Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Glen Argan

Humanity should show kindly stewardship of animals, plants

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July 27, 2015

The traditional Catholic view is that human beings are the only creature God willed for its own sake as they were created in God's image and likeness. This puts animals and plants on a lower plane of being, a view reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church's statement, "Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present and future humanity" (n. 2415).

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Mary's assumption witnesses to our hope in eternal life

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July 27, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Every year at the first hint of the waning of summer, the Church celebrates the feast of Mary's assumption into heaven. I have heard cynics refer to it as "the blessed assumption" – a tenuous belief that Mary was taken bodily into heaven when there is no direct scriptural support for such a belief. The Assumption, however, is one of the Church's oldest feasts, the celebration of which is attested to as far back as the fourth century.

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Wide ranging cultural erosion calls for revolution

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July 13, 2015

The legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland and the United States is to be deplored for undermining the family and the raising of children. However, deplore it as we will, the Canadian experience shows same-sex marriage will become more, not less, entrenched in the immediate future.

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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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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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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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Canada's multiculturalism is both a gift and a challenge to build unity

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June 29, 2015

As Canada celebrates its 148th birthday as a nation, we rejoice in the respect and harmony that mark our multicultural country. This attitude of respect for those of diverse backgrounds and commitments is the quality which provides the foundation for a country marked by peace, freedom and prosperity. Without a respectful multiculturalism, we would have none of those things. During his 1984 visit to Winnipeg, St. John Paul II lauded Canada's "atmosphere of respect for cultural diversity".

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Canadian priest was murdered 50 years ago

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June 29, 2015

Fifty years after his murder on June 22, 1965 in the Dominican Republic, efforts are being made to remember Scarboro Father Art MacKinnon. According to a report in The Catholic Register, Bishop Brian Dunn of Antigonish was to celebrate a memorial Mass for MacKinnon in his childhood home of New Waterford, N.S. MacKinnon, the son of a Cape Breton coal miner, was 27 in 1959 when he was ordained a priest and soon after was sent to the Dominican Republic where the Scarboro Fathers were active.

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Dublin archbishop calls for Church self-examination

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June 15, 2015

Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is surely correct in his call for the Church to examine its failure to communicate its teachings in a country which not long ago lived and breathed Catholicism. The May 22 referendum in which 62 per cent of voters said the country should legalize same-sex marriage indicates something important is not getting through. Indeed, if a similar referendum were held in Canada, Catholic support for same-sex marriage might well exceed that in Ireland.

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Gov't leadership required to move to reconciliation with First Nations

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June 15, 2015

The truth has been told; reconciliation is yet to come. Reconciliation with Canada's Aboriginal people – over the residential school morass, yes, but also over the whole range of issues afflicting indigenous people – will require political will. During the nine years of the current federal government, there has been no hint of a political will to put relations between Canada's original peoples and the dominant settler culture on a more equitable footing. The Harper government began its term in office by walking away from the Kelowna Accord, a landmark agreement that would have gone a long way toward dealing with some of the pressing issues facing Aboriginal communities.

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