Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Letter of Concerned Catholic to Arch.Terrence Prendergast

Your Excellency,
 I could not help but notice your web site posting concerning the cancellation of Father Luis Arriaga's Archdiocesan speaking tour on behalf of the Miguel Pro Center for Human Rights. I am shocked and appalled to learn of the Center's support for abortion! In what way has this support been evident? How many abortions has the Center carried out? I was not even aware that it had a medical wing.
If the Center does not carry out abortions, does it actively encourage the procedure through its counseling, courses, or publications? How is it that a Jesuit institution could find itself engaged in such an insidious attack on human life? Or, is it that the center’s calling as a human rights institution requires it to associate with other groups whose views do not correspond with those of the Church? How unjust it would be if this were the reason.
 However, in the unlikely event that it is, the Archdiocese and the Canadian Church would be better served, and certainly more honest, were it to review its own policies and to forgo any support the Church receives from the Federal, or in your case, Ontario Governments. Is not the abortion position of both these governments at odds with that of the Church? Or, is it that the benefits that the Church derives from these relationships (funding for Catholic schools, support for Catholic hospitals where abortions actually do occur, the Church's exalted tax free status, the heritage or other grants meant to maintain and/or rehabilitate Church infrastructure, etc. ) are too important to sacrifice to the defense of the unborn? 
Does the Church's relationship with the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches, the Council of Christians and Jews, I dare say, its entire commitment to ecumenism, not contravene the same principle the Miguel Pro Center is accused of violating by formally linking the Canadian Church to groups whose policies on abortion are at odds with our own? The same might be said for the myriad of relationships the Archdiocese maintains with social service and other agencies that acquiesce to, if not benefit from Canadian practices and policies on abortion? Does our intent to impose a prohibition against such links on Mexicans not smack of a double standard?  Do Canada’s unborn warrant less outrage than those of Mexico, or is it simply less costly, and more comfortable for us to direct our frustration and ire on others more vulnerable than ourselves.  
One might argue that while refusing to deny its own beliefs, the Canadian Church has wisely opted for pluralism over isolation. Rather than narrowly focusing its attention on the one issue we know divides us,  as some would have us do, the Church has chosen to build on those values Canadians of good will share.  Has not the Church actively collaborated with governments, labour and religious institutions, and social service and other groups in an effort to foster dialogue and to develop a common platform for justice, which seeks to defend the totality and sacredness of life from conception to the grave? Does this not remain a desirable goal and legitimate strategy? If so, one wonders how we justify denying Mexican society, its Church, and social institutions this same opportunity?  
A confused Catholic,

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