Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Practical atheism lies at the root of Panama Papers scandal

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April 18, 2016

The Panama Papers scandal has revealed - as if we did not already know - that the wealthy have different modus operandi than the rest of us poor sods. Those who labour for a salary or an hourly wage would find no benefit in setting up offshore shell companies to avoid paying taxes. One source of scandal in these revelations is that billionaires strenuously avoid paying taxes to the countries that make them wealthy. Do they have any sense of social responsibility?

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Sometimes, rock bottom is only place a person can be saved

April 18, 2016

The term "hitting rock bottom" is usually used when talking about someone with an addiction issue. Yet it is a powerful metaphor for many life-altering events. To my mind, it can actually be a good thing. We humans can be so set on our paths, that unless something shattering happens, we never raise our heads to think about where we are going.

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Superficial trendiness ignores the authority of traditions

Mark Pickup
April 18, 2016

Every city has its hip area with trendy shops offering locally made trinkets and markets for vendors of organically grown produce. In Edmonton, it is Old Strathcona. Accountants and stockbrokers who wear power suits Monday to Friday may transform on Saturday into hipsters in faded jeans, t-shirts and bandanas around their heads or floppy straw hats to saunter around Whyte Avenue.

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Sidelines are no place to reconcile with indigenous

Joe Gunn
April 18, 2016

Where do the churches find themselves in the journey towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples? In an Ottawa sanctuary at the end of March, Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, described our current status in vivid terms.

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Canada must play role in halting Middle East genocide

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April 4, 2016

The declaration by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that atrocities being committed against Christians as well as Yezidis and other minorities in the Middle East amounts to genocide is a welcome recognition of the reality faced by millions of people in the region. The U.S. declaration, combined with a similar stance by the European Union, surely implies that the nations of the world must act effectively to halt the slaughter which is occurring.

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Tears free us to accept unfinished symphonies of life

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
April 4, 2016

Several years ago, while teaching a summer course at Seattle University, I had as one of my students a woman who, while happily married, was unable to conceive a child. She had no illusions about what this meant for her. It bothered her a great deal. She found Mother's Day difficult. Among other things, she wrote a well-researched thesis on the concept of barrenness in Scripture and developed a retreat on that same theme which she offered at various renewal centres.

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Jesus returns to stir disciples' first love

Brett Fawcett
April 4, 2016
Third Sunday in Easter
April 10, 2016

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection and performs a familiar miracle: he asks them (commands them really, in that gentle way of inviting us to obey him that Jesus does) to throw their fishing nets back into the sea. Of course, once again, the nets fill up with fish, so many that they can't even pull the nets back into their boat. It's just like when Jesus first called his disciples and told them he would make them fishers of men.

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Trudeau ignores moral duty in proceeding with Saudi arms pact

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April 4, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tried to claim the moral high ground for his decision to proceed with a $15-billion arms deal with the government of Saudi Arabia. Speaking to the United Nations March 15, Trudeau said the government must honour all contracts signed by the previous government whether it agrees with those contracts or not. It does not seem to matter to the prime minister that there is near-moral-certainty that the light armoured vehicles (aka, tanks) will be used in suppressing dissent and the human rights of the Saudi people.

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Retreat is a way to defend one's spirit

Lasha Morningstar
April 4, 2016

Retreat is a powerful word. Certainly it bears the connotation of failure - of backing away from the enemy, of losing the battle. But there is another meaning to this word. Catholics turn it into a time of restorative power. To go on retreat means to withdraw from the everyday world to a place of seclusion, connect not only with your own inner voice but to also listen for God's whispers. Businesses use time-away retreats for their employees as a corporate tool focusing on team building.

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Martyrs' robes washed in blood of the Lamb

Maria Kozakiewicz
April 4, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Easter
April 17, 2016

"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Who are those "who have survived the time of great distress?" My first thoughts run towards persecuted Christians, especially those of our times. We read about them in the Christian press, rarely in the mass media. Their numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. Some names we know; others are known to God alone.

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