Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Editorial

Political intrigues threaten Pope Francis’ work

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November 9, 2015

Pope Francis is affectionately called the People’s Pope by both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Stories abound of how, as a parish priest, he lived an austere life. This is a shepherd who guides his flock while walking in the shoes of Every Man, Every Woman, Every Child. He walks into the villa miseria, Argentina’s notorious slums, to see his lost sheep. Francis went there because that is where his people are. Yet the danger is so great with hardened criminals and drug lords living there, even the police give the threatening shanties a pass.

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Pope Francis met with Congress, convicts - wise ones listened

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October 12, 2015

Twitter chatter and main stream secular media dubbed him the Rock Star Pope. Indeed, Pope Francis took the media,the U.S. Congress, New York and Phildelphia by storm. Crowds, hungry for spiritual nourishment, roared with delight calling out "Viva Papa" as he passed by in a motorcade, fell pin-drop silent in a million plus open air Mass.

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Schoolboard chaos, comments have left a bad taste

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September 28, 2015

The Edmonton Catholic School Board needlessly undermined Catholic teaching and its own credibility with a chaotic discussion at its Sept. 15 meeting aimed at meeting the needs of a transgendered student. Board chair Debbie Engel's assurances a week later that the school district is meeting the student's needs and will soon approve a policy dealing specifically with transgendered children should help to calm the storm.

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Response to refugee crisis must become a top global priority

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September 28, 2015

Currently, more than 51 million people around the world are refugees or displaced from their homelands, one of the greatest human tragedies in history. While Canada cannot provide asylum to even most of these people, it does have a moral obligation to provide at least a temporary home to a significant number.

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Obsession with rules can replace solidarity with bureaucracy

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September 28, 2015

Pope Francis' reform of the marriage annulment process has been hailed as the most substantial change in Church marriage laws in almost 300 years. Yet, on one hand, the change is no big deal - the rules governing the declaration that a marriage is null and void are unchanged. On the other hand, the reform makes a demand on all Catholics - to respond to the need of the suffering person with haste and to give that response priority over the precise following of rules.

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Rebellion establishes roots in our thoughts

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September 28, 2015

The spirit of rebellion leads society astray. Of course, many things need to be changed, and advocacy for change may need to be vociferous to be heard. Pope Francis, for example, urges that the economic, political and social systems of the world urgently need radical reform.

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Pope's 'comprehensive solutions' require global dialogue

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September 14, 2015

Twice in his encyclical Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls for "comprehensive solutions" to the crises of our age (60, 139). This call for policies and lifestyle changes that are comprehensive, rather than piecemeal, is the hallmark of the encyclical. "We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.

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Ouellet's theology demands Church transform pastoral practice

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September 14, 2015

Cardinal Marc Ouellet hits the nail on the head when he states, "Eucharistic communion . . . is an objective sign that sacramentally expresses personal union with Christ" (Page 11). When that personal union is broken, such as through divorce and remarriage without an annulment, he implies, the second marriage is a countersign that undermines the Church's "missionary dimension."

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Church has role in defining political values

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September 14, 2015

It may be, as Regina political scientist Ann Ward states (Page 5), that Church influence over the decisions their members make at the ballot box is declining. In one respect, this is a good thing. Direct Church entanglement in politics, with pastors telling parishioners how to cast their ballot, is rarely beneficial for either the Church or democracy.

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Political parties do evasive two-step dance on environment

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August 31,2015

Alberta's new NDP government is under pressure to bend its stated support for a healthier environment in order to allow continued unrelenting development and sale of the people's petroleum resources. This pressure, by all appearances, is the rationale for dialogue between government and the oil industry. Dialogue is essential if Alberta is to be a place of harmony and prosperity. Yet the goal of dialogue, if Pope Francis is to be taken seriously, should be to move toward new economic approaches which respect human life, the earth and future generations.

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