Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Need for theologically-educated laity is growing

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February 23, 2015

The Church could use many more theologically educated laypeople. Say that in the wrong company, and you may draw resistance. Faith is more about the heart than the head, some will respond. What good is all that knowledge if you cannot communicate it to the average person, others will ask. Learning theology can cause you to lose your faith, still others will say. Such objections, even the last one, are true. Still, it is odd to hear faithful Catholics fret about others dedicating themselves to deepening their understanding of the Bible and the tradition of the Church.

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Assisted suicide court ruling is morally twisted

Mark Pickup

February 23, 2015

On Feb. 6, in a unanimous ruling, Canada's Supreme Court struck down the law on assisted suicide. It was a terrible decision that will irrevocably change the character of Canadian society for the worse. It will place the lives of vulnerable people across the land in great danger. It was not a victory for liberty. It was a victory for licence and abuse of human freedom. The Supreme Court said the section of the Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide was in conflict with section seven of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Can Sunday Mass be offered for a private intention?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

February 23, 2015

A Catholic friend of mine recently asked me why a priest at his parish would announce a message such as the following: "Today's Mass is being offered for the intention of Mrs. So-and-So, as requested by her family." My friend was perplexed because a Sunday Mass is a collective liturgical worship by and for everyone attending. It should not be celebrated just for the intention of a particular person. Isn't the Mass a memorial of the death of Christ that brings grace to all, in fact to the whole world?

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Global persecution of Christians often ignored in West

Douglas Roche

February 23, 2015

Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with oppression against them - I mean us - reported in 110 countries. That slip I made reflects the myopia we Christians in safe countries like Canada have about the immense suffering endured by fellow followers of Jesus Christ around the world. We are, for the most part, rightly concerned about Muslims, who are the principal victims of jihadists, but seem unable to focus on the tragedies in our own family.

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Ruling will increase suicide temptation for the mentally ill

Austin Mardon

February 23, 2015

We knew it could happen. Still it was a shock to hear that the Supreme Court of Canada had struck down the law banning doctor-assisted suicide. Our society has been slowly excising God and morality from so many aspects of our public life that we knew it was only a matter of time before we replaced the will of God with the will of humans in regard to when life should end. We are the frog in the pot of water that is slowly being heated to a boil. When the law prohibiting abortion was originally struck down, we waited to see what laws the government would pass to regulate the practice. We are still waiting.

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Lenten fast should challenge injustice

Bob McKeon

February 23, 2015

Each year as we enter the first week of Lent, we naturally tend to think of fasting. Often we may think of things to give up and abstain from. Candies and deserts may be chosen. For adults, maybe it is alcohol or smoking. It is almost as if we can get a second chance to work at the New Year's resolutions we failed at a month earlier. Significantly, the Scripture passages for the first days of Lent each year speak of fasting. However, what is meant by fasting is different from simply giving up certain treats and pleasures for 40 days.

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Apple's massive profits built on exploiting workers

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February 9, 2015

Apple executives are likely proud of their recent quarterly financial results which show revenues of nearly US$75 billion for the period of October through December and a profit of US$18 billion, the largest quarterly profit for any company anywhere at any time. But if the money is rolling in and the iPhones and other electronic gadgets are rolling out, a huge human price is being paid. A BBC undercover investigation recently broadcast on CBC-TV's The Passionate Eye showed widespread violations of Apple's code of conduct for the treatment of workers by companies that build its iPhone 6 and supply raw material for the company.

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Interfaith search involves 'digging a well together'

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

February 9, 2015

Christian de Cherge, the Trappist abbot who was martyred in Algeria in 1996, was fond of sharing this story: He had a close Muslim friend, Mohammed, and the two of them used to pray together, even as they remained aware of their differences, as Muslim and Christian. Aware too that certain schools of thought, both Muslim and Christian, warn against this type of prayer, fearing that the various faiths are not praying to the same God, the two of them didn't call their sessions together prayer. Rather they imagined themselves as "digging a well together." One day Christian asked Mohammed: "When we get to the bottom of our well, what will we find? Muslim water or Christian water?"

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Dare to glorify God with a life of joy

John Connelly

February 9, 2015
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 15, 2015

In this week's Second Reading we are offered this challenge, "Do everything for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10.31). How can you and I fulfill this scripture? How do we do everything for God's glory? We can start by thinking about all our daily actions. Each thing we do is important. Actions that are small or large, honest or dishonest, good or bad. St. Ignatius of Loyola saw the purpose of his life in the maxim: "For the greater glory of God." Something that glorifies God is in tune with his truth and love. It must be in tune with the ultimate reality underlying all creation – God.

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Consumer debt raises moral concerns

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February 9, 2015

The causes of the world's current economic woes are manifold and it would be folly to oversimplify them. A graver mistake, however, would be for the public to ignore those causes as technical matters to be taken care of by experts without any moral guidance. One factor in the economic slowdown is that production capacity in advanced economies exceeds demand for products by about 2.5 per cent. Over-capacity depresses the need for workers, increasing unemployment and reducing pressure to increase wages. Thus over-capacity suppresses consumer demand and creates hardship for millions of families.

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