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A voice from Toronto on Bill C-384

Below is the text of a letter from a brother priest on the subject of Bill C-384 and the need for a stronger Catholic voice in this debate.

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The reality of the strong disconnect between the vision of life espoused by our faith and the secular positivist view that places individual choice at the front of every queue is something I've been aware of since undergrad.

I do think that the Church not only needs to articulate our understanding of the gift of life; we also need to demonstrably live it.

On the home front Archbishop Collins has been encouraging people to exercise their citizenship on this issue. The challenge not only exists with bishops who may be unreasonably or reasonably hesitant, but with our people who have shown little interest in translating their faith into votes, candidacy or partisan activities. This present bill appears to be softening the way.
Groups like COLF and the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute are also making efforts. The bishops also have a real challenge to rally active groups to co-ordinate their activities. Sometimes the people on the vanguard of pro-life see other groups as somehow not as committed.

I do also think that these essential life issues call us as pastors to active formation of our people which requires us to find ways to deepen their understanding and ability to articulate the faith. If we as pastors, and the bishops have a primary concern, it is that somehow we haven't led or animated our people sufficiently to bring the Gospel to the world.

I would guess that these matters are discussed by the bishops together and at least are a matter that the papal nuncio takes significant interest in.
I'm not even sure how free the bishops are to venture out without it being part of a wider vision orchestrated by the nuncio and the Secretariat of State.

If this is in fact the case, then, the policy seems to have shifted in the last few years. Both Archbishops Collins and Prendergast are certainly engaging the media, speaking out on issues and notably trying to win the hearts and minds of young people with electronic media.

I agree that the Church needs to express itself clearly, especially sometimes when local media fly in its face, but the business of acting wisely is challenging.

Please pray that the Church does act wisely, because it also risks playing into the hands of its opponents and becoming even more marginalized.
Communication really is the key these days.

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