Opening remarks by Hugh MacKinnon, CEO of Bennett Jones, as chair of the 44th annual Cardinal’s Dinner in Toronto on Nov. 14.

How devastating to hear of the removal of Bishop Joseph Strickland from the Diocese of Tyler, Texas (“Texas bishop removed from office,” Nov. 19).

In what would be his farewell address to his Catholic audience at Toronto’s annual Cardinal’s dinner last year, Archbishop Thomas Collins challenged those present with the haunting question: “What have we become?”

‘I believe’

As the darkest days of the year arrive in the northern hemisphere, my heart is aching with the knowledge of just how conflicted the world is. So many people not only fail to find comfort in faith, but struggle with the concept of belief itself. There is a crisis of engagement — in service clubs and churches and political issues, just to name a few. And it begs the question, what does it mean to believe in something.

Ironically, to understand why many Canadians stomach a system hostile to right-to-life organizations, anti-abortion legislation proposals and any meaningful discussions about pre-born rights or if life begins at conception, you have to look back to the birth of this nation.

I love Israel. But I hate what it is doing in Gaza. I yearn for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Middle East. But Hamas, especially its Oct. 7 raids on Israel, is the greatest obstacle to that state becoming reality.

Haven’t been to Confession for a while? One question: How can you stay away?!

All right, I know it can be very difficult to even find Confession offered beyond 30 to 45 minutes right before a Saturday evening Mass, or “by appointment.” But no matter what you must do, what hoops you must jump through, how many kilometres you must drive, Confession is totally worth it. You and I need frequent Confession because we are sinners. I will now try to shoot down some “excuses” for not going to Confession.

In Catholic tradition, November is both the last month of the faith year, and the month where we remember and celebrate all souls. We write in a book of remembrance the names of loved ones lost and light candles for them. We pray for and with those who have gone to eternity before us. The practices remind me of Ash Wednesday: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Does liberalism get the big questions right? The question was the subject of a Munk Debate on the evening of Nov. 3 in Toronto.

My short answer is yes. Better put, it gets more things right than competing philosophies. Capitalism, it has been said, is the worst economic system except for all the others. Liberalism is a better solution for our common lives than socialism or communism. Yet at the end of the night, the winning side of the debate were those who were opposed. How have we arrived at a point where so many appear to be questioning liberalism?

As Catholics, as people of faith, as pilgrims seeking peace, Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land is appalled by the editorial The Catholic Register printed on Oct. 19. 

The full text of the October Declaration published by leading British citizens and signed by 76,055 others to date.