Ninety-five years old, in failing health, evangelist Billy Graham has summoned his energies to write what will almost surely be his last book: The Reason for My Hope. As I read it, I was struck by the extent to which Graham’s prose carries out the “new evangelism” to which Pope Benedict XVI insistently called the Catholic Church.
- By Ian Hunter
The front cover of this week’s paper was originally going to feature three priests who were ordained within minutes of each other 40 years ago and now serve in neighbouring Belleville, Ont., parishes. They were intended to represent the thousands of men and women, ordained and laity, who faithfully serve the Church and whom we celebrate each year in our popular Call to Service feature section.
Like most Canadians, the thought of travelling to the Caribbean during the dead cold of winter has always had magical appeal. That appeal has been reinforced by two teenagers who have done a pretty good job over the years of reminding me that almost “everyone we know” had taken one of those all-inclusive trips to the sun.
Parliament was presented recently with two visions of how a civilized society can respond to the emotional and physical needs of an aging nation. One is to permit caregivers to end the life, or help end the life, of a terminally sick or disabled consenting adult. The other is to provide the terminally ill with support and care to the end of their natural days.
How do you read your Catholic Register? Living overseas, I get mine over the Internet. A notice appears in my inbox around 10 p.m. on Wednesdays, just before I shut down my computer for the night. And of course I summon the issue at once and click directly to the letters page.
Religious and conscientious freedom is at the heart of several ongoing news stories. Some of the stories involve institutions and others individuals, but they all raise the troubling spectre that these rights may exist more in theory than in practice.
Human trafficking is a vile crime, a form of kidnapping and slavery that preys largely on women and children. It respects no boundaries and is conducted worldwide, in rich nations and poor, yet it rates alongside religion and politics as topics polite society prefers to avoid.
The ordination of a bishop is always a joyous event, but the anointing of Bishop Christian Riesbeck is more than a celebration of his personal episcopal calling. It is recognition of the important contribution that his fledgling order, the Companions of the Cross, has made to the life of the Church in barely one generation.
I was a little nervous about Pope Francis’ meeting with the clergy of Rome last week. As a seminarian and a new priest, I always looked forward to Blessed John Paul’s annual Holy Thursday letter to priests. To my disappointment, Pope Benedict XVI did not continue that tradition, but replaced it with an annual encounter with the clergy of Rome in the first days of Lent. Pope Francis opted this year to continue Benedict’s practice, and so met with the parish priests of Rome last week.