Columns

From the category archives: Bob McKeon

Bob McKeon

Invest in research, not oil lobbyists

Bob McKeon

December 19, 2011

Climate change is very much in the news these days. A decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been delayed by President Obama in the U.S. The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through Northern B.C. is experiencing strong opposition from aboriginal leaders and environment groups.

The European Union is proposing to penalize oil coming from Alberta oilsands because of environmental concerns. Canada's position at the UN Climate Change talks in Durban, South Africa, is being widely criticized, both internationally and within Canada.

Read the rest of entry »

Occupy camp applauds Robin Hood tax

Bob McKeon

November 21, 2011

A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of the leaders of the Occupy Edmonton camp. He had just read about a statement issued from the Vatican a few days earlier about the global economic crisis. He asked if I or another rep from the Catholic archdiocese could attend a public rally being organized the following Saturday and talk about the Vatican statement.

The statement mentioned was titled Towards Reforming the International Financial Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority. It was issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Read the rest of entry »

Catholics affirm life in the face of death

Bob McKeon

October 17, 2011

On Sept. 21, Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia. He had been convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer. Over the years, Davis continually protested his innocence.

The murder verdict was based on the testimony of witnesses. There was no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime, and no murder weapon was ever recovered.

Read the rest of entry »

Asking the right questions produces an ethical answer

Bob McKeon

September 19, 2011

Each year, the Catholic Church in Japan observes the days from Aug. 6 to 15 as an annual celebration of Ten Days for Peace marking the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of the Second World War.

Because of their experience of the horrors of nuclear warfare, the Japanese Church sees this time as a special time to call for prayers and actions for peace. The celebration this year was coloured by the overwhelming experience of the disastrous March 11 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdowns.

Read the rest of entry »

Trekking a volunteer path leads on to a lifetime of service

Bob McKeon

July 18, 2011

A few weeks ago, I was invited to talk with a group of summer interns at Mustard Seed in inner city Edmonton. For the past several years, Mustard Seed has provided a summer employment opportunity for several young adults seeking an experience of Christian outreach and service with inner city men, women and children.

The summer workers get to work in the different programs of the agency including emergency food and clothing, community development projects and public education and advocacy initiatives.

Read the rest of entry »

Tell politicians to target homelessness

Bob McKeon

June 20, 2011

On March 17, Archbishop Richard Smith joined with 22 other faith leaders to make a public "shared commitment to eliminate homelessness in our community" and "to support the challenging goals of Edmonton's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness."

Local congregations and faith organizations were invited to get more involved with the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. A Congregational Housing Action Guide has been prepared to assist local parishes. Several hundred copies have now been distributed across the Edmonton region.

Read the rest of entry »

Marking your X is just the beginning

Bob McKeon

May 23, 2011

We had our latest federal election on May 2. The Conservative Party under Stephen Harper won a majority after several years of minority governments. Almost certainly, the next federal election will not occur for another four years.

Read the rest of entry »

Catholics support the dignity of labour

Bob McKeon

April 18, 2011

The Jesuits in the United States have published a book on Catholic social teaching with the title Our Best Kept Secret. I am dismayed how often this turns out to be true, even with Catholics highly committed to practising their faith.

Twice in recent weeks I have sat down with Catholic men who over a period of many years have lived out their personal commitments to social justice though active involvement in their trade unions. In each case, they said they had never heard about Church teaching that addresses issues of human dignity in the workplace and that affirms the vital role labour unions play as agents for justice. In each case, they regretted not learning about their Church's social teaching decades earlier.

Read the rest of entry »

We help the needy because we are Catholic

Bob McKeon

March 21, 2011

Last month, the Nothing More Beautiful presenters at the basilica spoke a powerful social justice message. One quote from Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, struck a special chord with me.

She said: "I am sometimes asked why, as a Catholic organization, we (Caritas) deliver aid to people of other faiths, Muslims and Buddhists. My answer is always that we help people not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholics."

Read the rest of entry »

Restorative justice heals souls, communities

Bob McKeon

February 21, 2011

Last year, as part of my work with the archdiocesan Office for Social Justice, I was part of a committee organizing a provincial Restorative Justice conference. more . . .

Read the rest of entry »