Readers Speak Out: October 9, 2022

  • October 7, 2022

Shrine on

Michael Swan’s Sept. 24 article on the Martyrs’ Shrine tells us the community is making efforts to be more welcoming to all Indigenous peoples, including giving them free access to the site. It’s a commendable approach that genuinely helps promote reconciliation and solidarity.

It’s important since 43 per cent of Canada’s Indigenous population is Catholic. The Catholic Church in Canada has a relationship with the Indigenous dating back to the early 1600s. At that time the Canadian Martyrs, which the Shrine commemorates, selflessly and respectfully offered the Gospel to them. Their heroic martyrdom was a powerful witness to the faith and helped bring the Indigenous into the Church.

Claudio Ceolin


Dispensation essential

Catholic bishops across Canada in recent months have lifted the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass. With COVID numbers seemingly on the decline once again, bishops who have not already done so are likely considering the removal of the dispensation.  

The Diocese of London removed the dispensation effective Sept. 10-11, making it once again an obligation for every Catholic within the diocese to attend Mass every Sunday under what the universal Catholic Church calls the “pain of mortal sin.” Every Catholic is obliged to attend Sunday Mass unless, as Bishop Fabbro’s letter states, one is “sick or infirm.” Failure to fulfill the Sunday obligation without serious reason is to live outside God’s salvific grace. Catholic teaching from earliest times is that anyone who dies outside of the state of grace is in grave danger of eternal damnation. 

Bishop Fabbro’s letter acknowledges “some of the faithful are still cautious about being in crowds.” Many Catholics prudently avoid crowds to protect themselves, their loved ones and those they may contact regularly. To place such people in a situation where they must choose between gathering in Church with others who may be infected with COVID or having their eternal salvation jeopardized borders on callous indifference. It is a reckless policy with no place in a Church community supposed to be focused on pastoral care of the vulnerable.

I am unaware of any government or non-government institution that imposes a requirement to attend public gatherings during a pandemic. For our bishops to remove the dispensation can only hurt the Church’s credibility.

Mark Kahabka

Windsor, Ont.

Stand up columnists

There has been a sad succession of small surrenders to secularism on the part of the Church in Canada for decades.

Many “traditional” Catholics have felt abandoned or misled by their religious leaders. Under the current tyranny of “tolerance” on controversial issues, Christians have been cowed into silence in their personal lives and in the public square. It is time we all took a stand on the side of truth and life.

Charles Lewis, as always, makes this point passionately and eloquently in his recent column about MAiD madness. Sr. Helena Burns continues to jolt us out of our complacency. So, thank you Sr. Burns and Charles Lewis for tirelessly repeating the exhortation: “People, please stand up and do something!” Your courage in always calling a spade a spade is tremendously inspiring. Lewis and Burns, lead us into battle.

Luisa Martin


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