Columns

From the category archives: Glen Argan

Glen Argan

Ukraine deserves peace, justice and sovereignty

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March 17, 2014

Why did thousands of unprotected Ukrainian protesters remain in Independence Square on Feb. 20 as sniper fire rained down on them from above? Why did they not run for cover as did the foreign journalists who were reporting on the protests? Think first of the Holodomor of 1932-33, the forced starvation of millions of people suffering under Soviet oppression. Think of the attempted annihilation following the Second World War of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, a body most determined to stand for Ukrainian national identity, cultural expression and freedom. Think of the imprisonment and exile of poet Taras Shevchenko and numerous other 19th-century Ukrainian artists who passionately wrote against the repression of Ukrainians by the tsar and in favour of Ukrainian national identity.

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Ugandan law violates human dignity

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March 17, 2014

The Ugandan government's decision to punish those who engage in homosexual acts with life imprisonment should be opposed by every person concerned about the dignity of the human person. African politicians are resentful of what they see as attempts by Western nations to export homosexual behaviour onto their continent. The United Nations' support for advancing so-called sexual and reproductive rights is profoundly disturbing to societies that continue to respect human life and traditional family structures. Nevertheless, the rabid reaction of African politicians to UN and other Western initiatives could easily lead to acts of violence against homosexuals.

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When injustice takes root in a parish

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March 17, 2014

Traditionally, there are four marks of the true Church – it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. However, the 1970 world Synod of Bishops added a fifth mark. By saying that justice is a constitutive dimension of the Gospel, the synod in effect said the true Church is also known by its proclamation and living out of God's justice. This is a good thing, but it can also be problematic. For just as the Church is not united and its members often lack holiness, relations among baptized believers are sometimes unjust.

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Paradox of Lent challenges us to live fully human lives

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March 3, 2014

Many people live and die without seriously reflecting on the most important issues of existence – what is a human person, what are the origins of good and evil, why must I make peace with those I have wronged, what is our ultimate destiny, can I make this world better, is there a God and, if so, how does he relate with humanity?

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Alta. Must be proactive on mental health

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March 3, 2014

Alberta's addiction and mental health system is doing a good job of providing resources for those in crisis situations, but is doing poorly in providing counselling, information and screening resources that would help prevent crises from developing. That is a main finding of a report by University of Alberta professor Cam Wild.

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Take heed of Gospel forms of communication

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March 3, 2014

Most of us have done it and we've probably all had it done to us. Someone has something against you and, instead of talking to you directly, they report you to your superior. Today, we would call this dysfunctional communication. One might also call it a form of abuse.

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Catholic reflections on the morality of a good death

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February 17, 2014

The lack of universal awareness that there is no moral obligation to continue medical treatment of those who are brain dead is surely something that must be overcome. (See story on Page 24.) There is no duty to keep a dead person on life support systems in the hope that a miracle may resuscitate that person. Indeed, undue prolongation of care may itself be immoral if it wastes medical resources that could be used to treat other patients.

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Fr. Jack Spicer: A local visionary

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February 17, 2014

Redemptorist Father Jack Spicer, who died Jan. 31 at age 94, was one of the great visionaries of the Edmonton Archdiocese. There likely were few who believed more in the transformational power of the Holy Scriptures. Nor were there many as dedicated as Spicer to small Christian communities as the most effective vehicle for helping today’s Catholic laity to live their faith.

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UN body takes shots at Church records on abuse

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February 17, 2014

The Catholic Church has taken much deserved criticism over the past 20 years for its record on clergy sexual abuse. For years, the Church did not do enough to prevent abuse, and for years more it treated the victims of abuse shoddily and failed to deal adequately with those who perpetrated abuse and covered it up.

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Seismic shift begins in College of Cardinals

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February 3, 2014

Every pope puts his personal stamp on the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has done that more than most with his first appointments announced Jan. 12. In two ways, the appointments were traditional. The pope named the usual coterie of cardinals from both Italy and the Vatican Curia. Some had suspected that he might move significantly away from those two longstanding sources of cardinals, especially in terms of drawing a line between the Curia and the College of Cardinals.

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