Get Flash to see
The Edmonton Catholic School Board needlessly undermined Catholic teaching and its own credibility with a chaotic discussion at its Sept. 15 meeting aimed at meeting the needs of a transgendered student. Board chair Debbie Engel's assurances a week later that the school district is meeting the student's needs and will soon approve a policy dealing specifically with transgendered children should help to calm the storm.
Read More »
Currently, more than 51 million people around the world are refugees or displaced from their homelands, one of the greatest human tragedies in history. While Canada cannot provide asylum to even most of these people, it does have a moral obligation to provide at least a temporary home to a significant number.
Pope Francis' reform of the marriage annulment process has been hailed as the most substantial change in Church marriage laws in almost 300 years. Yet, on one hand, the change is no big deal - the rules governing the declaration that a marriage is null and void are unchanged. On the other hand, the reform makes a demand on all Catholics - to respond to the need of the suffering person with haste and to give that response priority over the precise following of rules.
The spirit of rebellion leads society astray. Of course, many things need to be changed, and advocacy for change may need to be vociferous to be heard. Pope Francis, for example, urges that the economic, political and social systems of the world urgently need radical reform.
There are now more than seven billion people on earth and each one feels he or she is the centre of the universe. That accounts for most problems in the world, in our neighbourhoods and in our families. No one's to blame for this, save God perhaps, for making us this way. Each of us is created in the image and likeness of God, meaning that each of us holds within a divine spark, a piece of infinity and an ingrained knowledge of that unique dignity.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. The photo of Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body lying crumpled on the Turkish beach had loaded onto my computer screen. That heart-breaking image put a face on the news stories blanketing the media about the waves of African and Middle Eastern refugees fleeing their war-torn countries.
English writer and broadcaster Claire Rayner (1931-2010) said: "Only the unloved and unloving escape grief." That is not entirely true. I reserve comment about the unloving, other than to say if they do not know grief in this world, they will certainly know it in the next. The unloved live in grief of the forsaken or the forgotten. There is nothing more tragic than being unloved.
There is a funny story of identical twins, one always excruciatingly negative, the other indescribably positive. The first is given a horse and complains that he has to feed it; the other a room filled to the ceiling with manure who exclaims happily: 'I know there's a pony in here somewhere!' Optimists are often criticized for being unforgivably positive even when events would suggest otherwise. We can all think of the person who always says, 'Could be worse,' no matter how catastrophic an event.
Thirty years ago when I married, I don't think I considered that I was not only taking on a new role as a wife, I was also taking on the role of being a daughter-in-law. In our culture, jokes about mother-in-laws abound: They are caricatured as being interfering, snoopy, critical and demanding.
Today's Gospel reading is one of the most important in the history of the Church's spiritual life. The rich young man who claims to have led a morally perfect life, yet leaves dejected after Jesus tells him that to gain the kingdom of God, he must sell everything he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him. Does it mean that every follower of Jesus must literally sell all that they have in order to get into heaven?
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the federal election, he framed the debate as having two key pillars: the economy and security. The crushing migrant crisis in Europe fed into this frame - until the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach, and that unforgettable photo broke our hearts. The defining issue then became humanitarian leadership; faith communities were thrown directly into the forefront of debate.