Readers Speak Out: March 21, 2021

  • March 18, 2021

Justice denied

The jailing of Fr. Stan Swamy for defending the human rights of an impoverished group against their overlords supported by a bigoted Hindhu fundamentalist political party makes a complete mockery of India’s boast of being the largest democracy in the world.

Prime Minister Modi’s determined pursuit of converting India into a fundamentalist Hindu state while eviscerating other faiths has denied all Indians the rights of a citizen to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment, which is why Fr. Swamy is languishing in jail without any formal charge being brought against him.

Freedom House, an organization that monitors the reality of individual freedoms in countries that proclaim to be democracies, has now downgraded India’s democratic credentials to reflect its creeping authoritarianism.

Although the western democracies have not labelled government policy as genocidal as they have done in the case of China, we should not be surprised if India will be the next country to earn the “genocidal” sobriquet which is certainly warranted when it imprisons an 84-year-old priest in solitary confinement and denies him medication vital to his survival.  

J.E. Sequeira,

Pointe Claire, Que.

Mall mission

I wonder if the dioceses “seeking equitable re-opening treatment” are missing the boat in “re-defining the local parish.” If civil authorities permit cinemas and shopping malls to re-open but quash the hopes of places of worship maybe it is time for the “missionary Church” to launch into the aforementioned opened spaces.

A field hospital is a nimble structure easy to pivot to meet the needs of the battlefield. Maybe the call now is to lease vacancies in malls or cinemas. Such spaces would be visible and accessible to all. One witness of a “mall-church” would be to provide a sacred place within the frantic heart of rabid retail consumerism. 

Michael Chard,


Losing strategy

Re: Social conservatives to flex muscle at Tory convention (March 14):

I am a social conservative. However, the vast majority of Canadians believe government does not have a role to play in these issues.

With the Liberals and the NDP, there is no possibility of progress on any of these issues. To have any chance of having some influence, the party must get elected. Making social issues a high profile in any campaign is a perfect way to lose the election —time to support the party quietly and get elected.

Al Raftis,

Guelph, Ont.

Soul search

Re: Register (March 7):

As usual, I read the column of Fr. Ron Rolheiser first. He referenced Nikos Kazantzakis’ term the “imperialism” of the soul. Fr. Rolheiser paraphrased it as the restlessness of the soul adding the perspectives of two saints, two psychologists, a Jesuit theologian and a novelist philosopher. My question was, “Is this anguish attributable solely to the soul?”

Finding myself reading Mary Marrocco’s column “Christ, the truth, will set us free” gave me the supernatural context the soul is in. It answered the angst of the soul and completes the whole picture for me. Isn’t it providential? 

Rufino Ty,

Brampton, Ont.

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