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{mosimage}One of the last vestiges of official anti-Catholicism in the world is the British Crown. Yet most Canadians are probably unaware that the Queen of England (or King) — Canada’s head of state — is prohibited by law from being Roman Catholic or marrying a Roman Catholic.

Market idolatry

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{mosimage}The international financial crisis is no longer just about Wall Street — if it ever was. Today, increasingly, it is about Main Street and its residents, about people who are losing homes, jobs, pensions and savings.

In a way, the international economic system is a kind of Tower of Babel, built on its own internal logic, but a logic that essentially created a house of cards. It was built on an ever-expanding consumption of goods; when the production of wealth could not keep up with the need to feed mass consumption, developed nations simply turned to debt. When that tower of debt began to crumble as some of its weaker bricks gave way, the whole edifice began to tumble.

Vote anyway

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{mosimage}The federal election campaign has been anything but inspiring for Canadians. Most of what passes for debate has been name-calling, accusations of lying and trivial arguments over whose commercials were the most unfair.

Creation groans

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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.