Readers Speak Out: July 24-31, 2022

  • July 21, 2022

Knife job

The editorial, “Pick a faith lane” slyly slipped a stiletto into the theological integrity of Pope Francis.

It might surprise many of your readers that the Pope’s “infamous ‘who am I to judge?’ response” accurately summarizes Our Lord’s stinging words in Matthew 7: 1-5. Jesus warned His followers not to judge anyone. Yet you blithely judge Francis for a “stunning lapse of understanding that the faithful look to the Church not for moralistic nostrums but for the foundation of moral life.”

What Church do you have in mind? Is it the pre-Vatican II monolith in which good Catholics like me were taught to practice external piety, impose harsh moral judgments on ourselves and others, confess the most trivial of lapses, and respect “Father” as the oracle of all truth? That Church encouraged us to regard non-Catholics as heretics, brow-beat us into fearing our sexual attractions and gave Catholics a sense of moral superiority that is, apparently, still nurtured among many of your readers and letter writers.

The contemporary Church is a shell of its former monolithic expression. It is a Church divided by those who yearn for past triumphalism and infallibility, and those who accept with relief the passing of authoritarian Christendom. Pope Francis sees today’s confused Church as a field hospital in which we, who are wounded, are called to help each other along the journey with compassion mercy and love.

Instead of planting a stiletto in the side of Pope Francis, consider giving him a bouquet of support for his — and our — mission of Catholic evangelization during these turbulent times.

Roger Manning

Guelph, Ont.

Questionable critique

As a former General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I was somewhat surprised and disappointed by the tone and content of your editorial “Pick a Faith Lane” of June 26.

It appears The Register has editorially displayed a questionable stance of criticizing Pope Francis’ teaching as not agreeing with its own understanding of Church teaching. When the Church, through a synodal process, seeks to determine its way into the future, this hardly seems helpful.

The prayer for the forthcoming Synod asks that we do not “promote disorder… nor let partiality influence our actions.” It further enjoins us to “find in You unity so that we may journey together.” The editorial fails to reflect this spirit. One wonders to what extent its position would be supported by the conference of bishops or its members?

Can we expect The Register to continue its somewhat unclear relationship with EWTN, the ultra-conservative U.S. news network, which attacks the Holy Father’s efforts to implement the teachings of the Second Vatican Council?

Msgr. Dennis J. Murphy

Callander, Ont.

Give forgiveness

I have re-read the message Pope Francis delivered to the First Nations in Rome on April 1. The Pope, along with his fellow bishops, asked for forgiveness for the wrongs committed in the residential schools. Now he will come to Canada to ask for forgiveness once again. This second meeting would be an excellent opportunity for the First Nations representatives to express their forgiveness to the Church for the wrongs committed.

If we are to move towards the reconciliation so desired by both sides, forgiveness requested by the Pope must not remain a dead letter. His visit to Canada is a great opportunity to take big steps towards reconciliation, the most important one being expressing forgiveness to our Church.

Eloi DeGrace

Edmonton, Alta.

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