Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

Rigid adherence

Re: D&P funding remains in limbo (Oct. 7):

It was reported that 12 Canadian bishops did not remit the annual Lenten collection for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in order to put pressure on the D&P organization to ensure that its overseas partners do not support abortion and contraception. 

Sr. Mary Aquinas did not necessarily fit the stereotype of a nun in the first half of the 20th century. Aside from prayer, Sr. Aquinas was accomplished in many other fields, including aeronautics, electronics, physics and education. She earned her pilot’s license in 1942 and in 1957 was honoured by the U.S. Air Force for contributions to national security and world peace. That same year she became the first nun to fly a jet plane. She bore no resemblance to the Sally Field character in the 1960s TV sitcom The Flying Nun, but she was no less famous in her own fields of endeavour. Sr. Aquinas shared her passions across the continent, including a stop in Montreal in October of 1958, dutifully reported by The Register. Sr. Aquinas died at age 91 on Oct. 20, 1985. 


Do no harm

It’s distressing to know that doctors from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children have published an article on how best to extend voluntary euthanasia to children. This is sad but not surprising, as Canada both at home and abroad pushes to extend the culture of death. 

The state decides what is good “care” for the patient, and what is not, including the appropriate time to intentionally kill. That a sick child or person is most often not capable of making a responsible decision is of no concern. Society says we must respect the patient’s “right” to end his life. This is similar to the insane idea that students have the “right” to transgender without the parents being informed. What the self wants, not family and God, is paramount.

The medical goal should be to save lives and do no harm. Instead, the authors corrupt the aim by suggesting efficient ways to kill. To give patients the autonomy to be killed and then pay doctors to find economical ways do so is not medical care. It’s reducing life to a product, one more thing to use and abuse and then discard at will. 

Canada is in terrible need of architects of the culture of life and true care.

Lou Iacobelli,

Toronto


Vote wisely

A recent news report mentioned that the Halton Catholic District School Board trustees had cancelled a motion disallowing various charities from benefiting from school-run fund-raising because of connections to causes whose agendas contained elements contrary to Catholic teaching. This move followed protests from students and parents. The majority of trustees bowed to the will of the protesters.

On Oct. 22 parents and taxpayers will have the task of electing not only city mayors and councillors, but also their representative on the school board. In the case of the latter group, the trustees will be answerable not only for the financial and material welfare of the students, but also for their spiritual welfare. It is a heavy responsibility.

Let us hope Catholics in Ontario take care to elect trustees whose values are not in conflict with Catholic teachings and who make sure to eschew the secular attitudes often promoted by some candidates. These are the people we entrust with our most precious resource, our children.

C. Daffern,

Scarborough, Ont.

David Sylvester was installed as the new president of the University of St. Michael’s College on Oct. 4 at St. Basil’s Church in Toronto. Here is an edited transcript of his speech that day, reflecting on the importance of the school and of Catholic education:

It was eight years ago this week that Canada’s Br. André Bessette was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. The humble Holy Cross brother who was instrumental in the construction of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal died Jan. 6, 1937 at the age of 91. Over his remarkable life and in the years since, he has been credited with many miraculous healings. During the six days after his death, up to a million people filed past his coffin, surrounded by hundreds of crutches and canes from pilgrims who attested to his gifts. Here is an excerpt from The Register of Jan. 21, 1937:


The Halton Catholic school board’s controversial “Sanctity of Life” policy will not be implemented, meaning students can raise funds for whichever charity they choose.

Making things right

Re: New abuse guidelines focus on prevention (Oct. 3):

This is a good article, but I was hoping you could write that I genuinely feel that the bishops of Canada are really trying to make things right to protect minors. They seemed very sincere with me after my speech to them about clergy abuse. I sincerely want to give them encouragement and support.  

It is a different world than before when people kept things hidden. I don’t think the Church knew how to handle it and handled it very poorly. People want transparency and accountability. 

The bishops need the laity to work with them. We cannot undo the damage done, but we can have a positive effect in the present and the future.  

We must do everything we can to restore lost trust and faith in God through listening to abuse survivors and educating people about safeguards. If abuse is reported, be supportive.

I believe we have come a long way. We must not lose our hope and faith in God. There is hope. I really believe the bishops are trying to make things right.

Deborah Kloos,

Windsor, Ont.


Questioning celibacy

Almost all the articles in The Register about the current sexual abuse crisis are based on repairing the problems of the past with apologies and compensation. But what about the future?

It is necessary to preserve the Church going forward. All of the goodwill and apologies will not change the future. The underlying cause(s) of the rampant sexual abuse will not disappear because the Pope says it must.  

The recruitment of new priests must change. It is imperative that mandatory celibacy be discontinued. A few years ago when a number of Anglican priests left their church over same sex-marriage, these priests were readily accepted into the Catholic Church despite being married. The world didn’t stop turning. 

And while we are at it, we must ordain women into the priesthood and be prepared to promote them to bishops and even cardinals. Why not a female pope some day? 

Patrick King,

Toronto


Why seek answers?

Re:  We need answers (Sept. 9):

Your editorial seems to confirm your conviction that the Viganò/Francis you-said-I-said controversy needs an answer. My question is why? Why do we need answers that will do nothing but deepen the conservative-liberal divide?

What percentage of the 1.2 billion Catholics are really interested in the Viganò/Francis controversy? And what percentage are even aware of it? 

Although we must do everything to deracinate the evil that has seeped into the Church, we should be careful that in doing so we do not exacerbate the present divide.

J.E. Sequeira,

Pointe Claire, Que.


An important book

Re: Book’s journey takes some tedious turns (Sept. 16):

Joe Gunn has produced an important work. I disagree with the person reviewing it in The Catholic Register, that it is very exclusive. I do believe that it is an eye-opener for joining the activism necessary to take on some of the major problems of today’s world, and nothing is more important than climate change.

It is an important book for many people who are active or want to be active in the world that Joe Gunn knows so well.

Virginia Edman,

Toronto

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.