Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Please, please restart negotiations on First Nations education

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May 26, 2014

The federal government cannot and should not abandon its efforts to improve on-reserve First Nations education because of divisions among aboriginal leaders over the now-withdrawn Bill C-33. While the resignation of Shawn Atleo as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations has drawn the most media attention, it is aboriginal students who will suffer most if improvements are not made to on-reserve education.

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Prairie author makes pilgrimage of soil and soul

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 26, 2014

Nature, desire and soul, we rarely integrate these well. Yet they are so inextricably linked that how we relate to one deeply colours the others; and, indeed, spirituality itself might be defined as what we each do in terms of integrating these three in our lives. More recently notable spiritual authors such as Annie Dillard, Kathleen Norris, Bill Plotkin, and Belden Lane have argued persuasively that physical nature profoundly affects the soul, just as how we manage our private desires deeply influences how we treat nature. Spirituality is naïve when it is divorced from nature and desire. In a book just released, The Road Knows How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire and Soul, Canadian writer Trevor Herriot joins these voices in calling for a better integration between nature, desire and soul.

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Rome offers reminders of deepest truths

Maria Kozakiewicz

May 26, 2014
Ascension of the Lord
June 1, 2014

Rome in May smells of roses, flowering vines and jasmine. Roof and balcony gardens overflow with greenery. Oranges shine through thick, dark leaves of trees. Streets of this huge, ancient city resound with noise that dies gradually well past midnight and for two hours only. Rome of the 21st century is constantly on the go, very much like New York, Toronto or any other leading metropolis. What differentiates it, however, from the secular, fast-paced world elsewhere is the visible and tangible presence of Christian faith. Even an atheist cannot avoid this experience. Faith is present in the tolling of 600 church bells every Sunday morning, the habits of nuns and brothers on streets, small shrines of Mary on walls of buildings.

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Pro-lifers must not abandon politics

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May 26, 2014

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's announcement that pro-life individuals will no longer be allowed to seek federal Liberal nominations is a calamitous move against social justice and human dignity in Canada. All three major parties have now placed themselves foursquare against one of the most basic human rights – the right to life. A few years ago, the late Jack Layton took the same stance in the New Democratic Party – those who support the life of the unborn will not be allowed to run as NDP candidates.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee lead our political parties

Bishop Fred Henry

May 26, 2014

My mom often used the expression – "tweedledum and tweedledee." My dad explained that it means – "six of one, half a dozen of the other." For example, two matters, persons or groups can be very much alike, as in Uncle George says, he's not voting in this election because the candidates are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. I later discovered that these terms were actually invented by John Byrom, who in 1725 made fun of two quarrelling composers, Handel and Bononcini, and said there was little difference between their music, since one went "tweedledum" and the other "tweedledee." The term gained further currency when Lewis Carroll used it for two fat little men in Through the Looking-Glass (1872).

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Suffering is a sign that God is still at work

Kathleen Giffin

May 26, 2014
Pentecost
June 8, 2014

The feast of Pentecost used to carry different significance for me than it does now. Pentecost was the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that expressed the excitement and hope I experienced in my life of faith. The Holy Spirit was the one who came in power, who transformed from uncertainty and bondage to freedom and mission. Life was easy, evidence of God's love abounded as the Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the ways of the Father. Pentecost reminds me of that time in my life, a time which I know many others have also experienced.

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Synod of Bishops again under the microscope

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May 26, 2014

The authority of the world Synod of Bishops is again coming under the microscope now that a relatively new pope has called not one, but two, synods for the next two years to discuss issues affecting the family. In the background is the issue of whether the synod could allow those who are divorced and remarried without an annulment of the first marriage to receive Communion. The straight answer is that, no, the synod cannot do this. Nor could the synod ever be given the authority to make such a change.

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Catholic health care provides counter-witness to the push for euthanasia

Gordon Self

May 26, 2014

It's been months since my friend's daughter died. Siobhán Rock-Zych passed away Jan. 12 at the age of 42 in Ottawa. She was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) in 2011. Her father, Michael, spoke of his daughter's courageous witness in the WCR following a press conference at Covenant Health announcing the release of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care report, in which we contributed substantive input ("Society must face up to human mortality," WCR, Nov. 28, 2011 by Lasha Morningstar.)

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Commitment to defend life is far-reaching

Bob McKeon

May 26, 2014

On May 8, I was asked to speak at the March for Life. The day started with the Alberta bishops leading a well-attended Pro-Life Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica. Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Mackenzie Diocese gave the homily, spoke of the new life of the Easter season, and the strong family and community values of the aboriginal peoples of his diocese. After Mass, people gathered at the Legislature for prayers and some talks. Then everyone started walking together through downtown streets to Churchill Square by City Hall. At Churchill Square, we stopped again for prayers and some more talks. I was one of the speakers at Churchill Square.

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Some lost sheep remain long ignored, but never forgotten

Lasha Morningstar

May 26, 2014

Missing. It's a word that strikes terror in the heart. Certainly there are the minor gulps in the throat – missing car keys, missing wallet, a missing library book (and when you do find it, the dog has chewed the corner of it). Then there is the muttered prayer to St. Anthony, "Tony, Tony, listen, listen, hurry, hurry. Something is missing." But the missing that stops the heart is when a person or pet disappears.

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