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Letters to the Editor


Write government leaders about Summer Jobs Program

The Editor: There are truly critical watershed moments in the life of a particular government and country. One such issue was highlighted by Kipley Lukan Yaworski in her article “Diocese responds to job application requirement” (PM, Jan 31).

The issue is the federal government’s Canada Summer Jobs Program requiring the applicant or group, in order to receive funding, to provide an attestation that their core mandate, among other things, supports “the right to access safe and legal abortions.”

This attestation conflicts directly with the Canadian Charter right to freedom of religion and conscience. An issue that was supposed to be dealt with by a simple bureaucratic requested tick of a box on a grant application has exposed the coercion of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Employment Minister Patty Hajdu in denying funding to any person or group who does not share their, or the government’s, beliefs.

In some of his public statements, Trudeau has tried to pass off the resistance to such a government intrusion as a “kerfuffle,” or more seriously, as justified by the fact that abortion is a Charter right in Canada. Nothing could be further from the truth! Abortion is NOT a Charter right in Canada, with both pro-life and pro-abortion groups, the legal community, church and faith groups, most Canadians, and even the media, agreeing on this.

Justin, your father said the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. We, and the Charter, say: the state has no place in the consciences of the nation.

We urge all readers to write the prime minister, the employment minister, your MP, and the sole Liberal MP in Saskatchewan, Ralph Goodale, and demand that this attestation be removed from the Summer Jobs Program Application. Your freedoms are at stake.
— Phil and Mary Wrubleski, Saskatoon

Clarification about Msgr. Foy and Gregory Baum

The Editor: In the Oct. 25, 2017, issue of the Prairie Messenger, the article about the death of ex-priest Gregory Baum erroneously stated that Msgr. Vincent Foy “popularized a theory that Mr. Baum had excommunicated himself by marrying before his laicization was formally recognized by the Vatican.”


This was not a “theory.” In fact, as a canon lawyer Msgr. Foy was assigned and in charge of the sad duty of the laicization of priests. Msgr. Foy was informed that Gregory Baum initially got civilly married without first being laicized as a priest. Msgr. Foy knew the superiors of the Augustinian order that Baum was a member of.   

In his 1996 article, “Notes on Gregory Baum,” Msgr. Foy reported: “In its issue of Jan. 14, 1978, the Catholic Register reported that ‘Gregory Baum, noted Canadian theologian and outspoken critic of the church, married a former nun in a private ceremony recently in Montreal . . . the bride is Shirley Flynn, who left her religious order about 15 years ago.’ He had previously cancelled an application for laicization. According to canon 2388 of the Code of Canon Law in force at that time, he was automatically excommunicated.”  

Baum wrote in his autobiography, “I decided to leave informally. I published a brief statement in the Globe and Mail saying that I was leaving the priesthood because of my disagreement with the church’s sexual ethics  . . . .” See

— Jean Ladouceur, Ottawa