“We showed no care for the little ones,” wrote Pope Francis. “We abandoned them.”

Starlight, star bright

Re: Forgiveness is the greatest miracle (July 22-29):

Fr. Rolheiser states that “the miracle” of a starlit night sky “goes mostly unnoticed; we watch television instead.”

Deeper reasons for this may be involved. Humans spill so much light into the sky that few of our present generation have ever experienced what the natural night sky looks like. Most of the lighting industry displays a stunning indifference to this issue. And the amount of  “light-pollution” continues to increase by about six per cent annually in most places.

Sleeping in insufficient darkness suppresses our immune systems. Artificial light disrupts the life-cycles of insects, birds, amphibians and other animals. Many people think responsibility for our environment is a religious issue and light-pollution is certainly included in this. Does your porchlight shine upward?

James LaFramboise,

Thornhill, Ont.

By categorically rejecting the death penalty, the Church has finally removed an unsettling contradiction to its teaching that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death. 

Setting record straight

Re: Standing on guard for life (July 22-29):

Your recent story about Fr. Tony Van Hee’s long vigil on Parliament Hill made reference to an incident during which I, then a Member of Parliament, attempted to remove a sign he was holding. I want to clarify what led to that exchange.   

As he confirmed, I always supported Fr. Van Hee’s right to speak out on the abortion issue, including defending him when efforts were made to remove him from the Hill. The sign he was holding that day, however, did not refer to abortion. It attacked gay people, equating us with pedophiles. 

I had told him I found that sign deeply offensive, and asked him to remove it. I had every right not to be confronted by such abusive words as I entered Parliament.

Despite our deep differences, I have always believed passionately in our constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and I always treated Fr. Van Hee with dignity and respect, which was always reciprocated. His incredible commitment to his beliefs over more than 30 years is to be applauded, and I was pleased to read the article in The Catholic Register telling his remarkable story.

Svend Robinson (MP 1979-2004),

Limassol,  Cyprus

The soul-crushing case of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick is yet another example of one of God’s shepherds doing the devil’s work in a Church failing still to wash away what Pope Benedict XVI called the filth of clerical sexual abuse.

Prophetic letter

Re: Canada took wrong side in Humane Vitae debate (July 8-15):

Thank you Fr. Raymond de Souza for revisiting Humanae Vitae and the Canadian bishops’ undermining of the wisdom and beauty of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on human life.

It is worth reading afresh this prophetic love letter from Pope Paul VI, readily available on the vatican.va website. 

Artificial contraception/birth control has resulted in worldwide misery. Dr. Janet Smith has done exceptional work in recording this. 

As artificial birth control grew in use, so did the rate of divorces and the rate of STIs. Fr. Silvestre Birngruber in his 1954 book, Morals for Lay People, wrote: If artificial contraception becomes widely practised, abortion on demand will follow as a natural consequence. 

We know the truth of this prediction. Pope Paul VI also foresaw the tragedy if public authorities/governments became involved in artificial birth control. 

One doesn’t need advanced degrees in medicine to realize that one cannot keep pumping chemicals into a woman’s body and not expect undesirable consequences.

David Hogg,

Toronto, Ont.

It’s probably a safe bet that Ontario’s new premier has never read Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on marriage, parenthood, procreation and contraception. 

Canada’s bishops typically are cautious when passing comment on public policy. So they grabbed our attention when, in the first paragraph of a recent press release, the bishops predicted Canada’s new marijuana law will have “disastrous effects” on society.

If mercy and justice prevail, by the time this editorial is being read the American government will have reversed its immoral practice of separating migrant children from parents and sending children to separate detention centres.

Sport is a pervasive phenomenon of 21st-century culture. Therefore, asked the Vatican, “how could the Church not be interested?”

Last month Pope Francis had Catholics worldwide scratching their heads after he seemed to suggest German bishops would have his blessing if they reached a group consensus to circumvent Church teaching and make it easier for some Protestants to receive Communion.