Columns

The unforgiveable sin of Trinity Western University

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May 12, 2014

The decision of the Law Society of Upper Canada to bar graduates of a planned law school at B.C.'s evangelical Trinity Western University from practising law in Ontario should be abhorrent not only to all religious believers, but to all concerned about protecting the human dignity of Canadians. It is difficult to see this decision as anything but an attempt to narrow the range of public discourse in such a way that would exclude explicitly Christian universities from training and forming members of the legal profession.

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Truth comes dressed in many different cloaks

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

May 12, 2014

When I was a student in the seminary, I had two kinds of teachers. One kind, precisely because they were fiercely loyal to all that is Christian and Catholic, would have us read great secular thinkers but always with the intent of helping to show where these thinkers were wrong. Our intellectual task as Catholic seminarians, they would tell us, is to defend Catholicism against the kinds of criticisms found in the writings of these secular, sometimes anti-Christian, thinkers and to keep our faith and teaching free of their influence.

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The Lord's promise: 'I make all things new'

John Connelly

May 12, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 18, 2014

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new" (21.5). We should all take comfort in these life-giving words. Jesus takes the old and, through his divine and saving power, makes it new. Yesterday, I was present in the hospital as my father Pat Connelly passed away. It was a dramatic reminder of the need for the saving power and presence of God. As I reflect on Dad's death, I am amazed by how short this life really is.

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Environmentally-sensitive drilling at the headwaters of the Amazon. Really?

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May 12, 2014

A Calgary-based oil company is now waiting to get the environmental permits it needs to begin drilling in an ecologically-sensitive area at the headwaters of the Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru. Gran Tierra Energy says, "Our mission is to create value for all our stakeholders through oil & gas exploration and production, capitalizing on the global operating experience of our team to build a record of success in South America; in a transparent, safe, environmentally and socially responsible manner."

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Fear and trembling on the perilous daily drive to work

Lasha Morningstar

May 12, 2014

Give me a brake. Here it is – 6 in the morning and I am driving along 111th Avenue. Out of the corner of my eye I see several dark figures on the street. If I keep going at my proper (legal) speed, I'll have several bodies as hood ornaments. So I slow down and lean on the horn. They are crossing against the light on their way to their jobs at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. They don't pick up their pace, just keep on sashaying along, some turning to look at me with blank faces.

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Philip shares his faith in dramatic manner

Ralph Himsl

May 12, 2014
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 25, 2014

Almost always I accept the selection of the readings for the Mass without question. The liturgists have a good reason for their choice, I tell myself. But today, while reflecting on the readings for May 25, a question arose: just what guides the choice for the selections for a Sunday, anyway? Not expecting an answer, the mere posing of the question can soothe the restless mind. But should any stirring of curiosity linger, an impertinent response can pop up, "Maybe the Holy Spirit chose them."

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Fair Elections Act is still unfair

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May 12, 2014

The federal Conservative government has made some headway in improving the so-called Fair Elections Act with its recent spate of amendments. However, it still has a long road to travel before it arrives at its intended destination of providing the basis for fair elections in Canada. In carrying out investigations of election fraud, the chief electoral officer still lacks the power to compel witness testimony. Without that power, the electoral officer may frequently have his or her hands tied in fully investigating matters that come forward.

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Faith communities must challenge threats to democracy

Joe Gunn

May 12, 2014

It is a real conundrum. When should faith community leaders speak out on social issues of concern? Surely, nobody wants religious leaders to opine on every issue. And, honestly, don't we bristle if faith leaders express an opinion somewhat opposed to our own? So how does Church leadership decide which issues are most crucial, and then when and how to speak? In their 2008 Federal Election Guide, the Canadian bishops wrote, "As Canadian citizens, Catholics have an obligation to be interested in politics. They should exercise this civic responsibility by becoming involved in the electoral process and especially by voting."

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Archbishop MacNeil still helping us grow together into Christ

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April 28, 2014

Archbishop Joseph MacNeil is 90. Good grief! Like many people in this diocese, I can say that I knew him when he was in his 50s. Time passes, and we're all much older now than we were then. There are many memories, but one that stands out might seem mundane. I knew almost from the day I walked in the door what his episcopal motto was – Let us grow together into Christ, which he took from Ephesians 4.15. More than a personal motto, it was something engraved on the heart of the local Church during MacNeil's 26 years as archbishop of Edmonton.

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Voices of the tortured must be remembered as an Easter song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 28, 2014

Easter is about many things. We celebrate God's power to overcome death, sin, and injustice, but we also celebrate the voices and wounds of the ones who died on Good Friday. To illustrate this, I would like to recount one such voice, that of an anonymous young woman who was brutally raped and murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1981, at a place fittingly called La Cruz. The story was reported by Mark Danner, a journalist.

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