Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Editorial

Human spirit yearns for relationship with divine Spirit

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April 20, 2015

When Peter and other disciples were brought before the council because they had broken orders not to speak about Jesus, it was the Pharisee Gamaliel who saved their hides. "I tell you," Gamaliel said, "keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this understanding is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them – in that case you may even be found fighting against God" (Acts 5.38-39).

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Catholics called to play prophetic role in Alberta's electoral process

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April 20, 2015

The May 5 Alberta election is one significant opportunity for the baptized to assume their role as prophets and bring Catholic ideals to play in the public realm. A Catholic vote and other participation in the electoral process should express, not one's self-interest or personal tastes, but the values by which we are called to live our faith. Our actions should flow out of the great commandment – to love God and love our neighbour. Like God who is partial to the poor and marginalized, our first thought should be for those excluded from the vast benefits of living in our blessed society.

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Turcotte a model for Christian living

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April 20, 2015

Always outspoken, a man who stayed close to home, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte was never seen as a likely candidate for pope. It must then have brought him a quiet chuckle when one of his closest friends among the cardinals – Jorge Mario Bergoglio – was elected to the papacy. The style of the two was similar – close to the people, especially the poor, willing to shoot from the hip, advocates of Church social teaching and no interest in playing Church politics.

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Christ's resurrection means we will receive incorruptible bodies

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April 6, 2015

One major theological disturbance of the 20th century was the undermining of belief in Jesus' resurrection from the dead. For too many, the meaning of the resurrection is not that Jesus rose from the dead but that his life challenges Christians to live more authentically. What matters, from this point of view, is not whether the corpse of Jesus remains in the tomb, but whether his spirit lives on in us.

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St. Luke's Gospel will guide us through the Holy Year of Mercy

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April 6, 2015

One key fact not noticed in reports about Pope Francis' declaration of the Holy Year of Mercy is that it will coincide almost exactly with Year C in the Sunday Lectionary, the Year of St. Luke's Gospel. It begins Dec. 8 and will conclude on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016. Luke gives us the Gospel of mercy, a matter which Pope Francis will no doubt emphasize throughout the holy year.

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Harper gov't must legislate on euthanasia

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April 6, 2015

Assisted suicide is now one of the main political issues facing Canada, yet the federal government will not discuss it. The Feb. 6 Supreme Court of Canada decision gave Parliament one year to pass a law to ensure mentally competent adults who suffer intolerably and permanently are able to take their own lives with a doctor's assistance.

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The cross remains a scandal for us today

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March 23, 2015

Even after 2,000 years of Christianity, the cross is a scandal. Good Friday annually confronts us with the message St. Paul says "is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1.18). In many nations today, violence is a lived reality. War, terrorism, marginalization in poverty or homelessness, or simple abandonment by loved ones are defining characteristics of the lives of tens of millions of people.

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Federal sentencing bill seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist

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March 23, 2015

Government's most fundamental responsibility is that of protecting the common good. Part of that responsibility – in the Canadian system, it is a federal responsibility – is that of protecting the public order, including punishing the perpetrators of major crimes. Punishment serves three purposes. First and most important, it attempts to redress the disorder caused by the offence. The traditional term for such redress is retribution, widely misinterpreted as meaning revenge.

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Vanier found the path to true happiness

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March 23, 2015

It is fitting that Jean Vanier's doctoral dissertation focused on Happiness as the Principle and End of Aristotelian Ethics. (See story, Page 5.) One can only wonder what he thinks of that topic now that he has spent 50 years happily living with mentally handicapped people. Happiness is the goal of human living, but how does one find it? For Aristotle, it is through a life of virtue.

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Supreme Court is losing its sense of judicial restraint

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March 9, 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has a responsibility not only to interpret laws, but also to chuck laws that are plainly unconstitutional onto the garbage heap. The court has done this throughout Canada's history, in one notable case radically redefining the relationship between the federal and provincial governments. The court's ability to overturn laws gained wide expansion, however, with the Constitution Act of 1982 and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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