The Editor: I have to say I am disappointed and bewildered by Pope Francis’ recent statement regarding women’s ordination. In light of what we had been hearing regarding the discussion about women deacons, I thought some movement was on the way. The quote: “St. Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands” totally surprised me. Alpha and Omega? Who knew that John Paul II was “Omega”?
I was equally surprised to read that “this teaching is an infallible part of Catholic tradition.” The good OSUs and RNDMs taught me that there were only two “infallible” statements, both in reference to Mary (egad, a woman) and neither one had any bearing on my eternal salvation.
The six additional beatitudes are fitting for our time. The last one makes me wonder if there ever will be “full communion” between Christians. It seems to me that for that to happen there will be a lot of competing, comparing, someone being right so someone else has to be wrong. That hasn’t worked well for us thus far; conceding (dying to self) isn’t something we easily gravitate toward.
Maybe the Body of Christ needs to remain broken/fragmented to keep our hearts soft and tender, other-oriented, to keep EGO at bay so we can revel in the mystery of the Cosmic Christ. Merton got it right; we ARE all ONE. — Jacklynne Guimond, Fort Frances, Ont.
The Editor: As the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops withdraws from KAIROS, they end a historic role in ecumenism that began with the inter-church coalitions of the 1970s. Very sad news for many Catholics.
CCCB was once proud of this work and funded it very generously. Their funding will be reduced to zero by the end of 2017, a pulling away that began years ago.
Over the years, the bishops have disagreed with some positions that call for change — on such issues as fossil fuels and climate change, for instance. When they were present at the table as policies were being developed, they helped shape them. What they wanted was a veto on the board of directors, which holds on to consensus as its goal, with a majority vote if needed.
From its origin, the founding church and church-related organizations agreed that KAIROS be considered a special program of the United Church, enabling tax credit receipts for donors. KAIROS policy and program themes are set by all members, together; and the United Church has never interfered with the policies, or projects of KAIROS.
With vision and courage, KAIROS respond’s to the call of Jesus that we carry his love into action for the poor and the oppressed — here in Canada and around the world. KAIROS is Christianity as a living, transformative faith.
Pope Francis, speaking of ecumenism in 2015 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, said: “When the Son of Man comes, he will find us still discussing! We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God . . . we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. . . .”
Now, it’s up to Catholics in parishes and dioceses to continue their faithful ecumenical engagement in KAIROS, inspired by visionary religious communities whose engagement and leadership remains vital. — Mary Corkery, Toronto
The Editor: The cry of those made poor, a cry which includes the Earth, is louder than ever. That Christians and all people of goodwill try to work even more closely is imperative. More than ever I am grateful for KAIROS, Canada’s largest faith-based social justice organization for bringing together religious communities and Christian churches in the mission of justice, peace and care of the earth.
Thank you also to the United Church of Canada, who since the early 2000s, has assumed the responsibility of issuing tax receipts to KAIROS donors. Until Refuge Juan Moreno was granted charitable status, the United Church did the same for this Montreal emergency shelter for refugee claimants. KAIROS in not a project of the United Church alone; it is the project of 72 religious communities and 10 Christian churches and organizations.
I applaud the fact that the CCCB participates in the Canadian Council of Churches. I am deeply saddened that the CCCB has decided to leave KAIROS especially at this time in global history. — Maura McGrath, CND, Montreal