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Letters to the Editor

01/25/2017


People struggling with gender issues need support

The Editor: It is so ironic that on page 2 of the Prairie Messenger of Jan. 4, there is an article about Catholic organizations filing suits against federal regulations for anti-discrimination purposes to include sexual orientation and gender identity, while on page 3 there is an article in which Pope Francis is encouraging us to build bridges, not walls.

There is so much we do not understand about orientation and gender. One would think that the church would be in the forefront of promoting understanding and compassion for those of people struggling with gender issues, instead of erecting more walls for them to climb over.

Jesus is to have said that “there are many rooms in my Father’s house.” (John 14:2). I am sure that there are rooms in that house for those of a different orientation or those who struggle with gender issues. God created everyone, whether they conform to the norm or not, in the image and likeness of God. God will not lose anything or anyone whom God created. In the end we will all be in the room created for us from the beginning. If I am not mistaken, this idea is Franciscan theology taught by Bonaventure.

I would encourage bishops in the U.S., Canada and the world over to build bridges in a situation where confusion abounds. Look for common grounds to promote understanding. Look for ways to support people of different orientation and people struggling with gender issues. Instead of going to the courts, look for ways to settle the matter among ourselves, as instructed by St Paul (Corinthians 6:1).

Jesus did not build walls. Richard Rohr recently wrote: “Jesus never quotes Scripture which is punitive, imperialistic, wrathful, or exclusionary. He does not mention the list of 28 ‘thou shall nots’ in Leviticus 18 and 20, but chooses to echo the one positive command of Leviticus 19:18: ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”

When dealing with issues as complicated as this, Jesus’ example is the way to go. — Anthony Chezzi, Sudbury, Ont.