Readers Speak Out: March 8, 2020

  • March 5, 2020

Vanier abuses

Re: Glen Argan: A lesson for all of us in Vanier’s fall (March 1):

Jean Vanier and L’Arche were a huge part of my formative years. As a child and again in my late teens I spent a year at L’Arche in Trosly, France.

I have never forgotten the palpable prophet-like aura surrounding Monsieur Vanier.

Those who found themselves in his charismatic presence could not help but be stirred by this “person who is the source of fun and laughter” as you write.

His was a highly cultivated presence of gentle and inviting charisma.

Your article has left me reeling. I am struck by your attempt to “spiritualize” the context of Vanier’s choices. And while I understand this approach in the context of writing for The Catholic Register, I expect more critical thinking from your publication in context of the abuses committed by Vanier. 

A great man? Really? This is a misleading and insulting claim. Vanier’s hours of scripture-pondering do not have any bearing on who he was as a person. His spiritual practices do not give him a free pass. This is very destructive thinking.

Louise Ireland,

Guelph, Ont.


Terrible injustice 

Re: “For-profit welfare scheme draws concern (Feb. 16):

Premier Doug Ford’s oft-repeated mantra, “The best way to help people out of poverty is something called a job,” shows he cares little for the limitations caused by disability, which definitely impact whether someone will ever work or not. The remark indicates his privilege — be it his wealth or favourable employment — that many social assistance recipients or homeless people will never have.

Placing the welfare system in the hands of foreign companies would be a terrible injustice. Firms do not always care for the downtrodden. To say nothing of the pitfalls of forcing someone to work who has a pre-existing condition.

Better the government maintain the (current) system and help people find meaningful work and let the permanently disabled live meaningful and supported lives. 

Christopher Mansour,

Barrie, Ont.


Mortal sin

St. Paul reminds all of us that God’s spirit dwells in us. Each one of us is a temple of the Lord.

His words give us the tools to speak for the unborn, for all those contemplating a medically-assisted death, for those fighting addiction of every nature, whether it be drugs, alcohol or pornography, etc.

Sadly, I have heard many Catholics speak in favour of MAiD. Scripture clearly states the severity of this decision. Do people not realize that MAiD would cause them to die in a state of mortal sin? In my understanding the Sacrament of the Sick and Reconciliation would not be available to them. “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s Temple is Holy, and you are that temple!” (1 Cor. 3:17).

Susan Schoenberger,

Bonnyville, Alta.


God’s footprint

When speaking of inculturation it is surprising that no mention is made of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, the apparition that brought more Indigenous people to Christ than all the missionaries and armies combined.

Hearing that Our Lady’s Son was sacrificed for the sin of the world resonated with them. The genius of Christianity is that it has always seen the footprint of God in every culture.

Ken Purcell,

Winnipeg, Man.

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