Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Glen Argan

School controversy is one large battle in an ongoing war

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February 22, 2016

Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry drew passionate responses last month with his references to "totalitarianism in Alberta." Many people see this description as way over the top; Alberta is not a totalitarian society in the same way as the classic Soviet model. There, the government controlled virtually every aspect of life, going so far as having ordinary people spy on neighbours and family members. However, Bishop Henry was drawing on the analysis of totalitarianism in St. John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, written in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet empire."

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La Loche slayings call for a new covenant with First Nations

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February 8, 2016

For too long and too often, tragic events in isolated Aboriginal communities have been front page news and then faded from view. Whether it be gasoline sniffing, a lack of potable water, gang violence or epidemics of youth suicide, these situations briefly grab centre stage and then are forgotten. Now, the nation's attention has been riveted by the murders of four people and shootings of seven others in La Loche, Sask., an Aboriginal community of 3,000.

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Daily newspapers formed communities

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February 8, 2016

The latest layoffs in the newsrooms of Postmedia across Canada have spurred much criticism and reflection on the decline of daily newspaper journalism. The falling circulations of the dailies show that the majority of Canadians are not - nor have they for a long time - getting their news from newspapers. When was the heyday of daily newspapers? The 19th century? The 1950s? The 1970s? Whenever it was, it hasn't been for a long time.

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World needs to preserve its water supplies

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February 8, 2016

Lake Poopó, the second largest lake in Bolivia, was officially declared evaporated in December. The demise of Poopó has been attributed to various factors - global climate change which has accelerated glacier melting in the Andes, increasing droughts resulting from more frequent El Niños and water diversion from Poopó's tributaries for use in agriculture and especially mining.World needs to preserve its water supplies

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Religious orders add spice to life of local Church

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January 25, 2016

The Year for Consecrated Life, which ends Feb. 2, has helped to re-focus the Church's attention on the bounteous gifts and contributions consecrated women and men bring to the Church community and wider society. Too often, especially in an era of dwindling vocations, religious congregations and their members are taken for granted. Yet consecrated life adds spice to local churches.

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Gov't wants compromise of our beliefs

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January 25, 2016

More and more, relations between the sexes in Western society are being thought of as arbitrary. One's biological makeup does not matter; a person can even choose, based on their inner yearnings combined with advances in medical technology, whether to be a man or a woman. That one's biological makeup should determine whether one is a man or a woman is now thought to be archaic thinking. The forcing of people into biologically-determined social roles is considered an unwarranted form of social control.

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Rotten justification for rotten arms deal

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January 25, 2016

Canada has had a change of government, but no change of mind on selling light armoured vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia. Not only has Saudi Arabia one of the worst human rights records in the world, but Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion had the audacity to announce the $15-billion arms deal will proceed days after the Saudis' mass execution of 47 people.

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Refugee crisis requires both open doors and vigilance

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January 11, 2016

The Canadian people and government deserve congratulations for their openness to receiving large numbers of Syrian refugees. Although the new Liberal government has promised to accept 25,000 refugees, the numbers may end up being higher, a fact with which the majority of Canadians are comfortable.

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Mercy is integral to spirit of Vatican II

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January 11, 2016

Although God's mercy is the recurrent theme of the current papacy, Pope Francis is not the only recent pope for whom it has been a major theme. St. John Paul II, for example, made it the focus of his second encyclical, Rich in Mercy, issued in 1980. Pope Francis, in fact, sees the theme of mercy as one way of keeping the Second Vatican Council alive as an event and in our hearts.

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Another step toward positive relations with Jews

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January 11, 2016

A new Vatican document on the Church's relationship with the Jewish people insists "there can only be one single covenant history of God with humanity." The New Covenant, established through Christ's death and resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit, fulfills, but does not replace, God's covenant with Israel. Understanding this is crucial to a proper relationship between Christians and Jews.

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