Readers Speak Out: June 7, 2020

  • June 5, 2020

Energetic message

Congratulations on the compelling, energetic message of the May 24 edition! 

Laudato Si’ is truly a prophetic utterance — God bless Pope Francis! So many elements of the May 24 issue, especially the centrespread by Michael Swan, built intelligently on the Pope’s challenging insight. The contributions by so many of the columnists strengthened the vision.

The new insight — that the COVID 19 pandemic could shake us into noticing that we can change our economic patterns when confronted by their destructiveness — might become a spiritual wake-up call for a whole generation.

Everything is indeed connected. Thank God for Pope Francis.

My father, who was editor of The Register until his death in 1953, would have been proud of you all!

Janet Somerville,


Lift the lockdown

Re: An ethical solution (May 17):

Your editorial makes the questionable assertion that “normal life won’t return” until an effective COVID-19 vaccine is developed. But a return to normal shouldn’t depend on making a vaccine.

A vaccine may work but there’s no guarantee. Did a vaccine eliminate the flu? Some experts say a COVID-19 vaccine is useless. 

Then there’s the ethical problem of using aborted fetal tissue in it. Other experts say developing “herd immunity” is more important and that people should mix freely with no lockdown, as in Sweden, with the elderly and vulnerable given special protection. Why are these experts ignored?

A return to normal hinges upon lifting the lockdown which was implemented on the advice of some medical experts. Note that experts aren’t infallible nor do they all agree on how to deal with the coronavirus.

Claudio Ceolin,


Date confusion

Re: After the pandemic (April 19):

Michael Swan’s otherwise fine article is marred by confusion over dates.

He states correctly that between “1347 and 1351 waves of bubonic plague” swept through Europe but then goes on to say that “less than a century after the Black Death the Protestant Reformation kicks off.”

Obviously, the Reformation is dated as beginning in 1517, which is more than 160 years after the Black Death.

Further we are told that by “the end of the century (of the Black Death) Christopher Columbus was on his way to the New World.” That was in 1492, towards the end of the 15th century, whereas the Black Death was in the middle of the 14th century.

FR. Brian Hubka,

Calgary, Alta.

Redeemed sinners

In spite of articles in the media, I am convinced Jean Vanier is a saint and should be canonized. As a Catholic priest I have encountered a multitude of people who have passed away, maybe some had weaknesses and sin in their life, but who are saints today.

I would challenge anyone to find me a person who was named a saint by the Church who was not without sin. Even the Bible tells us that the one who says he or she is without sin is a liar. Consequently, all saints are redeemed sinners.

I do not question some moments of weakness in Jean Vanier’s life, but I know that God loves and forgives. We need to focus on the incredible gift Jean Vanier left our society and the Church.

Fr. Maurice Jeanneau,

Traverse Bay, Man.

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