Readers Speak Out: June 20, 2021

  • June 17, 2021

United mothers

Re: Prayers, sorrow for Kamloops children (June 13):

I am a Catholic mother of five. In my 20s, my encounter with Christ changed the course of my life. When I became a mom, I was moved to help shape my culture and actively tried to do so. It is inconceivable to me that other mothers would have had their children ripped from their very arms in the name of this culture, in the name of Christ. 

The Catholic Church I love is filled with sinners of which I am one. The hearts of priests I know are broken over the sex abuse scandals and the wicked cover-ups that followed. Now this. Indeed, it is a white martyrdom that confronts them. Still, I am united with them in the words of Peter to Jesus “To whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” 

You and I, our cultures are so different. Under proper circumstances, whittled down to the core, motherhood would unite us. The evil of all this robs us of that. I don’t want evil to prevail. 

So this mom, this Catholic, this Canadian, united with so many priests, bishops and parishioners across the country, begs your forgiveness. We apologize. Your precious children deserved to remain with you. Period. They also deserved to know the love of God from the Catholics they encountered. We failed them and you. 

Johanne Brownrigg,


PM’s hypocrisy

Re: PM’s comments ‘unhelpful’ (June 13)

I find it very difficult to listen to our prime minister, who seems to divert blame onto another institution to apologize and make reparation when it is comfortable to do so. I did not hear him apologizing for the government’s slow response to the National Inquiry on MMIWG or the integration of the TRC, with only eight of the 94 TRC calls to action implemented. 

Cardinal Thomas Collins’ statements and his Mass of June 6 gives again his forthright apology, seeking reconciliation and repentance for past wrongs, without diminishing the evil and the abuse which can never be rationalized against Indigenous peoples, as well as explaining the progress the Church has made in specific areas with Indigenous people in the spirit of forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation and apology.

I did not hear any such hopeful statements from the PM and I believe his diverting blame only to the Catholic Church is comfortable for him; he does not reflect on his own government’s policies of colonialism as well as the slow response of implementation of the two very prominent Canadian concerns for Indigenous people.

Rose Galbraith,

Hamilton, Ont.

Call to action

Re: Kamloops discovery wallops the Church (June 6):

Thank you, Peter Stockland, for your opinion piece on the horrible discovery of the unmarked graves in Kamloops. It was very helpful for me in processing this devastating news. The acknowledgement of your initial rationalizations and resistance to the truth made me face some of my own. 

Certainly the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings should have prepared us to face this. The Church’s handling of the sexual abuse crisis should have prepared us for the possibility of cover-up. Despite the fact that we should not be surprised by these findings, it was still gut wrenching and knee buckling. This brings us to where we need to be, on our knees expressing collective sorrow. Then we need to stand up and start helping our Church and our country bring to fruition the TRC’s Calls to Action. We can’t leave this to our clergy or politicians alone as they have proven to be inept. 

Mary Beth Worthington, 

Whitby, Ont.

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