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Parishes exploit funerals as a commercial opportunity

The Editor: A recent review of my will forced me to consider some post-death questions. I have taken up these questions with my local parish council, pastor and even my local bishop, and the responses I have received have been most disheartening.

What is the true nature of my relationship to the Catholic Church community? Consider this: later today I will walk into my parish church to celebrate eucharist and I will be greeted at the door and welcomed. However, if I die and my friends try to carry my body through those same doors my friends will have to pay a substantial fee to do so. Funeral Homes, following Catholic Diocesan and Parish Directives, automatically add a “use of church” fee to the total funeral services bill.

In the same league as “charging” to administer sacraments, especially baptisms and weddings and funeral masses, this is a version of “pay for pray.” Officials argue that there are indirect costs involved with the celebration of such rites and the parents or wedding party should be happy to pay such costs, and in terms of funeral costs that is the least charge applied.

No matter how it is rationalized, it is requiring or expecting pay to perform or preside at sacred rites for living or deceased members of my community. When a funeral mass is compared to other funeral services provided by a funeral home which deserve to be paid for, this brands my death and a community funeral as a commercial opportunity for the parish.

The revisions to my will will seek to avoid the opportunity of my parish to commercially exploit my death. — Gerald Regnitter, Christopher Lake, Sask.


CWL passed resolution on making Canadian mining companies accountable

The Editor: In the May 18 Prairie Messenger I read Deborah Gyapong’s article on D&P calling attention to mining justice.   

At the CWL annual convention held in Montreal in 2007, which I was chairing as national president, one of our resolutions was titled “Global accountability for Canadian registered mining companies.” In it the CWL “urged the federal government to withdraw all support from Canadian registered mining companies that do not respect international environmental standards and human rights, and also to develop legal mechanisms that ensure that Canadian registered mining companies are held accountable (for their actions in foreign countries) to uphold the same environmental and human rights standards required in Canada.”

When our CWL took this resolution to the federal government that fall, we were assured by several senior policy advisers at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that our Canadian mining companies did indeed respect international environmental standards and human rights wherever in the world they functioned and, indeed, that foreign countries were grateful for and pleased with their presence.
It seems that our research nine years ago did not find this was so, and that D&P and Caritas Internationalis partners are as concerned today as we were then. It is to be fervently hoped that they are successful in setting things right now. — Lorette Noble, Candiac, Que.


Oil companies left out of those receiving gifts

The Editor: You cannot imagine how surprised I was when reading the article of Gwyn Morgan on “Stop throwing money at companies” in the May 18 Prairie Messenger.

It is not the throwing that amazed me but the names of the companies he mentions. Not one oil company. Was Gwyn a director of oil companies? Or was he going to write another article on billions we’ve thrown at oil companies?

So, why does he look at the speck and paid no attention to the log given to the oil companies? How about the billions thrown at the oil companies between the years of 1961 to 2013?

Please give us another great surprise at our throwing money? — Dr. Dominique Kerbrat, OMI, Winnipeg