More than a call to clean up the planet, Laudato Si’ is a plea for humankind to clean up its act. The Pope’s straight-talking encyclical implores people of all nations and faiths to unite in a bold cultural and spiritual revolution to reverse the destruction of the environment.

The Vatican last week released the Pope’s encyclical on the environment and while many pundits suggested the Catholic Church and its spiritual leader should butt out of ecological politics and economics, the Pope’s hard-hitting missive about our endangered planet got a relatively positive review.

The Book of Job, one of the great masterpieces of not only biblical literature, but all literature, is rarely read at Sunday Mass. Yet it was there last Sunday, a brief excerpt from the devastating speech of the Lord God to Job, who has dared to question Him: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?

Some Catholic friends and I recently had a discussion on the constant renewal of faith being necessary for faith to be truly faithful.

A woman offered up an intensely self-critical testimony about her frustration at how much she must struggle to keep her faith a matter of vital assent rather than mere acquiescence.

By Michael Kinsalla, Catholic Register Special

A 10-year-old Paraguayan girl is at the centre of an international controversy over “reproductive rights” after she was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather. All cases of child abuse are emotionally contentious and morally outrageous but, as is often the case with vulnerable young women and children, this girl is now a pawn in the wider gambit of the pro-abortion lobby.

Corruption is a child of greed and vanity. It tempts those blinded by arrogance and seduced by money. It is found across society, in business, sports, the Church, but particularly in politics.

Two recent papal-related events highlighted that Catholicism is meant to be a religion of culture. Every culture, as St. John Paul II taught, answers the fundamental questions of life and different cultures are differentiated by their response to the mystery of God.

In a matter of days the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision on same-sex marriage. While it has ruled on issues related to gay unions in the past, this time it will address the big question: is marriage a fundamental right afforded to every citizen under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? 

In the 1970s there was a marked contrast between the Catholic faith as it was taught in my elementary school and as it was taught in the church around the corner. At school, it wasn’t taught as much as it was assigned, and religion class often morphed into art class. At the church, the faith took on much larger dimensions, as if in school we had been looking at it through the wrong end of a telescope, and only when we went to Mass were we able to see it the right way round.

A Facebook friend took it upon himself to post on my home page for all my other friends to see an article entitled: “Religion is disappearing. That’s great for politics.”

Among the action calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report on residential schools is an insistence that Pope Francis apologize in person to Canada’s aboriginal peoples.

“What are you doing in this bad part of the city?”

I looked around and saw a young man bent over and out of breath, his rollerblade wheels still spinning in the dark of the evening.

He had seen my clerical collar.  The “bad part of the city” he referred to is a Toronto neighbourhood known as “the track,” where prostitution is open and drugs are barely concealed.

This is a tale of two boys, neither of whom could function optimally in a traditional Ontario Catholic high school: uniform, attendance, homework.