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Letters to the Editor

03/01/2017



Leaders discuss plans to make Palestine part of Israel

The Editor: Just recently TV viewers had the experience of watching U.S. President Donald Trump, the greatest military power on Earth, in a conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel.

It was quite obvious that they were discussing plans to make Palestine a part of Israel, which for them does represent the "one-state" solution. There appeared to be a smiling agreement between Netanyahu and Trump.

There have been over 100 Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. According to the United Nations, these settlements are illegal.

One would wonder why do the Palestinian people and their authorities allow this to take place. The answer is simple. Israel has the 10th largest military force in the world. Palestine has no army, navy or air force. It does, however, have a police force.

The majority of Palestinian people live in poverty. They have only limited access to water, which they receive from the Golan Heights region, which is controlled mainly by Israel.

Why should the plight of the people of Palestine concern Canadians? Because we Canadians believe that we are open-minded and have concerns about citizens of other countries, who may not have the basic necessities of living available to their people. So we wonder, why do most western governments, including Canada, support Israel without question.

The only recourse average Canadians have in speaking on behalf of people who do not have the basic needs in their everyday lives is to elect politicians who have empathy for others and seek justice for all human beings in the global village. — Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon

 

Columns about judging human behaviour are troubling

The Editor: Rev. Ron Rolheiser’s Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 columns about judging human behaviour are troubling. In the first, he states that although we can judge another’s acts wrong, we can never deem them a sin. The church, however, has always distinguished between material sin, an objective act that we can deem right or wrong, and formal sin, subjective guilt that we can’t judge.

Consequently, we should feel no compunction calling someone’s immoral acts sins. It should go without saying that to be culpable, the perpetrator has to fulfil the subjective conditions.

But while we can’t assume that those who sin objectively are subjectively at fault, we can nevertheless recognize that their salvation may be at risk. They are, after all, sinning materially. What’s more, failings like negligence in forming their conscience, willful ignorance, hardness of heart, or courting the occasions of sin can lead to their sinning formally.

So, while we can’t judge them subjectively complicit and guilty, neither can we deem them invincibly ignorant and innocent. That’s one reason we ought to discourage their objectively disordered acts. Another is that the acts alone can cause untold evil. Who can tell the evil of abortion among those who innocently believe killing their unborn children is a moral choice?

In the second column, Rolheiser warns us against becoming embittered moralizers. As an example, he cites “faithful, churchgoing Christians” who object to certain people receiving holy communion. His reference to the synod on the family indicates that the communicants objected to include divorced Catholics who re-marry civilly without an annulment.

But rather than “bitterness,” “anger,” or “an unconscious envy of the amoral,” the faithful may be motivated by compassion and love. Who is Rolheiser to judge? For all he knows, they may fear for the souls of the communicants, which Christ warned adulterers could lose. Such fears are particularly poignant when the communicants are close friends or family members.

Anyhow, the faithful are in good company, as St. Pope John Paul II agrees with them. — Joe Campbell, Saskatoon