of Canon Law c.564: “A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care . . .

The second addresses his statement: “But the military chaplaincy ought to be civilian.” Submitting to this contradiction to the Church’s authority would be a weakening of the Church’s authority. There is far too much of that intrusion into and against the Church already, isn’t there?

David A. Hogg

Scarborough, Ont.


As Parliament awaits the imminent arrival of a report on assisted suicide that may make a bad situation even worse, it’s worth noting some chilling stories from the first countries to legalize medically induced death. This could be our future.

A peacemaker

Re: Reflections of a nation in a time of grief (Nov. 18):

Fr. J.A. McDonagh’s account of the events following John F. Kennedy’s assassination was remarkable. Reflecting on the tragedy, he wrote: “Nothing will be the same again until merciful time has weighed all the evidence produced.”