The Editor: The Prairie Messenger's tribute in the Oct. 5 issue is a genuine celebration of his generous spirit and compassionate leadership in the church, all of it well-deserved. However, a huge part of Bishop Don Bolen's witness is shining in its absence in this special edition: his profound commitment to ecumenism.
When Bolen arrived in Saskatoon seven years ago, he initiated an unprecedented ecumenical liturgy that allowed church leaders from a wide variety of denominations to welcome him into their midst and to offer their blessing and support upon his episcopal ministry. In the seven years of his tenure he has tirelessly laboured in ecumenical (and interfaith) fields both locally and internationally.
Great, therefore, was my surprise to see not one contribution or congratulatory ad in the PM's special edition from Bolen's now numerous close ecumenical and interfaith friends. Nothing from our evangelical brothers and sisters whom he engaged in such an innovative and fascinating dialogue; nothing from Anglican and Lutheran bishops or representatives who became his close friends; nothing from the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism whose very existence received strong support and visionary leadership from Bolen.
Anyone who engages Bolen in an ecumenical context becomes captive to his breadth of catholicity and his thirst for unity among Christ's followers. He works tirelessly fostering bonds of affection and mutual understanding outside the confines of the Roman church with an infectious enthusiasm and faithfulness.
In this he seems far ahead of his time, yet the church keeps reminding us all that commitment to strive for Christian unity is not optional, but is Christ's own urgent command. Pope Francis exudes the same commitment and thirst, as evident in the high-profile ecumenical encounters taking place in this month of October, which ushers in the 500th commemoration of the Reformation.
We would do well to heed the example of both these powerful role models. Our best parting gift to Bolen would to be to emulate his untiring commitment to work for the unity of the church in our own local settings. Meanwhile, from the Prairie Messenger, I had expected more. — Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers, Humboldt, Sask.
The Editor: I was surprised to read your editorial (Oct 5) suggesting that discrimination exists against women, simply because males hold down more of the better jobs in Hollywood.
In normal relationships, a man and his wife do not view themselves as combatants, but rather they view themselves as one. In normal relationships, the couple would normally desire a child, and once the child arrives, the career of one or the other suffers. In most cases a child affects a woman’s career more than a man’s, and in most cases, the woman prefers it that way so that she can be with her child.
Now if a significant number of women think that way, then of course there will be fewer women moving up the corporate ladder. If she does not like that arrangement, the person to talk to is her significant other. Hollywood’s statistics are not indicative of any widespread discrimination against women, but simply personal choice.
If there was any discrimination, it is discrimination against men who disproportionally go to work while their wife gets to stay at home, live on his salary and play with the babies. Affirmative action programs favouring employment opportunities for women are discriminatory to men and to those women who choose to rely upon their partner’s income and raise children.
A Catholic paper ought to have a preferential option for couples raising children. We do not need Hollywood’s moral leadership. — Tom Schuck, Weyburn, Sask.