Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Religion playing declining role in U.S. politics.

Joe Gunn
August 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton was likened to Lucifer in a speech at the Republican National Convention, and then Donald Trump referred to her as the devil. Not to be outdone, at the Democratic Convention, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Trump "a con," saying "The richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy." In a climate of highly-personal negative rhetoric, the two major U.S. political parties held their respective (if not overly respectful) conventions in July.

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Humility comes from recalling who we are

Kathleen Giffin
August 15, 2016
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 28, 2016

A statue of St. Francis sits in my garden amidst the hostas and coral bells. He carries a Bible and a cross; his prayer beads are tied around his waist and a bird happily perches on his shoulder. St. Francis seems the epitome of humility. He stripped himself naked of his possessions and inheritance in the marketplace; he looked to God to supply all of his needs, clinging only to the prayer that expressed his union with God. He became so humble that the birds of the air found no threat in him; he became friends with all of creation by his lack of striving and his simplicity.

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Connecting with others offers hope for humanity

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
August 15, 2016

It is difficult to ignore the news these days. Every item seems grim, from wars to terrorist activity, economic turmoil to corruption scandals. Everywhere we turn we see evidence of humanity's intolerance, greed and corruption. Watching the news recently, I simply had to change the channel. It's not that I want to bury my head in the sand, but at times the unrelenting negativity wears me down.

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Christians build bridges until finally the world is one

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July 11/25, 2016

Almost essential to the proper nurturing of young children is a strong, supportive family. As children grow older, their need for community does not disappear, but expands. "It takes a village to raise a child," it is commonly said. Indeed, it does take a family, and it does take a village or a neighbourhood. Many children have grown to have outstanding lives without such roots, but they have often triumphed in spite of their background, not because of it.

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Growing tribalism a symptom of me-first mentality

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
July 11/25, 2016

More than 2,400 years ago Socrates wrote these words: "I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world." Today more than ever these are words we need to appropriate because our world and we ourselves are sinking into unhealthy forms of tribalism where we are concerned primarily with taking care of our own. We see this everywhere. We tend to think that this lives only in circles of extremism, but it is being advocated with an ever-intensifying moral fervour virtually every place in the world.

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Pray, even when you cannot see the effects

Brett Fawcett
July 11/25, 2016
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 24, 2016

One thing we inevitably hear in the wake of great global tragedies and catastrophes is a lot of people telling the survivors that "our thoughts and prayers are with you." Lately, there's been another inevitable response: A chorus of people rejecting this, saying it isn't good enough. We need action, too, and, sometimes, people will even indignantly add: "Stop praying. God isn't doing anything." This may sound shocking and blasphemous to our ears, but we have to honestly consider the place where a retort like this could come from.

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Parishes challenged to live justice in their own neighbourhoods

Bob McKeon
July 25, 2016

Last month, I was invited to speak about social justice at the annual meeting of an Edmonton Catholic parish. I started my preparation for this presentation by looking up the parish boundaries. Then I went to the City of Edmonton website and checked out the different neighbourhoods that fall within the parish boundaries. Then I went back again to the city website and searched for the "neighbourhood profiles" for each of the parish neighbourhoods.

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Iraq's adventure without return

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July 25, 2016

Britain's Chilcot Report on that country's conduct before, during and after the Iraq War, which began in 2003, underlines again the criminal foolishness of those Western nations which invaded Iraq in order to eradicate non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMD), depose Saddam Hussein and create democracy. The report zeroed in on then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair for exaggerating the threat posed by Hussein, believing false information about WMD, ignoring warnings that Iraq would fall into civil war and believing that deposing Hussein would bring freedom.

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Are we lucky to live in prosperous times?

Maria Kozakiewicz
July 25, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2016

"You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" We all need a certain predictability to avoid major pitfalls in life. Still it is wise not to overdo the planning. Several people I know spare no effort to ensure they are in complete control of their lives. They live with pen and notebook in hand (or a laptop), and carefully plan their savings, investments and expenses. Everything they own is insured.

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Church faces the joy of marginalization

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July 11/25, 2016

One main lesson of the recent debate over assisted suicide in Canada is the increasingly marginalized place of religious believers in the public square. The weight of Canadian Catholics, Evangelicals and Muslims, in particular, was against the legalization of assisted suicide. Yet, unlike earlier times, the voice of the faithful had little impact on this issue.

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