My uncle was writing a catechism and he had asked me to discuss the role of wife and mother. It was a difficult writing assignment.

As Christmas approaches and wish lists get finalized, one thing is certain: no one in our family will receive a bigger gift than the one Sean, the youngest member, received several years ago.

The death of Lister Sinclair on Oct. 16 marks not only the passing of a national figure of consequence but provides the occasion for some serious reflection on the role of the public intellectual in our national discourse.

President George Bush The immediate result in politics isn't always the most important. Sometimes the election of a particular candidate, or the shift of a percentage of the vote one way or the other on the political spectrum is nowhere as vital as what the underlying trend indicates about the future. The midterm elections in the United States may well be an example where the clear result becomes murkier the more analysis applied and the more time unfolds.

With the reversal of a few percentage points in voting patterns, there has been a veritable tectonic shift in American attitudes toward the Iraq War. The punishment inflicted on U.S. President George Bush and his Republican party has opened up the potential for real progress.

Aloysius Cardinal AmbrozicDear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Valueless values

I ask myself at times why I react so negatively to a word often used these days, the word "value." The reason for my negative reaction seems to lie in the fact that the talk of values strikes me as very neutral. The word admits that for someone else my value may be quite valueless. The term communicates, in fact, our acceptance that what we take as valuable may be quite meaningless in somebody else's eyes. In other words, I react negatively to the word simply because it contains a possibility of relativism and meaninglessness.

The controversy over Madonna's adoption of a one-year-old Malawian orphan, David, raises important questions about adoptions of African orphans to Europe and North America. Our concern here is not the morality or legality of the adoption of baby David, even though these have some implications for his future happiness, fundamental rights, stability and cultural integration. Our concern is whether adoption of African orphans to Western countries offers any meaningful answer to the challenges that the high number of African orphans pose to African societies.

In an age of polar opposites – right vs. left, science vs. religion, rich vs. poor, orthodox vs. heterodox, radical individualism vs. community rights – can we ever really hope to find common ethical grounds for how we order society? For ethicist Margaret Somerville, the answer to that question is yes.

Is Canada facing legalization of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide by stealth? Recent court decisions and strategies used by euthanasia lobbyists suggest this is happening even though the law as it is written still bans both types of killing.

On Monday, Nov. 13, Ontario voters will go to the polls to choose their representatives for local governments. Top of mind for Catholic school supporters should be the selection of school board trustees.

TORONTO - John Dubeau still remembers the pain he felt when he and his wife divorced more than 30 years ago.