Readers Speak Out: June 27, 2021

  • June 24, 2021

No closure

Re: Lets set record straight on papal apologies (June 16):

Fr. Raymond De Souza correctly reports that Chief Phil Fontaine, a residential school survivor and three- time leader of the Assembly of First Nations, met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and spoke positively about the conciliatory and compassionate words of regret expressed by this pope.

What he neglected to report was that during a recent interview on CBC, Fontaine confirmed that while the meeting with Pope Benedict was reassuring, many Indigenous people, particularly residential school survivors, were not happy with what transpired. Chief Fontaine goes on to say at no time did he suggest this engagement provided closure on Indigenous concerns regarding the need for a formal papal apology.

At the same time, Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, a noted advocate (along with Pope Francis) for Indigenous rights, pointed out that in keeping with a collegial protocol, Pope Francis is not free to offer a formal apology until the Canadian Catholic Bishops Conference first expresses such an apology and then appeals to Pope Francis to do the same. Consequently, the Sisters of Providence, whose Motherhouse, like Fr. De Souza, is located in the Kingston Archdiocese, presented an appeal to the CCCB in which they advocate for that conference to express such a national apology on behalf of the Canadian Catholic Church.

Joseph Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.

Gender talk

Re: Sr. Helena Burns: The gender talk (June 13):

I am very glad we as Catholics are having this dialogue about gender ideology. Amongst the very deadly poisons of political/social thought today is the idea one can choose their gender.

Our societies support this as “evolutionary and progressive,” as well as law, politics and psuedo-science, psychology, sociology and relativistic theology all having a hand in affirming this idea “one can choose their gender.”

The real questions need to be answered: “Who gives us our identity?” “Who provides our orientation?” “Who calls us by name?” Does our Catholic faith provide these reflections, thoughts, writings and teachings?  

I do not believe parents are ignorant or embarrassed to speak with their children about sex. The government, the schools, including the Catholic schools, have decided parents are too ignorant to guide their children in this manner.   

It is time the Church hierarchy, clergy, religious, retreat houses, lay elders give some needed support, listen to and encourage parents with Catholic faith and teaching on sexuality, and to deal with this very sensitive and very political/social confusion of gender affirmed ideology. 

Rose Galbraith,

Hamilton, Ont.

Right thing

Here we go again with the Catholic Church. For years they swept the sexual abuse case under the carpet by moving priests from one parish to another. Then some were filling their pockets, but not with cookies. Now we have people inside and outside the Church trying to persuade the Pope to apologize to Indigenous people after 215 children were found buried in Kamloops. As head of the Roman Catholic Church it is his moral obligation to do the right thing. I can only imagine the pain and suffering these families are going through.

Does it matter that Pope Benedict apologized years ago? I’m sure our loving God would not stop at one. He would show compassion and weep for these Indigenous children and their families.

Marilyn Fraboni,

Haileybury, Ont.

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