Readers Speak Out: November 17, 2019

  • November 14, 2019

Incompatible vocations

Re: Synod gives hope to Canada’s North (Nov. 10): 

Two years ago, The Catholic Register published an article about Fr. Issa Maamar, a priest in the Greek-Melkite Church who was forced to leave Syria to protect his family. Priests in the Greek-Melkite Church are allowed to marry. Torn between leaving his people and protecting his family, he explained: “If I was alone, I would not have decided to leave, but because I had a family and I wanted to protect them, I had to make this decision.”

His dilemma underlines the issue of married priests: Marriage and holy orders can be two entirely separate vocations that are often incompatible. 

I agree with Archbishop Murray Chatlain and Bishop Gary Gordon that we need the Holy Spirit to provide other options to servicing our North that do not shortchange the family, the congregation or our northern citizens.

John J.F. Killackey,

Mississauga, Ont.

Political activism

For the pro-life movement to abandon political activism would be a mistake. Pro-lifers might have “lost” the election, but Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives won the popular vote. 

If the pro-life movement has made mistakes on the political front it is because it has been married to a neo-conservative agenda since the days of Ronald Reagan. A centre party or movement is needed. 

Based on Roman Catholic social teaching with an unabashed and courageous declaration of respect of human life at all its stages, it would promote the common good over the excesses of capitalism. It would support other parties on issues like affordable housing, Indigenous rights, refugee policy and electoral reform (proportional representation). 

Political activism is rife with danger and the risk of inciting an anti-Christian backlash. The increasing majority of Catholics in Canada, hailing from a diverse diaspora, would rally behind a leader who bravely, eloquently and unashamedly professed and defended his pro-life views. 

Michael Chard,


Climate dialogue 

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis asks for a dialogue. Where is it?

Skeptical scientists are portrayed as knuckle-dragging deniers. But are they? Asked to give reasons for climate change, they reply with a qualified “we don’t know.” This answer frustrates the impatient because it robs them of a villain.

Ken Purcell,

Winnipeg, Man.

Carbon challenge

I was a surprised to read a letter writer suggest Peter Stockland appears to be an agnostic on the science of climate change. I think Stockland’s intent was not to dispute climate change but our ability to counter its impact.

Most individuals believe taking public transit or buying an electric vehicle or reducing beef consumption is sufficient to eliminate or neutralize the impact of climate change when in reality a change in lifestyle is required. 

Net zero targets are now all the rage. What this means is taking as much carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as you put in. Measuring the amount put in is fairly easy but measuring the amount removed is not an exact science.  For example, what about goods produced elsewhere and shipped to Canada? When a Canadian buys a smartphone made in a Chinese factory powered by a coal plant, does the carbon emitted count as Canadian or Chinese? 

I think Stockland’s intent was not to dismiss climate change but to express his agnosticism about Canada’s ability to stay the course.

J.E. Sequeira,

Pointe Claire, Que.

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