Readers Speak Out: September 15, 2019

  • September 12, 2019

Self-imposed silence

Re: Archdiocese gears up for federal election (Sept. 1):

The Church and the large Catholic community of Toronto has much to offer Canadians, especially, as the article suggests, by using the wisdom of Catholic social teaching in formulating government policies.

What perturbed me, however, is the emphasis the article made on the Church remaining neutral and “never mentioning a political party or in pushing Catholics in one direction or another.”

I am at a loss to understand how the Church can make a statement like this knowing full well that our rights under the Charter have been breached by barring us from standing for Parliament under the Liberal banner unless we abjure our faith, or that Catholic students are denied entitlement to government summer employment unless they agree to Liberal abortion policies. 

I admire the archdiocese’s equanimity in dealing with this subject without any vestige of rancour, but on the other hand our self-imposed silence will only embolden policies to weaken, if not eventually eviscerate, the Catholic faith in Canada.

History has shown that even a democratically elected government can lead to a democratic dictatorship if the abuse of fundamental rights is not robustly opposed by strong institutions like the Catholic Church.

J.E. Sequeira, 

Pointe Claire, Que.

Penalizing beliefs

Re: Job funding refusals worry advocates (Sept. 8):

The government recently denied job grants to many anti-abortion groups it felt would hinder access to “abortion as a human right.” Groups must vow they will neither dissuade nor harass women seeking abortions. They are to choose between money and principles. 

This punishes religious groups whose mission does not concern human reproduction. All of this pleases abortion activists because their funding and views are protected. Since the Justin Trudeau government believes in the freedoms of speech and religion, why not grant money to religious groups which do not resort to terror or harassment tactics?  

Freedom of religion is a Charter right we all have. We have the right to practise what we believe as long as it harms no one. But denying job grants to religious groups over the abortion issue infringes on our Godly rights and our Charter rights. 

Why should people who want to work for religious groups be penalized for their beliefs?  

Christopher Mansour,

Barrie, Ont.

Church priorities

Recent news about the actions of Church leadership seem to be about issues such as climate change, immigration, other religions, wars, governmental concerns — or I am just misinformed or uninformed? 

Not that there is anything wrong with these issues in themselves. I understand that the Vatican is also a state and therefore has political functions. But isn’t the Church’s fundamental concern spiritual matters? 

It seems we do not have a clear and defined direction with regards to the Church’s mission. Why are we now concerned with what the world thinks about the Church? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about what Jesus thinks? 

Rufino Ty,

Brampton, Ont.

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