Articles from June, 2016

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A Catholic Approach to the Papacy

Pope Francis

On this solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrating their respective life and martyrdom, it is beneficial to dwell a moment upon the papacy (and by extension, the episcopacy), as we make our way towards eternity in these confusing times. It is no secret to readers of these columns that I share with many other Catholics certain reservations about the current Pope, or at least, how he exercises his papacy, and particularly some of the things he says and writes. I ... (Continue reading)

Supreme Court and Texan Abortion: What Next?

jubilant abortion

Another day, and more bad news.  One becomes benumbed after a time, which is not a good thing. Would that I could write on something uplifting, and I will, soon.  But the culture of death marches on, almost unabated, from victory to victory, and I wonder how much they need further to 'win', with the exception, perhaps, of stamping out any and all opposition with full-out Christian persecution, already happening in an insidious way. Yesterday morning's ruling by the hobbled Supreme ... (Continue reading)

Pilgrim Eagle: A Review of Charles A. Coulombe’s History Text Puritan’s Empire

puritan's empire

  “This above all: To thine own self be true.”   -William Shakespeare       Puritan’s Empire by Charles A. Coulombe is a unique tour-de-force of American history from a Catholic high traditionalist perspective. Spanning the colonial period to the modern day, the narrative is tightly-woven and comprehensively arranged. The sheer length and breadth of the volume is a testament to a lifetime’s worth of research. Although some sections are dry, the colorful anecdotes and personal analyses interspersed within the book keep the reader engaged, regardless of ... (Continue reading)

A Philosophical Brexit

2016-06-25-17-32-44--530157169

    Already the effects of the Brexit are rippling through the world:  The British currency has taken a record nosedive, the stock market is tottering, and wee bonnie Scotland now wants independence from Britain, to stay cuddled up with the EU. Now our own Quebec wants to break free, once again: Justin Trudeau was booed for not speaking French on the occasion of their Fete Nationale, which in the Catholic world is called the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John ... (Continue reading)

Brexit, the Faith and Europe

brexit

Britain is voting as I write on whether or not to stay within the 'European Union', with pundits widely divided on the effects of departure, on Britain, Europe and the world. Financial disaster, riots in the street, or improved stability and increased national fervour When questions like this arise, it is wise to go first to the essence, the nub, of the question: What is the proper way for a nation to be governed, and, particularly in this case, ... (Continue reading)

More’s Conscience

more and fisher

Today we commemorate Saint Thomas More, husband, father, lawyer, sometime chancellor of England, marytyred in 1535 with his compatriot Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and cardinal of the Church. More was actually put to death on July 6, with Fisher being beheaded on this day, when they are both remembered. Both saints are martyrs of conscience (as are all martyrs, really, as John Paul II made clear in Veritatis Splendor), More's case made famous in the 1954 play by Robert ... (Continue reading)

Star Farce: A Study in How to Ruin a Franchise

star wars

I thought the Star Wars franchise, so successful and cinema-transforming in the late seventies and early eighties, was ruined by the three prequels in the early years of this millennium, all of which were phenomenally bad, the last one on a galactic scale.  The blond Canadian Anakin deserved an anti-Oscar for his bathos. I had hoped it was all over after this cinematic disaster Lucas foisted upon an unsuspecting and hope-dashed generation of movie-goers. But they made a whackload ... (Continue reading)

Senate Passes Euthanasia Law

senate

The Canadian Senate has capitulated, passing into law Bill C-14 legalizing 'Medical Aid in Dying', or, more properly, murder-assisted suicide. It will now be legal, even binding in some jurisdictions we may presume, for physicians and other health personnel, to kill their patients. The Senate wanted to broaden the scope of the law, permitting murder-suicide even if death were not 'reasonably forseeable' (a broad notion in itself), but they will live with it for now, pardon the pun.  The scope ... (Continue reading)

Conscience, Love and Law

right and wrong

There is much talk nowadays about conscience, freedom of conscience, good and bad conscience, yet with little awareness, from what I can tell, of what conscience actually is. So, a definition:  Conscience is an act, specifically an act of the practical intellect, judging the moral quality of an act that we have done, are doing, or plan to do (cf., CCC, #1778).  We judge these acts 'good' or 'bad', according to what knowledge and formation we have, and then act ... (Continue reading)

Normalizing Deviancy

jamacain rainbow

Well, another evening CBC episode, dedicated this time to the flying of the rainbow flag in various locales, the most controversial being the American embassy in Jamaica, where homosexuality is, shall we say, less than tolerated. We must clear the air here, and allow me a final distinction before we leave this subject alone for a time. There seems to be a rather fundamental confusion in the minds of individuals and in the ethos of our culture between what might be ... (Continue reading)

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