Jay's Articles

Why people put their safety on the line to save another

Lasha Morningstar

November 17, 2014

Shock racked my mind – and no doubt thousands of others – as they watched film cameras capture citizens leaning over the dying body of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The unarmed soldier had been guarding the National War Memorial. The alleged killer moved up behind him and shot the young father. The first shots, of course, prompted people on the street to think they really were not bullets – blanks for a movie set, a drill maybe. But the minute they saw the shooter and heard someone call 911, people knew the body lying on the ground had been hit by real bullets.

Why avoid negative side of Old Testament?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

November 17, 2014

I am puzzled by your column on the Old Testament (WCR, Sept. 22). It is unfair and inappropriate to quote only positive statements and to say the whole document is sacred or the emphasis is on God's glory. No doubt that is present but your explanation is not complete and "spins" the truth of the Old Testament. There is the traditional teaching of the Church on homosexuality. Church leaders never comment on the idea of a father offering his daughters for whatever the townspeople want to do with them. What an atrocity! Further in the passage, the two daughters conspire to have sex with their father. You offer not a word about this disgusting plan, carried out. If the story requires that the reader tune out the immorality of how this parent respects his offspring, then the story is worthless. To focus on one shallow aspect of this story is anti-intellectual.

Will Supreme Court put an end to suicide prevention strategies?

Mark Pickup

November 17, 2014

These are perilous times for the sick and disabled. Canada's Supreme Court is considering whether the country's law against assisted suicide discriminates against suicidal disabled people and those with incurable illnesses. Assisted suicide advocates argue that the incurably sick and severely disabled are denied the physical ability to commit suicide that able-bodied suicidal Canadians have. This argument is so deeply flawed and ridiculous it hardly deserves comment, but I must comment: Just because someone can commit suicide does not mean they have a right to do it. There is no "right" to suicide in Canada. If there was a right to suicide, why would Parliament unanimously support the idea of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy as it did in October 2012?

Francis leads Church into an era of greater transparency

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November 3, 2014

What a refreshing synod of bishops! Say what you want about the final report adopted – at least in large part – by the bishops in Rome, this synod has ushered in a huge culture change at the highest levels of the Church. When Pope Francis decided to make the synod's final report public, along with the vote totals for each paragraph in the document, it brought a level of transparency never before seen. For too long and in too many ways, the Church has been tight with information because of the supposed fear of scandalizing the faithful. Oh, how ever would people react if they saw that bishops and other Church leaders sometimes disagreed over substantive issues! Indeed, the real scandal was that episcopal deliberations had to be held under lock and key with only sanitized communiques issued at the conclusion.

Resentment helps make the world go round

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

November 3, 2014

It's not only love that makes the world go round. Resentment too is prominent in stirring the drink. In so many ways, our world is drowning in resentment. Everywhere you look, it seems, someone is bitter about something and breathing out resentment. What is resentment? Why is this feeling so prevalent in our lives? How do we move beyond it? Soren Kierkegaard once defined resentment this way. Resentment, he suggested, happens when we move from the happy feeling of admiration to the unhappy feeling of jealousy. This, sadly, happens all too frequently in our lives and we are dangerously blind to its occurrence. Me resentful? How dare you make that accusation!

Roman basilica a sign of emperor's gratitude

Maria Kozakiewicz

November 3, 2014
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
November 9, 2014

The huge Lateran Basilica whose anniversary of dedication we celebrate this Sunday has a long, interesting history. bA nice villa once stood there. Then, beginning in the second century, the land housed the barracks of the imper-ial cavalry bodyguard. The end of the third century and start of the fourth saw the most cruel and massive persecutions of Christians ever. Hundreds of thousands died in horrible ways because they refused to renounce Jesus. The Church seemed to be dying.

No inevitability to Canada's future

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November 3, 2014

During the Oct. 22 lockdown in Ottawa following the murder of armed forces reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and the subsequent killing of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a reporter for a national media outlet wrote that Canada will never again be the same. One can appreciate the fear and anxiety a person would experience in such a situation without granting that our nation is forever altered. There will, no doubt, be greater security on Parliament Hill, a result of the increasingly dangerous times in which we live. Yet, the strength of a nation will be found not in kneejerk responses to lunatics who – even if they are politically or religiously motivated – cause death and mayhem. Our strength is found in re-emphasizing our commitment to peace and freedom, building more intercultural dialogue and understanding, and renewing Canada's spiritual fabric.

Terrorism an aberration as passion for peace prevails

Douglas Roche

November 3, 2014

The flight map showed our plane flying directly over Westport, a town in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. In 1842, my great-grandfather Michael Roche sailed with his bride Ann Keenan from Westport to the "new world" in a wretched trip that took six weeks to reach Quebec City. Now, here I was in the comfort of a jetliner streaking through the skies at 800 kilometres an hour with the comfort of home only a few hours away. I have always been grateful to my great-grandfather for his courage. The early stages of the potato famine had struck Ireland and life was undoubtedly hard, but it must have taken enormous determination to set out across the Atlantic Ocean to build a new life.

Talents to be used for Christ's mission

John Connelly

November 3, 2014
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 16, 2014

Talents. We all have them. Some are used, some undeveloped, some buried completely. The parable of the talents reminds us we are here for a purpose. Are we living the mission we are created to live? Are we using our talents to shine the light of Christ in our world today? All of us have probably wondered if the life we are living is the one we are destined to live. We question God and question ourselves.

Church, Caesar are uneasy partners

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November 3, 2014

One unfortunate fallout of the extensive media coverage of the bishops' synod on the family is that it plays into the widespread perception that the only societal issues with which the Catholic Church is concerned are those dealing with human life, the family and sex. Of course, the Church is and ought to be vitally concerned with those issues, but there are many others as well. Coincidentally, the end of the synod fell next to a Sunday when the Gospel reading included Jesus' much-abused statement, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22.21). The statement is misunderstood when it is used to assert that the Church should not concern itself with political matters.