Articles from October, 2016

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L’Arche, Pronouns and Police

vanier

L'Arche, the community founded by Jean Vanier, has clarified his ambiguous comments upon euthanasia, upon which I wrote a few months ago. You can read their brief, one page comments here, and make up your own minds how clear they are.  I find that there is still a trace of ambiguity in this clarificatio, but perhaps that is just me.  Anyway, I am glad that they wanted to reaffirm the commitment of L'Arche to the protection of life at ... (Continue reading)

A Hallowed Eve: The Spiritual and Cultural Traditions of Halloween  

celtic-halloween

Halloween has always been a complicated holiday, laced together with many threads of different spiritual traditions and cultural customs. It has always stirred up controversy, morphing into an excuse for mischief and mayhem and a celebration of ghoulishness which has led some to boycott it altogether. But perhaps this is a hasty decision, which fails to take into account the whole picture of the historical development of the day and what it tells us about the richly complex human search ... (Continue reading)

IVF, FBI and Lost Causes

simon-and-jude

Some stories sum up the insanity of our world in a way I find almost profound.  Apparently, a male homosexual sperm donor donated his 'seed' to a female friend, back when they were in medical school together. She raised the children, both now teenagers, while he stayed involved to some degree in their lives, as what he terms a 'spuncle'.  They signed an agreement in 2002 that he would not be liable for any financial support. Now, however, the mother is ... (Continue reading)

Finding Unity Despite Disunity: God, Love and the Enduring Message of Terry Fox

terry-fox

  Much of the Western world is split by issues pertaining to politics, economics, race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.  No doubt, these issues need to be adequately assessed and dealt within a morally prudent and logical manner. This is especially true in light of the upcoming presidential election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.  The decision is not a simple one, especially given their past and flip flop type attitudes. One cannot but help question their true motivations ... (Continue reading)

Of Angels, Sports and Money

guardian-angels

Well, some news stories have sort-of-happy endings.  A distraught father, after arguing with his wife, ‘kidnaped’ his two toddler sons, drove to a bridge, and jumped in with them in his arms, in an apparent attmpted murder-suicide.  Reports on the height of the bridge vary from 15 to 30 metres, which is survivable (I have jumped from 15 metres, in my younger days).  I read somewhere that the height of near-certain death is 100 feet, or just over the ... (Continue reading)

How Catholic is Kaine?

tim-kaine

A recent flattering article in the New Yorker describes Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential running mate, as a "devout Roman Catholic." Not only that, but the paean proceeds to declare that the pious senator "is more comfortable quoting Scripture than any Democrat to reach the level of Presidential politics since Jimmy Carter".  There is more: “When "(a)sked to name his heroes, Kaine begins with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who was executed by the Nazis for his involvement ... (Continue reading)

  Happiness, Culture, Virtue: The Case for Catholic Education by Dr. Ryan Topping   3 - 4:30 pm Sun October 30th Maryvale Academy 2191 Benjamin Ave, Ottawa Free-will offering     A native of Saskatoon, Dr. Topping earned an MA in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba and an M.Phil. and Doctorate in Theology from the University of Oxford. He held the Pope John XXIII Chair of Studies in Catholic Theology at St. Thomas University in Canada, and ... (Continue reading)

Pope Saint John Paul II, a Reflection

john-paul-ii

Today is the memorial of Pope Saint John Paul II, who was installed as the 264th successor of Saint Peter on this day in 1978, which seems aeons ago in more ways than one.  An era without the Internet, Facebook and smartphones, scarcely imaginable.  His feast was added by Pope Francis two years ago when John Paul was canonized, a welcome addition to the calendar of saints, not least since I happen to share, by a quirk of my own ... (Continue reading)

Kaine, Trump and Clinton, Oh My

alfred-smith

I have an article posted this morning on Crisis magazine, on How Catholic is Kaine, Hillary Clinton's Vice-Presidential running mate.  Feel free to peruse. I should have added the irony that Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, a former Catholic, and now apparently a Protestant, describes himself publicly as '100% pro-life'.  The scandalous irony is that the lapsed Catholic Pence is more Catholic than the proclaimed 'devout Catholic' Kaine.  The Protestants are living out our Catholicism better than we Catholics.  ... (Continue reading)

It’s a S.T.E.M. World, Baby

stem

A recent article, sponsored by none other than the Royal Bank of Canada, had a list of the top ten ‘most valuable’ university degrees ranked, as is the wont of a bank I suppose, by how much you could make upon graduation.  Happiness, fulfilment, joy, the breadth and length of knowledge, all be damned, just show me the money! Of the ten, five were in engineering, two in accounting and finance, and one in business (the others were geosciences, and ... (Continue reading)

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