Readers Speak Out: March 27, 2022

  • March 24, 2022

Real common good

Douglas Naus writes in a March 3 letter to the editor that, “The common good should always be weighed with the individual good, with the individual good taking precedence according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. […]”

I assume Naus is referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1907.

The common good must not be confused with the bureaucratic apparatus of the State. State bureaucracy, though necessary, may or may not act in the service of people. Bureaucratic expediency certainly does not take precedence over the good, on any level, of human persons — but this is not what “common good” means.

The common good, rather, is always my good and yours which can be obtained only through some form of life in common. When I exercise the right of free expression in a peaceful and civil manner, I do not sacrifice my dignity; on the contrary, I affirm not only the dignity of others but also my own. 

We make sacrifices every day for the good of others. In extreme circumstances, we are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

If our private good truly took precedence over the common good (understood in this sense), then the self-sacrificing love to which Jesus calls us would be not only absurd but also immoral. 

Fr. Michael Smith

Pembroke, Ont.

Why no dialogue?

In his March 13 letter, Douglas Naus correctly asserts that the Ottawa Freedom Convoy protest was about a person’s “right to decide” whether “to receive a vaccine” that violates their conscience.

The government was wrong to take away people’s livelihoods unless they got vaccinated, as happened with the truckers and others. It’s significant that many vaccinated persons attended the protest along with the unvaccinated. The government’s use of coercion to make people get jabbed was clearly a source of indignation.

Why didn’t the Prime Minister dialogue with the truckers?  Instead, he invoked the Emergencies Act using police to apply force against them. In the resulting standoff, many peaceful protesters, including a Canadian war veteran wounded in Afghanistan and an elderly Indigenous woman, were ill-treated by police. It was shameful.

Claudio Ceolin


Mary’s victory

Regarding Susan Korah’s article “Churches find common cause in Ukraine” in the March 13 issue, how would Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, an enthusiastic supporter of Vladimir Putin, explain to the mother of a dead six-year-old how the killing of small children “reassures” Russian soldiers they have “chosen a correct path?” How would he explain his support for the Ukraine war before God?

The Patriarch has long supported Russia’s leader and now is commending the evil actions of Mr. Putin and the Russian military as they prepare to exterminate Ukraine. Kirill is not the first churchman to endorse a war, nor the first to describe war as a holy exercise that ultimately pleases God and purifies the soul.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has become a spiritual battlefield and Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a welcome victory.

Christopher Mansour

Barrie, Ont.

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