Readers Speak Out: January 9, 2022

  • January 6, 2022

Missing piece

In his favourable review of the biography of Pope Benedict XVI by Peter Seewald (A Thorough Look at Benedict’s Life, Dec. 19), Ian Hunter admits the biography “does not shed much light” on Benedict’s 2013 resignation. To uncover the truth about this historical event requires more than research. The facts would yield only to the most tenacious and painstaking investigative journalism.

One piece of the puzzle to be explained is the hatred the mainstream media exhibited against the gentle, courteous and erudite Benedict. They habitually referred to him as a “rottweiler,” a German breed of dog.

Lise Anglin,

Toronto


Praise deserved

St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “Hate what the world seeks and seek what it avoids.” The world avoids the poor and rejected people on the street. Yet they are the ones Deacon Robert Kinghorn seeks out and helps. I had frequent contact with such people in my former occupation so I know the challenges he faces in his mission. In my experience, street people were often treated with contempt. It wasn’t usually food they wanted most, but love and respect.  Kinghorn provides these things in abundance.  He deserves high praise for bringing the faith and hope of Christ to those living in despair.

Claudio Ceolin,

Toronto


Balanced reporting

Re: Catholic media must to better (Fr. Raymond de Souza, Dec. 5):

Fr. de Souza alerts us to the ethical dangers of inaccurate and incomplete reporting. This is particularly so for Catholic reporting that uncritically appropriates secular narratives pertaining to the morally fraught relationship between the Catholic Church and Indigenous peoples.

Of course, no one is perfect. Fr. de Souza himself, perhaps uncritically relying on earlier statements made by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, neglected Chief Phil Fontaine’s evolving views on the relevance of a  apology. (“Let’s set the record straight on papal apologies,” June 16), and thus presented an incomplete and hence inaccurate report on the Chief’s position, which obscures the Indigenous leader’s contemporaneous perspective on this subject.           

We owe thanks to the secular media. Just as the Boston Globe publicly exposed the cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy, so too have the CBC and other secular and religious media contributed awareness of the Canadian Catholic Church’s unresolved moral failures in its relationship with Indigenous peoples. Responsible and balanced journalism is neither Catholic nor secular. It moves beyond sectarian concerns in the interest of reconciling truth with justice.

Joseph Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.


Re-evaluate work

Thank you for the excellent Dec. 2 editorial, “Fix social safety nets.” My experience volunteering at a local food bank coincided with the Common Sense Revolution and a 21.6-per-cent cut in welfare benefits. Initially I supported such policies. I embraced the ideology that “social outreach” was the purview of faith-based groups, not the role of government. I was misled. The often inadequate and intermittent assistance faith-based groups could offer from their limited resources was no replacement for government assistance.

There needs to be a complete re-evaluation of work as a social and common good. The plunge into the abyss of flexible and precarious employment has only created legions of working poor forced to line up at food banks. Often those who work cannot eat.   

Michael Chard,

Toronto

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