How is removing Catholic symbols inclusive?

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Re: “A question of faith,” in The Weekend Telegram Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.

I was both saddened and a little concerned over Saturday’s front page article. Terry Loder seems to have brought to light a very relevant and troubling concern: the presence of Catholic symbolism at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital here in St. John’s.

He refers to numerous crucifixes and a statue of St. Clare in the main lobby. I’m sure we are all familiar with the statue, but I can’t say I could pinpoint the exact location or quantity of crucifixes within the establishment.

He also made note of the absence of inclusion, especially “in today’s day and age.”

I would like him to define today’s day and age.

Seems life moves quicker than we do, seems children grow up faster, the aged are forgotten and our quest for the next big thing is all-consuming.

Perhaps, just maybe, any symbolism in our lives is a good thing.

Perhaps the crucifixes and the statue don’t represent Catholic supremacy or religious monopoly.

Perhaps in a place where hardships are fought and sometimes lost, they represent hope, peace, compassion and self-sacrifice.

Perhaps they symbolize something greater, beyond human struggles without religious identity. Perhaps they represent God, whoever or whatever He/She/It may be for each of us.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “God has no religion.”

The Sisters of Mercy have evolved and embraced “today’s day and age.”

Their ministry to the sick in homes and institutions has been adjusted for today’s world.

However, does their presence imply religious oppression for others?

These objects are nothing more than beacons, reminders and, yes, symbols.

Terry Loder, can you please explain how removing the symbols left by those who built the hospital would be inclusive to others — in “today’s day and age?”

Can the founders of the hospital be acknowledged and included somewhere, too?

Debbie Miller

St. John’s

Organizations: Mercy Hospital

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Recent comments

  • Just Fed Up
    August 14, 2013 - 07:04

    I am just tired off all of this BS. we are afraid of offending a culture or religion, in a speech in parliament in Australia, the prime minister has said "'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT.. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society. Learn the language!' 'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.' 'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.' 'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.' 'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.' Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA , WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths. If you agree please SEND THIS ON and ON, to as many people as you know Maybe our Government (yeah right) should take the same stance.

  • David
    August 13, 2013 - 19:29

    Jeff, your ignorance came thru with your pitiful answer.

  • Moe
    August 13, 2013 - 12:43

    Pretty soon someone will take offence with the name of our capital city containing "St." because it sounds too religious.

  • A catholic
    August 13, 2013 - 08:50

    First of all I did read last weeks story,I also made a comment which in no way have I insulted or belittled this person,but the telegram choose not to print it maybe they just pick and choose what they want to print.I am a catholic I do not attend church only for weddings or christenings not that I see anything wrong with the church I just don't want to.I someone is offended by a cross or statue on their child's school when your kid to another school,hospitals well there are not to many choices,it is only St Clares or the HSC,do I have a right if I'm a patient in hospital to say I don't want SA Clergy or Angligan Clergy to visit my room because I'm a catholic and share a ward with others.It's time the government to step back realize these things does not hurt us only our feeling.Start working on a program to take drunk drivers and other careless drivers that put others in these great hospitals.

  • Cashin Delaney
    August 13, 2013 - 08:22

    These symbols (crosses and swastikas) predate the popular and misguided movements that adopted them out of hatred and exclusion. In a city where a painting of a trench was removed from a promenient public building because it resembled female genital, we wonder how long before the obelisk is considered a major offense and all are unerected.

  • L. Gray
    August 13, 2013 - 07:53

    We all believe in One God, no matter what religion, race we are. It is very sad that someone is so bothered by a religious symbol that they want it removed from a school or a hospital. Long before our time, there were and for many years to come there will be religious symbols that will offend people. In todays world there are so many more things to be concerned about, robberies, murders, assaulting people, breaking in homes, wars and all someone can think about is having religious symbols removed. Time would be better spent praying and asking our God to heal the world and for those who have closed their hearts to God and what he means. It is better to pray for love, peace, joy among our countries and the nations of the world.

    • Jeff
      August 13, 2013 - 10:26

      No we don't all believe in one god. Hindus, for instance believe in several gods, while many of us don't believe in a god at all. As for the robberies, murders, wars, etc. Your god seems to be asleep at the swicth.