Readers Speak Out: December 1, 2019

  • November 28, 2019

Sensory Mass

Re: Mass… the sensory-friendly way (Nov. 10):

I was thrilled to read the article on sensory-friendly Masses. I would like to add that it is not only children who have trouble processing sensory input. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities. All forms of sensory input can be painful and overwhelming for me. 

My main concern is scents — incense, people wearing fragrances including clothes washed in scented detergent, etc. So many people like me are either unable to attend Mass or can only attend occasionally. Eliminating the use of incense and requesting that parishioners go scent-free would make a huge difference.

Elaine Vaughn,

Cardinal, Ont.

Cultural change

The Canadian Religious Conference board decided against mentioning abortion, euthanasia and life issues because all the federal parties have made it clear they won’t change the status quo. Regarding these same forms of killing, Peter Stockland wrote, “the political fight is over” (Nov. 3). 

If the aim of politics is to seek the common good, then to neglect the systematic slaughter of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters or to present other matters as more urgent is to thwart this goal. What is more fundamental to the common good than securing the right to life of each human being?

Stockland asserts that we must “fully accept that reducing Canada to zero net abortions requires a lengthy, multi-generational investment in long-term cultural change. Its goal must be the realization of a culture that makes the ending of unborn life so unnecessary as to be unthinkable. That is not going to happen head-on.” 

To illustrate the serious problem with this line of thinking, it may be helpful to read the previous paragraph as though it were a piece from pre-abolition Britain or America, substituting the word “slavery” for “abortion/unborn life.”

I agree the end of these forms of killing require cultural change. Crucially, however, the impetus for this change begins with a “head-on” encounter between those who wish to see it happen and the Way, the Truth and the Life. What seems necessary is the grace of a broken heart, the breaking of hearts of stone that might be refashioned by Him into hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:26).

Mary Wagner,

Victoria, B.C.


Re:  Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect’ (Nov. 17):

Bob Brehl should have read the articles by Peter Stockland and Glen Argan on moral conscience, subjectivism and bigotry before he penned his column on the Eucharist. Communion is the summit of the Mass, yet 70 per cent of us don’t even believe the “wafer” is actually the Body of Christ. 

Confession should come before Communion to ensure that we’re in a state of grace. A “state of grace” means accepting and living out the Church’s teaching. 

Charlie Angus’ public disagreement with the Church on gay marriage and his resolution to not “bow” or “bend” dovetails with the subjectivism displayed by trustees who believe that “God was listening to the right side” when gender expression was added to the code of conduct of Toronto Catholic schools. 

The Church isn’t the problem. The problem is that we’re bringing our politics into the Church and demanding acceptance.

Mario Loreto,


Disappointing decision

As a Catholic grandfather I am very disappointed with the Toronto Catholic school board decision to include gender identity in its code of conduct. It has always been the teaching of the Church that God created us male and female. There are no other definitions. I am very disappointed that there was not greater objection from the Archdiocese of Toronto. Although some wording was included, to me it was only for cosmetic purposes. 

To those trustees who voted against the new code I say thank you. You have my prayers.

Victor Debono,


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