Those of you who are media saavy, or at least watching your 6 O'clock news at dinner hour, are aware that currently City Hall is in talks to add another major Las-Vegas sized Casino to the city. One location which is still possible, is the now closed Ontario Place to become the site for such a casino. Although it is looking like there are more opponents in City Hall against a proposed casino, it might still get passed for the sake of revenue and job creation as well as increasing the overall "value" of the city.
With a growing concern, the Archdiocese has released a pastoral letter with regard to the issue of gambling and how a Catholic should approach the issue, and why the Archdiocese of Toronto is against as a whole the idea, despite the Catechism's allowance of moderate, minor acceptance of games of chance. In a nutshell, the sins and potential for evil outweigh the financial benefits that the Casino can provide the city.
In addition, the Archdiocese draws upon specific and relevant information from a recent report from the Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, and experience from Catholic Family Services and Catholic Charities that work with the Office of the Archdiocese. In other words, there's practical realities and dire damage to the Faith of the individual, and/or the parents of the young ones being reared in the faith from parental neglect, abuse, and forcing the kids into poverty by spending family income.
The link to the page and the diocesan letter is here: http://www.archtoronto.org/gaming/index.html
I also first picked this entry up through a posting from our Archdiocesan co-ordinator of communications, Marlena, on the Archdiocesan blog. We young ones with your blogs, eh? If you are not signed up on the blog, please do so and add it to your blogger feeds here: http://archdioceseoftoronto.blogspot.ca/.
Please view what is a relevant and decently constructed pastoral document that should be passed on and stuck in bulletins NOW.
Pax, Julian Barkin.
P.S. In case you are asking what my opinion is, it's NO to the casino. I stand with the reasons listed in the letter, particularly: " ... that marriages and families will be hurt or even destroyed through greater ease of access to gambling through the construction of yet another large casino. The health of families is a constant concern of our Catholic Family Services and of Catholic Charities member agencies throughout the archdiocese. In our parishes as well we seek to strengthen families, and we directly deal with the suffering which gambling addiction causes to individuals and families. We seek to heal, and are concerned by the expansion of the capacity to harm."
Not to mention I see more potential for children and adults who will be caught up in the gambling directly or indirectly, to become consumed by such a demon as to be lost to the Catholic Faith in this society of decreasing morals, catechesis, and assaults to the family unit. Even one child damaged by this all or one lukewarm or wayward young person/adult who becomes addicted and turns away from Christ is one too many.