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The Catholic Register offers its readers dependable information and opinion as a joyful servant of God's pilgrim church.

The news last week that a huge donation (valued at $19 million for church and land) to build a church in the Greater Toronto Area from auto parts magnate Frank Stronach had been turned by the archdiocese of Toronto created some awkward moments. No one likes to walk away from such magnificent generosity; nor does a potential donor like to see his offer of a gift spurned.

From boys to men

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{mosimage}The Jesuits used to claim that if they could take charge of a boy’s education at age seven, they would turn out a fine mature man ready to serve God and country. Today, as we celebrate this Father’s Day, in much of industrialized society, the boys are still there, but the men are increasingly missing in action.

Accommodation Part II

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{mosimage}Last week, we offered some general comments on the report of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation in Quebec. By and large, the commissioners used common sense and open-mindedness in dealing with very real tensions over religious and cultural differences between immigrants and older Quebec communities.

Common differences

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{mosimage}The release of the Bouchard-Taylor report May 22 on reasonable accommodation of religious and ethnic differences in Quebec offered a useful corrective to some of the alarmism creeping into public debate on this issue. As one of the first official and systematic examinations of how Canadians integrate newcomers into our midst, it holds valuable lessons for all of us.

Restoring credibility

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{mosimage}No one says being an Ontario Catholic school trustee in these times is easy. The vast majority of trustees recognize, too, that theirs is a vocation with few rewards and a grinding workload. So the temptation to ease that burden in questionable ways may be understandable — even as succumbing to it is never acceptable.

The party's over and the poor weren't even invited

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{mosimage}Economists — practitioners of the “gloomy science” — are gleefully telling us the party’s over. The boom times have disappeared, pffft, into thin air, replaced by recession and unemployment. But statisticians are now saying that most Canadians were not even invited to the party to begin with.

Thanks for 100 years

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{mosimage}A century ago, on Sept. 23, Msgr. E. Alfred Burke, a priest of the diocese of Charlottetown, started a small organization that would go on to do very big things indeed. It was the Catholic Church Extension Society of Canada, now known as Catholic Missions In Canada (see article here).

Freedom's foes

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{mosimage}If there is still any lingering scepticism among Canada’s opinion makers about the worrisome ambitions of the country’s human rights tribunals, it should be dispelled by the latest statement from Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall.

It's all political

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{mosimage}China, the International Olympic Committee and diehard Olympic supporters continue to repeat the mantra that we should leave politics out of the Olympic Games. Since when? we might ask.

Counsel of despair

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{mosimage}The dictionary defines misanthropy as “hatred or mistrust of humankind.” Over the last few months there has been an awful lot of that going around.

This attitude has displayed itself in increased chattering in the media (where else?) that responsible global citizens should refrain from reproducing in order to do their bit to save the environment. One less mouth to feed, or in contemporary terms, one less carbon footprint to mar planet Earth.

Victory for parents

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{mosimage}Canadian parents are likely breathing a sigh of relief over a recent decision by the Ontario Supreme Court. In the ruling by Madam Justice Cheryl Robertson released March 31, a father was acquitted of assault in an incident in which he used modest force to prevent his 15-year-old daughter from attending a drug party.