Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Editorial

Abortion drug approval further entrenches culture of death

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August 17, 2015

The federal government's July 29 announcement of approval of the RU-486 mifepristone abortion drug was clearly timed to minimize controversy. A decision on the drug was expected in the fall, but came instead in the dead of summer when people's attention is riveted by sandflies and sunny skies. News is of no interest. Any interest stirred by the announcement was quickly diverted by the calling of a federal election.

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Minimum wage hike is a moral issue

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August 17, 2015

Perhaps the most controversial policy of Alberta's new NDP government is its plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018. Despite the headwinds of opposition, the Notley government should forge ahead and just do it. Paying a living wage is basic morality. The argument against a sharp increase in the minimum wage is that jobs will be lost, mainly in small businesses tempted to try to do the same work with fewer staff.

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Campaign offers chance for euthanasia debate

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August 17, 2015

Many issues are being debated in the current federal election campaign; absent from the list is how elected officials should respond to the Supreme Court decision overturning Canada's laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide. Such lack of attention is both bizarre and reprehensible.

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Humanity should show kindly stewardship of animals, plants

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July 27, 2015

The traditional Catholic view is that human beings are the only creature God willed for its own sake as they were created in God's image and likeness. This puts animals and plants on a lower plane of being, a view reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church's statement, "Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present and future humanity" (n. 2415).

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Wide ranging cultural erosion calls for revolution

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July 13, 2015

The legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland and the United States is to be deplored for undermining the family and the raising of children. However, deplore it as we will, the Canadian experience shows same-sex marriage will become more, not less, entrenched in the immediate future.

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Church cannot be silent on ecology

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July 13, 2015

Roughly half the respondents to one poll on a mainstream Catholic website said Pope Francis should not address environmental issues. Online polls, of course, may not reflect actual public opinion. Nevertheless, it is a widespread view that comes up repeatedly – the Church should stick to religion and leave this-world issues to politicians and "experts."

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Pope Francis busts population control myth

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July 13, 2015

One of the numerous myths challenged in Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' is the belief that population control is a key to halting climate change. This is a bit of hokum repeated so often that it has gained the status of an obvious truth. Yet this so-called truth is little more than an attempt to blame the poor for the ecological sins of the rich.

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Pastoral letters demand pastoral conversion, spiritual engagement

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June 29, 2015

There have been few, if any, papal documents like Pope Francis' Laudato Si', On Care for our Common Home. Nor, for that matter, has there ever been a Church document like Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In these two treatises Pope Francis profoundly alters what it means to be Catholic today. Catholics for centuries have been raised on adhering to a prescribed set of beliefs and following the precepts of the Church – go to Mass on Sundays and holy days, make an annual Confession, provide for the material needs of the Church, etc.

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Canada's multiculturalism is both a gift and a challenge to build unity

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June 29, 2015

As Canada celebrates its 148th birthday as a nation, we rejoice in the respect and harmony that mark our multicultural country. This attitude of respect for those of diverse backgrounds and commitments is the quality which provides the foundation for a country marked by peace, freedom and prosperity. Without a respectful multiculturalism, we would have none of those things. During his 1984 visit to Winnipeg, St. John Paul II lauded Canada's "atmosphere of respect for cultural diversity".

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Canadian priest was murdered 50 years ago

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June 29, 2015

Fifty years after his murder on June 22, 1965 in the Dominican Republic, efforts are being made to remember Scarboro Father Art MacKinnon. According to a report in The Catholic Register, Bishop Brian Dunn of Antigonish was to celebrate a memorial Mass for MacKinnon in his childhood home of New Waterford, N.S. MacKinnon, the son of a Cape Breton coal miner, was 27 in 1959 when he was ordained a priest and soon after was sent to the Dominican Republic where the Scarboro Fathers were active.

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