Readers Speak Out: November 14, 2021

  • November 11, 2021

Cost saving

Re: Short visit works best (Fr. Raymond de Souza, Nov. 7):

Fr. de Souza is fearful that the costs associated with a reconciliation-oriented papal visit to Canada will divert funds from Catholic-sponsored reconciliation projects. He asserts that the papal visit should be short, structured and shaped by the fiscal priority that “the only solution is not to spend a dime more than necessary.”

Of course, given that Catholic reconciliation projects are more than material reparations, but significant expressions of atonement for injuries inflicted upon Indigenous peoples, it is they, our Indigenous Catholic and non-Catholic brothers and sisters, who should determine the most judicious allocation of resources.

Nonetheless, Fr. de Souza is correct in emphasizing the importance of good stewardship. Perhaps then, the four-day meeting sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops scheduled for December at the Vatican between Pope Francis and Indigenous people should, in the interests of the environment and cost savings, be re-scheduled to coincide with his visit to Canada?

Such a change would promote synodality by advancing the possibilities for broader participation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Catholics, and others, interested in critical conversations concerning the meaning and process for reconciliation.

Joseph A. Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.

Unjust policy

I appreciate that The Catholic Register covered the outcome of Toronto Right to Life’s important legal challenge of the Canada Summer Jobs program attestation.

However, I must clarify that even though the wording of the attestation has changed to indicate that funding must not be used to “undermine or restrict the exercise of rights legally protected in Canada,” it remains controversial. The government is still wrongly implying that abortion is a right and groups that “actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services” (including abortion) are still ineligible to participate. As such, Campaign Life Coalition and other pro-life advocates call upon employers not to sign the attestation.

Organizations engaged in issues-based advocacy, including pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood Ottawa, receive funding. Only pro-life and pro-family groups are barred. This state of affairs is unquestionably unjust and just one of many instances of the government discriminating against the pro-life viewpoint.

We cannot give the government a pass on this issue.

Josie Luetke,

Youth Coordinator, Campaign Life Coalition, Hamilton, Ont.

Heroic saint

A defining aspect of the saints is heroism: they are heroes of action and heroes of renunciation. As such they become energizers of the spirit. And in these pandemic times the example of St. Charles Borromeo, whose feast fell on Nov 4, is apropos.

Appointed a cardinal by his uncle Pope Pius IV at the tender age of 22, he proved equal to the task distinguishing himself at the subsequent Council of Trent. When plague struck Milan in the years 1576-78, St. Charles became the man of the hour. 

The plague had a 90-per-cent fatality rate and the wealthy elite fled but St. Charles, the Archbishop of Milan, stayed to minister to his flock. He opened soup kitchens and instituted relief measures, the most important being Mass. He celebrated the Mass on street corners and people participated from balconies and windows. So powerful was his message that the governor was convinced to return.

Michael Dias,

Markham, Ont.

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