Readers Speak Out: April 18, 2021

  • April 15, 2021

Assist D&P

Re: Religious raise concerns with D&P investigation (March 28):

Kudos to Mr. Swan’s report, in which Fr. Eric Oland, Jesuit Provincial Superior, and Br. Louis Cinq-Mars, former president of the Canadian Religious Conference, deplore the withholding of funds from the poorest of the poor for fear some of the funds could be used for family planning.

In South Africa and Namibia I have personally seen the misery of children orphaned because of AIDS. The situation in Haiti, where adults and children are starving, appears to be worse, according to a front-line missionary.

I would strongly urge those aid blockers to actively assist D&P in fundraisers rather than in withholding funds for self-righteous reasons.

Hermann Freitag,


Compassion needed

Re: Victim can re-open abuse case (Feb. 21):

The Catholic Church finds itself facing many challenges, like can be seen in society-at-large. We expect more from a faith-based community. Will the Church stand on the right side of history and address the wrong inflicted upon Aboriginal children and their families who were forcibly removed to residential schools? Will the Church stop their form of denial and abuse with their re-victimization of persons suffering from clergy abuse?

Consider this case: In 2006, Fr. Charlie Sylvestre was arrested, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 47 girls under the age of 18, including Irene Deschenes. Court proceedings revealed evidence that the Diocese of London was aware in 1962 of Fr. Sylvestre’s previous sexual assault of little girls. As 1962 was almost a decade before Irene was sexually assaulted at 10 years old, her assault and that of 46 others could have been avoided. The diocese has battled with three levels of courts against Irene’s call for a fair settlement. Each successive level of court concluded that the processing of Irene’s settlement was unjust. 

This letter is a plea to honour the words of Jesus and show solidarity for justice and to stand for what is right. Compassion and honesty are greatly needed. 

Dr. Kathleen Kevany,

Truro, N.S.

End suffering

Re:  Casting a compassionate eye on the food we eat (Feb. 21):

I was delighted to read that Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA) has been paying attention to the manner of death animals suffer. Animals destined for the table, that is. 

I hope that compassion will also be extended to the manner of death suffered by mice. If mice are to be killed, there’s no reason why they can’t be killed in a trap that kills instantly.  Why should they be made to be suffer for hours, if not days, in those horrible sticky traps? This is unnecessary cruelty to animals. Mice did not ask to be created and they do not deserve to be tortured just because, in following their God-given instinct to seek food wherever they can find it, they come in conflict with Man’s ideas of what is and what is not acceptable.

Angela Saldanha,

Ramara, Ont.

Trust issue

Re: Doctors gain Indigenous trust for vaccine (March 14):

The Indigenous people of Neskantaga’s distrust of the health care system and the COVID-19 vaccine is understandable. There’s a long history of them being lied to and misled. Great efforts were made to give vaccines yet not to provide them with clean drinking water. Clean water’s not important?

Claudio Ceolin,


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