Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Columns in the WCR

Demands to serve come at awkward times

Kathleen Giffin
July 13, 2015
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 19, 2015

My life is busy, too busy perhaps. So it was a welcome rest to have the opportunity last month to go on a train trip with my husband to a quiet place for a few days. It was about as leisurely and relaxed as a holiday can be; extra time for prayer, for walks, for rest and reconnection. On our way home on the train, sitting in our seats reading, a young man approached and asked my husband if he was a pastor, as he saw that Gary was reading a small book that looked like a Bible.

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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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Sunny summers at the lake bring golden memories

Lasha Morningstar
July 13, 2015

We wanted it. Remember those brutal days of winter when we muttered to each other, "Edmonton has two seasons, winter and construction." As the tired but true saying goes, be careful what we wish for. Now the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Drought is withering crops in the farmers' fields. The homeless are suffering. A little known fact is the majority of the deaths of street people happen because of heat, not winter's cold.

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God blesses others through your little prayers

Brett Fawcett
July 13, 2015
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 26, 2015

One sometimes hears it said that in the Old Testament, God's laws were harsh and demanding, full of difficult works, in contrast to the New Testament, where things are much easier. Now, instead of bloody sacrifices and kosher food laws, all we have to do is love one another. As though that were easier.

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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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Read encyclical and start dialogue on planet's future

Bob McKeon
July 13, 2015

On June 18, Pope Francis' long awaited encyclical Laudato Si' was released. The buildup and public anticipation preceding the actual publication was unprecedented. The release date was advertised ahead of time. There was even the intrigue over the early publication of a leaked text. U.S. presidential candidates debated its message before they had even read it.

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Don't get caught with a placebo faith

Dr. Gerry Turcotte
July 13, 2015

How many times have you pressed the "door close" arrow in an elevator? If, like me, your answer is several hundred times, then rest assured the exercise was futile. Government policy, especially as it relates to disability legislation, prescribes the unalterable length of time an elevator door must remain open. The button is there for emergency personnel and usually only works with a bypass key.

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Francis' encyclical should guide politicians' actions

Douglas Roche
July 13, 2015

The content of Pope Francis's encyclical, Laudato Si, is so vast it would take up the entire length of this column just to deal with its main themes. I know the WCR will have plenty of coverage of this great document, which is a riveting challenge to global capitalism, so I want to concentrate here on how a Catholic politician ought to respond to papal social teaching – and how I myself handled these challenges.

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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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Eucharist's wisdom comes from beyond understanding

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
June 29, 2015

Christian de Cherge, the Trappist abbot who was martyred in Algeria in 1996, tells this story of his First Communion. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family in France and on the day of his First Communion he said to his mother: "I don't understand what I'm doing." She answered simply: "It's okay, you don't have to understand it now, later you will understand."

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