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{mosimage}In this federal election campaign, Canada’s Catholic bishops are calling upon all Catholics to consider environmental questions when they vote. In its recent pastoral letter on ecology, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “We hope our elected representatives will remember first of all the heritage we are leaving our children when making important decisions. Because we love our children, what environment, what society do we wish to bequeath to them?”

 

Option for the poor

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{mosimage}When the Catholic Church talks about Christianity’s “preferential option for the poor,” the notion has both personal and political implications. During this federal election campaign in Canada, this principle should help guide Catholic voters in making a wise choice on their ballots.

The Canadian bishops have identified this “option for the poor” as a “Gospel imperative.” In the document, “Election 2004: Responsibility and Discernment,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote that “Jesus had a special love for the weak and vulnerable; He identified Himself with them and proclaimed the Good News to them.”

Life issues

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{mosimage}Even before this federal election campaign started, those who believe in the sanctity of human life were bound to be disappointed. There is no political party that officially supports the pro-life position and few political leaders that even want to talk about it.

We all lose

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{mosimage}By the time you read this, it is likely that Canada has been plunged once again into a federal election campaign. While Catholics can find arguments to support either of the two main federal parties, they might also agree that neither the Liberals nor Conservatives have covered themselves with glory in recent weeks.

Do no harm

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{mosimage}The original Hippocratic Oath, once sworn by all doctors entering their esteemed profession, required that its adherents “do no harm” to their patients. Moreover, it insisted that doctors never participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide or do abortions. How things have changed.

Paul VI remembered

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{mosimage}While Humanae Vitae deserved much of the ink spilled last month on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, it would be a shame if this encyclical became the sole marker of the remarkable pontificate of Paul VI.

Less noted than Humanae Vitae’s birthday was the 30th anniversary of the death of the pope who led the Catholic Church through much of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s.

Media too quick to move beyond Morgentaler

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{mosimage}It's interesting how quickly the astounding news that Dr. Henry Morgentaler was to receive an Order of Canada has disappeared from the nation's media. After an initial flurry of articles, commentaries and broadcasts, the issue has quietly been replaced by the usual diet of stories on summer weather, terrorism and environmental degradation.

China's dilemma

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{mosimage}When the 2008 Summer Olympic Games finally kick off in Beijing Aug. 8, we can all hope the Olympians will get the attention they deserve as some of the world’s top athletes. Until then, it’s all about China and the picture isn’t pretty.

The last straw

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{mosimage}It's almost impossible to think of a ruder present for Canada's 139th birthday. On July 1, the Governor General of Canada announced that Dr. Henry Morgentaler would receive the Order of Canada, the nation's highest honour.

It gets worse

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{mosimage}Over the last few months, we’ve been warning about the power of the federal and provincial human rights tribunals and their willingness to abuse this power to trample on the Constitution. Yet our fear was more about the potential for greater abuse, rather than existing practice.

However, events are moving more rapidly than expected — and for the worse. A decision by the Alberta Human Rights Commission represents the most flagrant abuse of constitutional rights yet demonstrated across the country.

Act of Contrition

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{mosimage}Hardly has there been a period in history in which our past sins have weighed so heavily on our shoulders. The enormity of humanity’s abuse of humanity — in fact of the entire planet — has never been so apparent to us.

So the mass apology has become an icon of our repentant age. Pope John Paul II used the apology to good effect, shining a light on the travesties of past church leaders, whether inflicted on women, indigenous tribes, religious dissenters or, in the case of the Holocaust, the Jewish people.