Readers Speak Out: July 4-11, 2021

  • July 2, 2021

‘Bowdlerized’ reality

The horrific news of the residential schools grave sites created such an avalanche of rancour against the Catholic Church that factual information was either deliberately ignored or distorted. 

We have never learned of the need to open an English-speaking residential school when the educational needs were more than adequately met by the Indigenous institutions. A plausible reason was the unrest felt by the Caucasian community because of the demographic changes that would affect their plurality and their hegemony in the area. Their offer of opening English-language schools had a veneer of goodwill, but in reality was used to conceal their fear of losing their dominance.

The manner in which this charade was executed should confirm its tendentious objective. There didn’t appear to be even a smidgen of government control once the institutions were handed over to the religious institutions and this brouhaha and convicting the Catholic Church as Justin Trudeau has thoughtlessly done is based on the bowdlerized version of reality. Certain ministers of the religious institutions were certainly guilty of predatory behaviour but writing off the governments corroboration would be controversial if not deceptive

J.E. Sequeira,

Pointe Claire, Que.


Apology theology

In his article “A reconciliation path of renewed encounter,” Fr. Raymond De Souza emphasizes the importance of a renewed encounter of reconciliation in the relations between the Catholic Church and Canada’s Indigenous peoples. De Souza recognizes the positive mission of evangelical encounter promoted by Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order and continued by the Jesuit Pope Francis. Fr. De Souza points out the worth that a Theology of Apology contributes towards a “healing of memories” and the process of reconciliation.

To that end, Fr. Peter Bisson SJ, assistant to the Canadian Jesuit Provincial for Indigenous Relations wonders in the Jesuit Journal America if the hesitant posture, shown by some Church leaders, towards confronting the legacy of residential schools is linked to “... a certain annoyance at losing our colonial power and superiority?”

 A renewed theology of apology and reconciliation requires a healing of memories, but absent historical amnesia or a revisionist denial of past, misguided forms of evangelically-inspired impositions.Catholic parishes should initiate a process of spiritual atonement and renewal by discussing among themselves, and with Indigenous brothers and sisters who are willing, the role that  colonization and race have played in past forms of evangelization, and may continue today. Only then can apology move from words to action.

Joseph A. Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.


Reconciliation ongoing

Re: Lets set record straight on papal apologies (June 20):

The media, however, creates the false impression that the Catholic Church refuses to apologize for wrongs done at residential schools. Justin Trudeau compounded the problem with his recent comments urging Pope Francis to make an apology in Canada. Many Catholic entities have apologized for what happened at residential schools. 

To further promote reconciliation a group of Indigenous leaders will visit Rome to see the Pope in late 2021. As Chief Phil Fontaine rightly said: “The time to re-build a better and brighter future together is upon us.”

Claudio Ceolin,

Toronto

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