Readers Speak Out: August 15-22, 2021

  • August 12, 2021

National effort

Re: The campaign that fell well short (June 27):

The article is another indictment of the Catholic Church’s efforts to atone for its involvement in the horrors of the residential school system. “Well short” indeed! Do the math. With over 10 million Canadian Catholics, it is unbelievable that the Church’s “best efforts” could only raise 15 per cent of the $25 million promised to help fund reconciliation efforts. Little wonder many view the Church as lacking leadership and accountability.

The go-to excuse of Church leaders is that legally, there is no “Catholic Church of Canada.” The CCCB notes “each diocese and religious community is corporately and legally responsible for its own actions” and “the Catholic Church as a whole in Canada was not associated with the residential schools, nor was the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.” Really? Since when have the Church’s teachings and values been based on legal-speak? To Canadians, there is a “Catholic Church in Canada.”

A new Canada-wide campaign is necessary to raise the money promised (plus interest) — a campaign centred around a combined and unified message from all cardinals, bishops and parish priests across all dioceses. If our appointed leaders cannot exhibit the “collective resolve” to use “best efforts” to raise the money, then individual Canadian Catholics need to seize the moment themselves and take the initiative. If we can’t raise the money, then shame on us. Again.  

Nick Pantaleo,

King City, Ont.

Moral leadership

Re: Fundraising efforts have symbolic impact (Fr. Raymond de Souza, Aug. 1-8):

With growing public awareness of the cultural and physical harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples by secular and religious institutions, there are increasing expectations by Catholics and non-Catholics for the provision of both symbolic and material forms of compensation. Indeed, as Fr. de Souza points out, “The desire now is for an opportunity to do something quickly, and nothing is quicker than writing a cheque.” Unless of course, it is the expression of a formal institutional apology, which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has thus far failed to do. Such an apology would show an example of responsible and accountable moral leadership.

Fr. de Souza observes that increasingly members of the Church are represented by recent immigrants, and wonders what such populations must think about their relationship to residential schools. One example of the empathy that some such immigrants feel was the portrayal on the CBC of a large number of Sikhs riding their motorcycles in a collective show of solidarity with the victims of residential schools.

I am confident that if provided with responsible moral leadership, recent Catholic immigrants are as capable as our Sikh neighbours in demonstrating compassion and solidarity with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

Joseph A. Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.

Beautiful solution

In his Aug. 1 column on the Latin Mass, Charles Lewis identifies euthanasia as a mortal sin. Some people might greet his statement with surprise because they do not realize that euthanasia really does mean killing people and not just letting them die when they are ready.

A beautiful alternative to murdering the elderly infirm is palliative care. One organization that offers such care is the Little Sisters of the Poor. This religious order was founded in France by St. Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879). Her mission was to give food, clothing, shelter, recreation, dignity and, above all, friendship, to the elderly in need. In her view, the happiness of persons at the last stage of life was the most important thing in the world.

Lise Anglin,


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