Mobile Menu

I believe firmly in freedom of speech, but I do draw the line. Incitements to violence and murder are illegal in Canada, and well they should be. Libel, treason and sedition are also illegal. It is also wrong to pass off another’s words as one’s own. Meanwhile, I am not at all interested in freedom to create images — especially pornographic images.

{mosimage}Until Liberal MP Keith Martin tabled a private members’ motion in the House of Commons on Jan. 30, the problem of human rights commissions dabbling in censorship of free speech had really not hit the political radar screens. Now, however, the politicians have been forced to take note and, predictably, they wonder what the fuss is all about.

It is only days away, that fatal day, that day with the power to cast single women into abject gloom and to send married men into a frenzy of procrastination; that day that crushes the joy out of men who love and rarely fails to disappoint the women who love them; that day that sends boys and girls hand in hand to their local Catholic college campus to watch The Vagina Monologues. Yes, my friends, Valentine’s Day is upon us again.

I have a friend, a fellow writer, whom I’m here calling Peter. That’s not his real name, but I can assure you he’s real.

{mosimage}In his 2008 Message for Lent, Pope Benedict XVI refers to the “spiritual battle” of the Lenten season, a time when we use the tools of almsgiving, fasting and prayer to strengthen our inner selves against those forces, internal and external, which prey on our human foibles.

{mosimage}Lent is both a question and an answer. It is the Christian’s way of asking the fundamental human question of why there is evil if God is good. But in the asking the answer is found.

{mosimage}Canada recently “celebrated” — “mourned” would be more appropriate if not, unfortunately, accurate — the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which demolished our laws restricting abortion. Away from the main events of public marches, protests and university symposia, there were several sideshows that revealed how threatened mainstream opinion makers are by the fact that the subject refuses to die.

Next week (Feb. 11) the Catholic Church will observe World Day of the Sick, instituted in 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

As a medical social worker, I’ve been privileged to journey with sick people and learn from them the lessons serious illness can teach those who are receptive. I would like to share some of these insights.

The pastoral arena or terrain in the Greater Toronto Area is considerably changing every year. The latest numbers from the 2006 Census show quick and dramatic changes in the demographic composition of the metropolis. There were reports that one out of four Torontonians is foreign born. What does this mean? What are the pastoral implications of these data?

{mosimage}If it wasn’t so serious it might be funny, the way perceptions and conventional wisdoms can be turned on their head. Intolerance is often seen as the hallmark of religion, the critique raised when the secularist wants to curtail or restrict the role religion occupies in modern societies.

Since his election as bishop of Rome in 2005, Joseph Ratzinger has cut a considerably less controversial figure than he did in the old days, when he was the uncompromising head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But at least in Italy, a public appearance by our Pope outside the Vatican can still cause quite a ruckus.