Columns

From the category archives: Editorial

Editorial

World Youth Day holds promise of Catholic Springtime

WCR Logo

September 12, 2011

As odd as it may seem, the Catholic Church is a hidden movement in history. A Church of more than a billion people cannot be hidden, can it? Yet, the media coverage of World Youth Day - not just last month's version in Spain, but consistently over the years - has curiously avoided the reason for such gatherings.

If two million people, mainly young, from around the world were to gather for any other reason than to give glory to Jesus Christ, it would naturally excite extensive and probing news coverage. It would be recognized that something major is afoot. However, the WYD media coverage largely focused on peripheral issues, such as the cost of the event and the relatively small number who protested against it.

Read the rest of entry »

Passport to Paradise demands sharing Jesus' death and resurrection

WCR Logo

September 5, 2011

There is the sin of presumption — the belief that death will surely take me to my rightful place in paradise. There is also a philosophy of presumption — the belief that everyone has a right to eternal life unless they do something drastically bad to blow it.

However, there is no right to eternal life. As sinful creatures, there is no natural way we can enter into paradise because entering paradise means sharing in the life of the Trinity. God would be denying his own nature if he admitted to Trinitarian life any creature who was not permeated with eternal life.

Read the rest of entry »

Interfaith dialogue leads to truth, peace, evangelization

WCR Logo

July 25, 2011

Pope Benedict's invitation to leaders of major world religions to join him for a day of prayer this fall in Assisi is yet another indication of his commitment to fostering interreligious dialogue and witness. This pope's efforts, as were those of Pope John Paul II before him, tell of a determined effort to ensure the much-touted "clash of civilizations" becomes less and less of a reality.

Interreligious cooperation is really the "Catholic" issue of our time. It may not seem a pressing issue at the local parish level. But how the Church and society will fare 50 or 100 years from now will depend in no small part on the fruitfulness of dialogue with other faiths.

Read the rest of entry »

Tenderness: A crucial element in every person's life

WCR Logo

July 18, 2011

Along with the rights to freedom of speech, food and water, and various others, we need to be cognizant of the human right to tenderness. The future Pope John Paul spoke of this right in his 1960 book Love and Responsibility, but in the intervening 51 years it has yet to gain much notice.

Every person needs to experience tenderness on an ongoing basis. It is essential to human flourishing. In a marriage, tenderness is essential and each person has the right to receive tenderness from one's partner and the responsibility to give it. But tenderness is also essential outside the marriage bond. The sick, the dying, the rejected, those suffering emotional traumas, the single, the widowed and divorced, single parents, children and infants all need tenderness.

Read the rest of entry »

Balthasar's theology inspires today's papal candidates

WCR Logo

July 11, 2011

The appointment of Cardinal Angela Scola, patriarch of Venice for the past nine years, as the archbishop of Milan, Europe's largest diocese, has entrenched his name as the top Italian candidate when a new pope is chosen. Many observers see Scola as worthy in his own right. But the fact that three 20th century popes had previously served as patriarch of Venice and two as archbishop of Milan only heightens the likelihood that Scola will be seen as a serious candidate.

Read the rest of entry »

Oh Canada, you could be so much better if . . .

WCR Logo

July 4, 2011

Here is a wish list for Canada's 154th birthday: What Canada most needs is more religion and more babies. It needs less abuse — sexual, verbal and physical — and fewer divorces. It needs less TV watching and less time on the Internet. Canada needs less emphasis on individual rights and more commitment to community responsibilities. Less gambling and more sharing would be good too.

Canada would benefit if there were less pornography and less exploitive advertising. It would also benefit if there was a strong emphasis on education in the Great Books, if everyone got half an hour of exercise a day and if we had a weekly Sabbath when everything shut down and everyone gave the day to rest, reflection and prayer.

Read the rest of entry »

Senate reform should spark overhaul of Canadian democracy

WCR Logo

June 20, 2011

The Reform Party idealism of the 1980s and early 1990s that proclaimed Canada should have an equal, elected and effective Senate is pretty much dead. But that doesn't mean that Senate reform should be forsaken. It will have to be an ongoing task rather than a one bill fixes all solution.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's encouragement for more Senate elections and fixed terms is a positive move that is far from radical. Nevertheless, the Ontario and Quebec governments reacted with predictable outrage. They see elected representation in the Senate as something that would increase the Senate's legitimacy as a voice of regional representation and thus be a threat to their own power.

Read the rest of entry »

Quebec walks into darkness with systematic atheism

WCR Logo

June 13, 2011, 2011

To paraphrase the French philosopher, Jacques Maritain: The Quebec government cannot see that man must choose between two ways: the way of Calvary and the way of slaughter. Maritain's comment, made in 1938, was actually about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

But it is appropriate to describing the current path of government in Quebec which, having abandoned the Catholic faith, is now on a path of militant atheism. The government no doubt blindly believes this is a path of liberation for its people.

Read the rest of entry »

Spirit's power came alive in surprising explosion of Pentecost

WCR Logo

June 6, 2011

In reading the history of the Second Vatican Council, one cannot help but be awestruck by the enormous trust Blessed Pope John XXIII had in the Holy Spirit. Elected pope at the age of 78, Angelo Roncalli was expected to be a caretaker pope, someone who minded the store for a few years after the long pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

Instead, three months after his election, Pope John called a council of the whole Church. Perhaps he had been waiting in the weeds, hoping for his chance to impose his agenda on an unsuspecting Church? This was nothing of the sort. Pope John had felt a glimmer of an insight, a little spark from the Holy Spirit and realized he must act.

Read the rest of entry »

John Paul II celebrated humanity over economic systems

WCR Logo

May 30, 2011

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Centesimus Annus, arguably the greatest document in Pope John Paul II's magnificent body of writings.

Expectations for the encyclical were at first modest. Popes had written encyclicals of Church social teaching to mark the 40th, 70th, 80th and 90th anniversaries of Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Read the rest of entry »