Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

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.


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: