The notion of separation of church and state is an important foundation for a true democracy. It guarantees freedom of religion by favouring no religion over another. It is also the surest way of guaranteeing the expansion of religion when the state favours none and allows religion’s best instincts to make a real contribution to society.

The federal government’s assisted-suicide legislation is chilling both for what it says and what it doesn’t say.

The phrase “Canada is back” has been increasingly present in the discourse about the values of our new government and its place in the global community.

Once again Africa is reeling from a hunger crisis and appealing for humanitarian aid. And once again the world’s sated nations have a moral duty to generously respond.

Perhaps Cardinal Christoph Schonborn best summarizes Pope Francis’ papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love): “There are true innovations, but no break” in tradition, the Austrian theologian told reporters the day the exhortation was released.

The search is on to find a Canadian woman of distinction to honour on an upcoming bank note. After asking why has this taken so long, the next question is who should it be?

We are often rudely awakened to our insufficient response to the voice of need.

If there is an issue that unites most politicians, health workers, social agencies and religious leaders, it is the urgent need for a bold strategy and major investment in palliative and hospice care.

The death of Mother Mary Angelica, the American Poor Clare who founded EWTN, has produced much commentary puzzling over an apparent contradiction. An orthodox and traditional nun was at the same time an entrepreneurial pioneer in Catholic television and did not blanch from charting a path independent of Catholic bishops. How could this be? She had conservative ideas but seemed to operate like a liberal.

To read the comments in various newspapers and on web sites, the Church has no place in national policy debates, including the current deliberation on assisted suicide. Of course that’s nonsense at any time of year but it seems particularly absurd at Easter.

Last Holy Thursday I was asked to join other volunteers to have a foot washed by our parish priest during Mass as part of the symbolic re-enactment of the great lesson of serving others that Jesus shared with His disciples.

Writing and speaking out against euthanasia is a blessing. There is something bracing about standing up for the truth.

The real tragedy surrounding a suicide crisis that has devastated a remote Manitoba community is that it represents just the latest instalment in a Canadian saga that shows no sign of a final chapter.