Genoa role reflected PWRDF’s commitment to partnershipDear editor,
I am writing in response to your editorial, “A pointless protest and a pointless death” (Sept. 2001) and to the coverage provided of a Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund staff member who participated in the public events surrounding the G-8 meetings in Genoa.
I would like to provide clarification so that there is no misunderstanding among Journal readership concerning PWRDF’s participation in a worldwide movement to raise awareness about the increasingly harmful effects of globalization.
PWRDF has an abiding commitment to working in true partnership with agencies and organizations in countries overseas and in Canada.
The PWRDF presence at the Genoa meetings represents one action undertaken with these partners, and was part of many years of shared work around the unbearable burden of debt that prevents the equitable development of countries in the South.
Your characterization of the popular mobilization at Genoa as “pointless protest” shows both a misapprehension and lack of analysis of the growing worldwide movement against the negative effects of globalization. What is deemed newsworthy is the violent response by limited numbers of participants in the demonstrations. You do not discuss the years of research, analysis, and debate by reasonable individuals, coalitions, and organizations on issues of globalization.
PWRDF staff and ecumenical partners in Canada and overseas have worked diligently to respond effectively to support the demands of our partners for global economic justice in those national and international forums, such as Genoa, where decisions are made which have an immediate and largely negative effect on the lives of disadvantaged people.
Generally speaking, politicians who are participating in the global economic meetings have not met with the reasonable, non-violent participants in the parallel forums. These people are developing constructive strategies and solutions leading to a more just and equitable world.
We cannot let the widely reported violence detract our attention from the need for coordinated concerted action to address the just demands of people in the South.
The provincial news section of the May Journal printed gleanings from an interview I had with The Diocesan Times. The lengthy interview contained some of my personal opinions regarding clergy morale in the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
However, I am also of the opinion that the problem of clergy morale is hardly limited either to this diocese or to Anglicans. While there is a local presentation to be certain, many of the vectors for reduced morale, such as, social context and public perception (including the residential schools controversy) as well funding and workload, transcend the regions and denominations of the country. There are some things that clergy ought to do, and in some cases are doing, to address their situation. As well, those of us who share in the pastoral oversight and care of clergy and their congregations, in any ecclesial body, need to learn more about clergy morale and the specific face and presentation of low morale in a church context.
There are structural components to the issue that require study, open discussion, and redress. Otherwise “self care”, will remain remedial and ambulatory. The morale issue is both a justice issue and a stewardship issue. The Anglican Journal might make a contribution to the conversation by researching and reporting on the matter nationally.
Archdeacon Rod Gillis
Bishops for life
The following statement in the article on the Anglican-Lutheran celebration in Waterloo may be misinterpreted.
In the article, Bishop Fred Hiltz is quoted as saying: “We understand the bishops of both churches to be ordained for life service in the Gospel in the pastoral ministry of the historic episcopate.” The article also states that in the past, Lutheran bishops were elected for terms of four years at a time, and were not considered to be bishops for life, as they are in the Anglican church.
As I understand the agreement, Lutheran bishops will continue to be elected for four-year terms. The change for them is that they are now considered bishops for life, even after their term in office expires.
I refer to your current edition (Sept. 2001) and the letter, “Israel is the oppressor.”
In suggesting a boycott of advertisements or pilgrimages to the Holy Land under the present conditions, your correspondent seems to forget his Christian brothers and sisters in this land who are suffering on many fronts
Pilgrims convince them that the family of the church overseas really cares about them and is prepared to take some risks to demonstrate solidarity. Many go hungry because they have no work because the hotels, coach firms, restaurants, and souvenir shops have no customers.
If you stay away you add to the burden and appear indifferent, which I cannot believe is the intention so please, get busy and book that trip.
Dean, St. George’s Cathedral
Courage to publish
Congratulations for your courage in publishing the excellent article, “First-hand look at Israeli conflict” by Vianney Carriere (June 2001). This shows a courage sadly lacking in the mainstream media, which shies away from portraying Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians.
Pointe Claire, Que.
Atrocities seem familiar
A copy of the Anglican Journal dated June 2001 has just come to hand and it saddens me to find how such a one-sided article about the church leaders’ visit to the Middle East could be presented.
Some of the atrocities mentioned in your Journal sound very familiar. The atrocities were carried out by Arabs against Jews many years ago, and often repeated. My Bar Mitzvah party in Montreal in 1929 was upstaged by my father’s cousin who fled Jerusalem after escaping a murderous attack.
Jewish defensive measures have had to keep pace with the ever-increasing sophistication and frequency of Arab attacks. A realistic and amicable settlement between the two peoples certainly must be found. But your publication’s extremely ill informed and biased treatment of the situation surely won’t help.
Hard to comprehend
We all know the history of the cruel injustices imposed upon Canada’s native people for more than 150 years. Robbing native people of their lands and then later relegating them onto tiny “reserves” was done without respect for them as decent people, and was a guarantee that they would be destined to lives of poverty.
We have learned that government officials forced parents to give up their young children who were taken many miles away to residential schools. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse that took place in some of those schools has been described as cultural genocide.
Why some Christian churches allowed themselves to be partners in such ill-conceived and anti-Christian behaviour is hard to comprehend.
Now, hundreds are seeking redress for damages to them and their human rights. The government has named the churches as co-defendants and seems quite willing to use the courts, which will obviously bankrupt some churches.
Government has its taxpayers to provide their share of these expected tremendous costs!
Why does the government not hasten to settle the many land claims pending, and also use land as part payment for suffering abuse at the schools?
We also wonder why the churches cannot pressure the government to settle these two great injustices by negotiation rather than the costly court system?
Confused and angry
I am writing this letter in response to the article, which appeared in the June issue of the Anglican Journal entitled “First hand look at the Israeli conflict.”
As a member of the Anglican church I felt very disheartened to see that a newspaper, which purports to represent Anglicans in Canada, would present such a biased view of a very complex situation. It actually left me feeling very confused and angry.
I do not understand how the church can continue to support such uninformed reporting. I also felt that some of the comments were rather hurtful. The article made it sound as though the Holocaust of the Second World War was a memory to hide behind.
And yet, from the Palestinian perspective, it seems that the present experience is like a second Holocaust.
I was very glad to read in the Canadian Jewish News that the Embassy of Israel and the Canadian Jewish Congress had stated their discontent with the article.
Toronto Editor’s Note
Because of a computer failure, letters to the editor sent electronically between Aug. 16 and Sept. 17 were not received. The address [email protected] is now working. Please feel free to try again.