March 2005

Last day in Dorval

For the last several weeks I’ve been serving here at St. Veronica’s parish in Dorval. The pastor has been away for almost all of Lent, taking part in a special continuing education experience in Rome. Today, he’s back, and I’ve handed him back the ‘keys to the kingdom’.

I would just like to say to all the parishioners of St. Veronica’s how much I appreciated their welcome. It was an honour and a privilege for me to live both the discipline of Lent and the joy of Easter with you. Keep me in your prayers, and I’ll do likewise!

Taking the day off

While Monday is usually my day off, yesterday I presided a very special funeral for Lois Ditchburn, a faithful parishioner at St. Veronica’s parish. Still, I do need a break from time to time, so I took today off. This evening I’m getting together with some friends for an evening of fun and games (literally), and I’m really looking forward to it.

Dot #4: Essay on the nature of human culture

There are many tangential points that were brought up in the comments boxes to the previous posts, but I am worried that if I start tackling them one by one the volume of commentary will cause my core arguments regarding marriage and family to acquire a taste of negativity. I am, however, normally quite a cheerful person, living and Waiting in Joyful Hope. I do not want to take an approach that will obscure the beautiful and positive things I believe many if not most of us believe in and want to promote.

Dot #3: Parental rights and responsibilities

In one of the comments to my post regarding the importance of natural family bonds, Rob challenged the idea that these are being undermined in the new law. He wrote:

Father Tom, if a couple is legally married, how are they threatened by a gay couple that has nothing to do with them? What you are saying is that some government bureaucrat is going to stamp a paper so that an anxious gay couple can go and snatch Eric’s child or someone like him?

My immediate reponse to him was:

Dot #2: Same-sex marriage is not about equal rights

As part of his original question, Eric asked:

In an age of rampant divorce, cheating, etc. why would we get concerned that a loving couple would want the same civil (and only civil) rights as others?

Answer: Because this proposed social project is about more than civil rights.

Indeed, one of the arguments put forward by proponents of same-sex marriage is that it is merely a mechanism for ensuring the civil rights of homosexual couples.

Dot #1: Natural family bonds

“We don’t feel threatened.” Eric’s haunting question…..

I’ve been praying and reflecting on this one long and hard. I can’t claim to have the picture perfectly drawn just yet, with all the dots connected, but some things have emerged. How is the traditional family threatened? I have a few ideas.

The weakness of the public position of those opposing same-sex marriage

We had a meeting of our West Island deanery today (a “deanery” is, in our case, a regional grouping of parish priests or other priests working in that region), and the discussion turned — you guessed it — to the topic of same-sex marriage. It was quite freewheeling, and no-holds barred. I love it when that happens.