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St. Paul's Hospital; Pope on genocides

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Letters to the Editor – May 11th issue

St. Paul's Hospital
It is exciting to read about new facilities for St. Paul's Hospital (April 20 issue). Anyone who has visited the hospital in recent years would agree that a new building is desperately needed.
Providence Health Care said, "Commitment to the Catholic tradition continues regardless of the site we're on," but time will tell whether these are empty words.
Will the architecture and philosophy of care reflect and uphold Catholic teaching and tradition? Will there be a crucifix in front of the new building? Will there be a chapel with crucifix and tabernacle, or just an empty, soulless, multi-purpose "quiet room" in the name of embracing other faiths?
I'm cautiously optimistic.
Will there be a display on the history of Catholic health care carried out by Catholic religious in B.C.? Will there be a chapter in the staff training or work manual on what Catholic health care really means, including respect for the dignity for the human person from conception to natural end? This chapter is too often missing in health care today.
As Abbot John Braganza indicates in his article on ecumenism (April 27 issue), we have to be faithful to who we are, and we have to know our faith before we can dialogue with people of other faiths.
Today we seem to be expected to compromise our own faith and what we hold to be true out of respect for other people's beliefs. How should we Catholics live our faith within a multi-cultural society in an age of relativism?
We cannot legislate kindness and compassion, but we can certainly make it clear by our words and actions that these are values embraced by Catholic health care.
Let's hold Providence Health Care accountable to its promise to continue St. Paul's Catholic tradition, and let's make sure they keep all these things in mind as they plan the new hospital.
Nancy May
Pope on genocides
At Mass on April 12, Pope Francis acknowledged "the first genocide of the 20th century" had been committed against "the Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Greeks."
Sadly, few journalists wrote much on this address beyond the Turkish government's harsh criticism of the Pope's decision to use the word "genocide."
It is far more important that Pope Francis stressed, "It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honour their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!"
Catholic journalists should have heard his warning: "Today, too, we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by general and collective indifference. by the complicit silence of Cain, who cries out: "What does it matter to me? Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gn 4:9).
If we do not fulfill our duty to acknowledge the evil of the past, there will be no healing, and it will continue to be repeated.
Mark Merlino
Powell River, B.C.

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