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Editorial & Columns

Christians build bridges until finally the world is one

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July 11/25, 2016

Almost essential to the proper nurturing of young children is a strong, supportive family. As children grow older, their need for community does not disappear, but expands. "It takes a village to raise a child," it is commonly said. Indeed, it does take a family, and it does take a village or a neighbourhood. Many children have grown to have outstanding lives without such roots, but they have often triumphed in spite of their background, not because of it.

Iraq's adventure without return

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July 25, 2016

Britain's Chilcot Report on that country's conduct before, during and after the Iraq War, which began in 2003, underlines again the criminal foolishness of those Western nations which invaded Iraq in order to eradicate non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMD), depose Saddam Hussein and create democracy. The report zeroed in on then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair for exaggerating the threat posed by Hussein, believing false information about WMD, ignoring warnings that Iraq would fall into civil war and believing that deposing Hussein would bring freedom.

Church faces the joy of marginalization

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July 11/25, 2016

One main lesson of the recent debate over assisted suicide in Canada is the increasingly marginalized place of religious believers in the public square. The weight of Canadian Catholics, Evangelicals and Muslims, in particular, was against the legalization of assisted suicide. Yet, unlike earlier times, the voice of the faithful had little impact on this issue.

Court ruling offers a view of abortion mindset

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July 11/25, 2016

It was yet another U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifting state-legislated restrictions on abortion. The rulings are almost routine, but they do give a peephole into the mindset of those who favour legal abortion. The 2013 Texas law required abortion clinics in the state to meet the same safety requirements of other walk-in medical clinics, in regards to staffing, buildings and equipment. As well, it required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Hope for the world's future comes by acting for peace

Douglas Roche

July 25, 2016

"There's nothing you can do about anything in the world anymore." These anguished words of a survivor in the Orlando mass shooting seared my mind. Out of the agony of losing a loved one to wholesale murder came this cry of despair. I watched his face on TV. His eyes seemed vacant, his body numbed by the shock of the mayhem in a gay nightclub where a gunman murdered 49 people.

Growing tribalism a symptom of me-first mentality

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 11/25, 2016

More than 2,400 years ago Socrates wrote these words: "I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world." Today more than ever these are words we need to appropriate because our world and we ourselves are sinking into unhealthy forms of tribalism where we are concerned primarily with taking care of our own. We see this everywhere. We tend to think that this lives only in circles of extremism, but it is being advocated with an ever-intensifying moral fervour virtually every place in the world.

Parishes challenged to live justice in their own neighbourhoods

Bob McKeon

July 25, 2016

Last month, I was invited to speak about social justice at the annual meeting of an Edmonton Catholic parish. I started my preparation for this presentation by looking up the parish boundaries. Then I went to the City of Edmonton website and checked out the different neighbourhoods that fall within the parish boundaries. Then I went back again to the city website and searched for the "neighbourhood profiles" for each of the parish neighbourhoods.

Medical killing dries up support for palliative care

Mark Pickup

July 25, 2016

A monstrous notion has become law. Assisting the suicides of sick and disabled Canadians is legally permitted. It is now a new right - the right to death. The pied pipers of this new right use misleading euphemisms such as "medical assistance in dying" (MAID). A more accurate, precise and honest description of this new reality is "medical killing."

Following the rules helps minimize mistakes

Lasha Morningstar

July 11/25, 2016

Mistakes are horrid. They happen usually when one is rushed, careless or does not follow the rules. These can range from violating rules of the road to society's rules, to family rules, to religious rules, to workplace rules and even rules about rules. Discipline slips. Or, one does not follow the system they have made for themselves. A mistake is made. When that happens one feels such shame, remorse. Apologies fly to the point of anguish. You vow to never break a certain rule again.

Pray, even when you cannot see the effects

Brett Fawcett

July 11/25, 2016
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 24, 2016

One thing we inevitably hear in the wake of great global tragedies and catastrophes is a lot of people telling the survivors that "our thoughts and prayers are with you." Lately, there's been another inevitable response: A chorus of people rejecting this, saying it isn't good enough. We need action, too, and, sometimes, people will even indignantly add: "Stop praying. God isn't doing anything." This may sound shocking and blasphemous to our ears, but we have to honestly consider the place where a retort like this could come from.

Are we lucky to live in prosperous times?

Maria Kozakiewicz

July 25, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2016

"You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" We all need a certain predictability to avoid major pitfalls in life. Still it is wise not to overdo the planning. Several people I know spare no effort to ensure they are in complete control of their lives. They live with pen and notebook in hand (or a laptop), and carefully plan their savings, investments and expenses. Everything they own is insured.

God gives us his kingdom, and we rejoice

John Connelly

July 25, 2016
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2016

In this week's Gospel, the words of Jesus to his disciples should encourage us all: "Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom." We all have fears. Fear of death. Fear of being destitute. Fear of not being loved. Conscious fears and unconscious fears. I remember as a small child checking to make sure no monsters were hiding in my closet. I was afraid some unnamed fear was going to sneak up on me when I was alone.

Sinclair urges respect for native spiritually

Joe Gunn

July 11/25, 2016

One year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 500-page final report on Indian residential schools: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Most importantly, the TRC issued 94 calls to action. Several of these recommendations should directly impact the ways people of faith live out our covenantal relationship with the indigenous people of this land.