Columns

From the category archives: Editorial

Editorial

The faithful have a voice in the Church

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September 22, 2014

The recent document, Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church, produced by the International Theological Commission (ITC), is a landmark statement that gives great credence to the views of the lay faithful in the formation and presentation of Catholic Church teaching. Unfortunately, the Catholic News Service report published in the July 21 WCR failed to capture the ground-breaking nature of this report.

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Church should cherish hidden life of Nazareth

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September 22, 2014

It is encouraging that 14 married couples have been invited to the World Synod of Bishops on the Family next month. One hopes that a significant majority of these couples have had the joyous and demanding experience of raising children. Unfortunately, this cannot be taken for granted, despite the Church's own emphasis on procreation as an essential end of marriage. Too often, the couples the Church holds up for imitation are those who have lived marriage in a state of celibacy or who, at least, have been childless with the result that they can better devote their time to various ministries.

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World stands idly by as terrorists wreak havoc in Iraq

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September 8, 2014

Again the world has been impotent in the face of a major humanitarian crisis, this time in the area of northeastern Iraq controlled by Islamic State terrorists. Although nations have deplored the massacres and other forms of terrorism of the ISIS militants, little has been done beyond U.S. bombing raids. Those raids are themselves morally problematic as they are unilateral actions by one nation, rather than a coherent response from the global community.

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John Paul's words must not be forgotten

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September 8, 2014

Next week will mark the 30th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II's Sept. 16-17, 1984 visit to Edmonton, an historic moment for the local Church. The 10-day papal visit was, in fact, a landmark in Canadian Catholic history, a period during which the attention of the nation was riveted on the pope, his message and the Church itself.

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Bitter fruits of 'an adventure without return'

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September 8, 2014

As terror rages out of control in Iraq and Syria, one should not forget the First Gulf War, begun in 1991, that was so deeply deplored at the time by Pope St. John Paul II and other Church leaders. The sainted pope pleaded with the leaders of Iraq and the United States to avoid a war stemming from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait the previous summer.

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Legalization of marijuana would be folly

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August 25, 2014

Pope Francis' brief June 20 statement (WCR, July 21) in opposition to the legalization of marijuana is a needed intervention on a topic on which the Church has had little to say. The Church has been outspoken on the international drug trade, but less so on whether it would be appropriate to legalize "recreational drugs."

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Encounter with Christ would help resolve crisis in families

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July 21, 2014

Normally, the release of the instrumentum laboris (working paper) for a World Synod of Bishops attracts no mainstream media attention and little in the Catholic press. This time it is different because of expectations that the double synod (2014 and 2015) on the family may lead to greater acceptance at the Eucharistic table for those divorced and remarried without an annulment. Some media commentaries have not been enlightening. It is startling to read that the biggest problem facing families today is, in effect, that the Church continues to preach the Gospel. If the Church would only drop its teachings on contraception, same-sex marriage and the permanency of marriage, so the argument goes, the world would be better off.

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God's call is an invitation to love

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July 21, 2014

A vocation, any vocation, is a mystery, one whose meaning is slowly, but only partially, revealed to us over the course of our lives. Human vision is always extremely limited in the context of God's entire plan; fears, sinfulness and desires also limit our perspective. Yet, we know from the testimony of priests and religious that often the call to a life of ordained or consecrated ministry is resisted, sometimes strongly. We also know from the testimony of religious in the autumn of their lives that they have experienced great joy from turning their lives totally over to God through service to his Church.

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Poet's pen sealed reputations of greedy popes

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July 21, 2014

While Dante Alighieri was but a minor player in Italian politics of the late 13th century, it is through his Divine Comedy that the lasting reputations of many of the wealthy and powerful of that era have been framed. The pen may not be mightier than the sword, but its scribblings have more staying power. It is through the Divine Comedy that we see, for example, several popes of that era finding an everlasting home in hell because of their use of spiritual power to increase their temporal power and wealth.

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Northern Gateway would close doors on Canada's future

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July 7, 2014

Five years ago Bishop Luc Bouchard, then the bishop of St. Paul, began his landmark pastoral statement, The Integrity of Creation and the Athabasca Oilsands, with these words: "Our wasteful consumerist lifestyle, combined with political and industrial short-sightedness and neglect, are damaging our air, land, and water. Personal, social and political change will be necessary to meet this national challenge."

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