Columns

From the category archives: Opinion

Opinion

Poet's pen sealed reputations of greedy popes

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July 21, 2014

While Dante Alighieri was but a minor player in Italian politics of the late 13th century, it is through his Divine Comedy that the lasting reputations of many of the wealthy and powerful of that era have been framed. The pen may not be mightier than the sword, but its scribblings have more staying power. It is through the Divine Comedy that we see, for example, several popes of that era finding an everlasting home in hell because of their use of spiritual power to increase their temporal power and wealth.

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Aboriginal voices offer respect for creation

Bob McKeon

July 21, 2014

It is now over three months since the close of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event in Alberta. It was a time of listening and learning for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples. The theme of wisdom was chosen for the Alberta TRC event. One important aboriginal wisdom teaching is respect for all creation. The Alberta bishops in their ecology statement highlight the significance of this teaching: "We can learn much from the spiritual traditions of our aboriginal brothers and sisters which celebrate our kinship with the rest of creation and seek to strengthen the sacred circle of all creation."

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True leaders are in touch with their inner selves

Gordon Self

July 21, 2014

I hate drama. Admittedly, it sometimes comes with the territory given the clinical and operational realities of Catholic health care. But I subscribe to a preventative ethics strategy whereby through investing our energies in preventing ethical conflict we can spare much unnecessary drama and hardship, including moral compromise. One issue where this applies is the ethics of power.

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Northern Gateway would close doors on Canada's future

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July 7, 2014

Five years ago Bishop Luc Bouchard, then the bishop of St. Paul, began his landmark pastoral statement, The Integrity of Creation and the Athabasca Oilsands, with these words: "Our wasteful consumerist lifestyle, combined with political and industrial short-sightedness and neglect, are damaging our air, land, and water. Personal, social and political change will be necessary to meet this national challenge."

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Don't be stingy in dispensing God's mercy

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

July 7, 2014

Today, for a number of reasons, we struggle to be generous and prodigal with God's mercy. As the number of people who attend church services continues to decline, the temptation among many of our Church leaders and ministers is to see this more as a pruning than as a tragedy and to respond by making God's mercy less, rather than more, accessible.

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God gives each person a unique mission

John Connelly

July 7, 2014
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 13, 2014

I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee with my young son Nicholas snuggling me and looking over my shoulder as I type these words. It is an ordinary moment and it is also extraordinary. Nicholas is a true character. Last night he slept alone in a tent on our land. This says a lot about who God is. God creates each one of us uniquely because he loves authentic diversity. We are all different because we each have a personal mission. A specific mission with specific gifts and talents to fulfill a specific purpose.

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Cheap shrimp result of slave labour

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July 7, 2014

Once an expensive delicacy, shrimp have dropped sharply in price in recent years as South East Asian countries have developed shrimp farms and created a huge industry aimed at both their domestic markets as well as those in Western Europe and North America. Yet, as tasty as those shrimp are, there are three reasons why you should stay clear of eating shrimp and supporting this industry.

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You too can make a choice to be happy

Lasha Morningstar

July 7, 2014

The sentence startled me. "You have the right to be happy." I was reading that proclamation somewhere, don't know where or in what context. Probably in the Saturday Globe or a news magazine. But the words sat in the back of my consciousness like a nagging toothache. What is happy? Dogs romping in the dog park. A toddler flying down a slide. An elderly couple walking hand in hand down the sidewalk.

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The exercise of power calls for wisdom

Ralph Himsl

July 7, 2014
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 20, 2014

In Litany for Dictatorships, the poet Stephen Vincent Benet writes of a dictator ruminating on the miseries his kind have laid on the world. Near the conclusion of this sordid list, Benet's narrator confesses an insight: "We thought because we had power, we had wisdom." I can't escape the irony of the fancy that came to me following my reading of that epigram: Had I the power, I would have that sentence rendered in a bronze plaque suitable for placement on the walls of every office across the nation.

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Canada must look beyond self-interest

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July 7, 2014

It would be a fine birthday present to itself and to the world if Canada could use the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 to rise above national self-interest and stretch itself to make a greater contribution to global peace and development. In his final speech as a senator on June 16, Roméo Dallaire identified the need for "transcendent leadership" in our country. Daillaire said Canada has not maximized its potential since the Second World War.

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