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Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America and he ensured South America was the destination for his first foreign trip. So it was no surprise that the Argentine Pope was welcomed to World Youth Day in Brazil by huge, adoring crowds who brought his motorcade to a standstill.

A Church united


On July 5 Pope Francis released his first encyclical, a newsworthy event in itself, but then he knocked himself from the headlines by approving the sainthood causes of two of his renowned predecessors. If the rapid-fire announcements seemed unusual, well, that should come as no surprise from a Pope who keeps doing things his way.

It’s not health care


Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated: euthanasia is homicide.

Brave new world


The morning after becoming Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis checked out of his hotel by paying his own bill and then calmly strolled into his new life. It was a novel way to launch a papacy but, then, over his first 100 days the new Pope has been making novelty commonplace.

Fair taxation


No one knows exactly how much money is hidden away by millionaires and corporations in offshore bank accounts, but accepted estimates put it as high as $30-trillion dollars. Much of that money is undeclared and untaxed.

Slippery slope indeed


Four decades after Henry Morgentaler performed his first abortion to set the country on a path to abortion lawlessness, Canada is still weighing his profound and tragic impact on society. That regrettable truth was apparent in the obituaries after Morgentaler, 90, died May 23 of a heart attack.

Truly heroic


When Lee Rigby was hacked to death in broad daylight by two self-proclaimed Muslim fighters on a London street, the British soldier was not alone. Christ was with him in the person of three extraordinary women.

Rights = peace


It is difficult to envision peace coming soon to war-torn Syria. Lasting peace, the type that brings security and respect for human dignity, is unlikely without religious freedom, and there is no apparent will among Syria’s warring factions to embrace this inalienable human right.

Secular challenge


In proclaiming the Year of Faith last October, Pope Benedict emphasized a need to re-evangelize wherever secular culture was tugging at Christianity’s deep roots. The recent publication of census data from Statistics Canada underscores why Benedict was so concerned.

Ethical consumption


Millions of people across the developing world are longing to work and will take almost any job, at any wage in just about any workplace. They’re that desperate.

No game, no pain


In the past two decades, government-sponsored gambling in Canada has more than quintupled. The average adult now spends about $515 annually on lotteries, slot machines, video display terminals, horse racing and casinos. Together, these dreamers and optimists drop almost $14 billion a year into government coffers.