Jesus reached out to a woman in an ‘irregular marriage’

The Editor: In the article “Bishops share results of synod consultation” (PM, Sept. 24), a bishop says, “that for a lot of young people the ship has sailed on this (gay marriage) issue.” The unfortunate part in all of this is that the hierarchy didn’t have to miss the boat. The people were waiting for them to join the voyage, a voyage of discussion and collaboration in union with the Spirit.

I look around at issues plaguing the world today — ISIS, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, immigration in Canada and the temporary foreign workers program, law and order — and it seems that a one-size-fits-all approach is being used to try and solve the problem. The same approach seems to be a part of our church.

There is so much polarization in our church. There doesn’t seem to be a willingness to search out what different people have in common and then work from there. If we as Catholic Christians profess to believe in the guiding presence of the Spirit, why is there a fear to trust and let go and follow where the Spirit may lead?

Jesus gave many examples that broke with Jewish teaching and custom. One of the first persons who evangelized was a woman who was living with a man who was not her husband; indeed, she had had five before him. There is no indication that after going to preach the good news that she left the man she was living with. If Jesus can reach out to a person who is in an “irregular” marriage, why can’t we be inclusive and welcome those who are in different life situations?

Only God knows the full story, just as God knows the story of each one of us. So let us trust in the love and mercy of God and let us all approach the table to be nourished for the voyage together in one ship. — Anthony Chezzi, Sudbury, Ont.

Climate crisis calls for moral response, Vatican official says

The Editor: I am grateful the Vatican recently urged ethical action in response to climate change during a presentation at the United Nations. “There is a moral imperative to act” because climate change “affects everyone, in particular the poorest among us,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Quoting Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict, the Vatican secretary of state spoke Sept. 23 during the climate summit at UN headquarters in New York City. He called climate change “a very serious problem” with “grave consequences for the most vulnerable” in society as well as future generations. He also highlighted the need to address “two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change.”

The Vatican envoy called climate change “a question of justice, respect and equity” which “must awaken our consciences.” He emphasized the need for “an authentic cultural shift” which “reinforces our formative and educational efforts, above all in favour of the young.” This would instil “a sense of responsibility for creation and integral human development of all people, present and future.”

Parolin praised the work of many Catholic educational institutions, bishops’ conferences, dioceses, parishes and Catholic-inspired non-governmental organizations committed to ethical response to the climate crisis. He also noted that Vatican City is undertaking “significant efforts” to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

The cardinal’s presentation highlighted that formation of conscience includes awareness of and ethical response to a broad range of interconnected ecological and life issues.

How do we make the connections in order to respond faithfully and responsibly? — Roma De Robertis, SCIC, Saint John, N.B.

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