Pilgrims walk to shrine
Letters: Political parties and morals
I am pleased that Anne and Bill Byrne (Boots and all? CW 23/6) have taken up my call to be aware of the morals and values of organisations in our community.
One should be able to discern the directions of the major parties by their policy statements.
In that context, it is surprising that the Byrnes took offence at the family values espoused by the National Party and the Liberal Party. One would have assumed that would be a good start.
The emotive phrases they complain of are in fact quotations taken from the home pages of all the major political parties.
I agree that the Labor policy that “supports ... the right to choose ... abortion” is clearly emotive and chilling for all Catholics. But it is a sad fact.
More chilling, perhaps, is the silence of Catholics in the Labor Party regarding its policy supporting abortion.
With no votes of conscience on policy issues, where do they stand?
STATUE OF MARY
I am a missionary, having gone to Bougainville in 1957, and am now stationed on Taveuni Island in Fiji.
In the evening of life, I am making statues and Rosaries and training some of our locals in this skill.
Many villages are requesting a three-foot statue of Our Blessed Mother. I need to get a statue and have a mold made here in Australia to take back with me.
Perhaps someone has a spare statue from which a mold could be made.
The statue would, of course, be returned.
Br Patrick SM
HERO OF MOLOKAI
Few if any of us will have the privilege of witnessing the death of a saint.
All Australians now have the opportunity to do the next best thing with the national release of the film Molokai, the story of the now beatified Fr Damien of Molokai.
The role of Fr Damien is portrayed by Sydney actor David Wenham, who demonstrates superb acting technique with his beautifully lilting Belgian accent and his ability to capture that mystical aura of holiness typical of so many good Catholic priests.
At the same time he is down-to-earth, full of practicality and common sense as he tackles the problems of tending to the physical and spiritual needs of outcast lepers on a remote island.
The film portrays the heroic selflessness and love of this remarkable saint of the Pacific for the world’s most abandoned.
The non-Catholic author, Robert Louis Stevenson, first brought the attention of the world to this Catholic saint, as the non-Catholic Malcolm Muggeridge later told the world about the little saint working for the most abandoned in the slums of Calcutta.
For poignancy and dramatic intensity I have seen nothing to top the death scene.
The film is classified PG, not M, as advertised in at least one daily newspaper.
The article Lift Ban on Catholic Royals – Cardinal (CW 16/6) unfortunately continues the tradition about James II “that he achieved neither understanding in his lifetime nor justice after his death”.
In the same issue of The Catholic Weekly we have our Holy Father telling the Sudanese to ‘build peace on religious freedom’.
This is exactly what James II tried to do in England, why he was put off the throne in 1688, and why he has been misunderstood and misquoted ever since!
His “toleration” (of Quakers, Puritans, etc, as well as Catholics) was countered by the spiritual director of his first wife, Anne, giving them books to read, but as James said: “Every book given us, designed to confirm us in aversion to Rome, had the contrary effect.”
Anne became a Catholic shortly before her death, but James took longer.
Charles II is listed as a Protestant, yet James said his brother “both was and died a Catholic, but for politic and state reasons best known to himself he did not declare it”.
Charles kept peace with Parliament by imprisoning all who were not Church of England and signing warrants to have priests and others martyred at Tyburn.
He knew James would not follow his example and his prediction that James would be deposed became a fact.
The priest who gave the Last Sacraments to Charles II was the priest who saved him from Cromwell as a boy.
Miss D M Clayton
ANSWER IN PRAYER
I am immensely saddened to hear of Catholic clergy being guilty of child sexual abuse.
This is deplorable in anybody but even more so in those who are meant to be the shepherds of the flock, leading us in good, holy lives.
Jesus did warn us that there would be wolves posing as shepherds, not that that excuses them in any way.
There should be zero tolerance of such behavior; and such priests should not be moved from parish to parish, putting more children at risk.
The Church should not be afraid to expose the truth at any time even if that truth is shameful.
There needs to be a complete overhaul of our seminaries and of those applying for priesthood.
A priest with an intense prayer life does not fall into such sexual aberrations.
Many priests these days are so busy they have little time for prayer, but you can bet that any priest who spends an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament each day does not commit such sins.
Basically these things happen because we do not live the Gospel message of Jesus. That applies not just to priests, but to all of us.
Mrs Ann Odello