It truly does seem, at times, as though the news of the world is relentlessly despairing. 

I am holding a statuette. It came to our office from the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) of Amazonas state in Brazil. It is a naked Indigenous woman with long black hair. She is kneeling. A child is visible in her red womb. 

No more abuse

The reports on abuse in the Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 issues left people wondering if there is nothing else worth reporting on than repeating the same issues in a Catholic newspaper.

With good reason, Canadians generally take it for granted that Christmas is a season of peace and goodwill. We are blessed to live in a country that slows down to let the joy of the season wash over us.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA -- This Advent marks the 50 anniversary of the liturgical reform — the “novus ordo” or “new order” of Mass — after the Second Vatican Council.

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is already scooping up movie awards despite its swerve to Netflix barely a month after being released in theatres. 

No nukes

Re: Pope Francis renews attack against nuclear weapons (Dec. 1):

Pope Francis has rightly called for the elimination of nuclear weapons, saying that using “atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral” and “a crime.”

The call went up to have Archbishop Fulton Sheen declared a saint almost from the day he died 40 years ago. So current disappointment at a Vatican directive to touch the brakes on the popular American’s sainthood cause is no surprise, but the decision is appropriate.

Pope Francis is increasingly critical of the lack of political will to grapple with the growing threat of climate change. The Pope’s frustration raises the critical issue of how whole societies can be persuaded to change their behaviour to avert threats to their existence.

The Two Popes is an entertaining movie that is well-acted, well-written and visually appealing, especially when considering most of the movie is about two old men in frocks verbally jousting over weighty issues. But, make no mistake, it is a drama with lots of humour sprinkled in, not a documentary.

Prayer books, prayer groups, prayer meetings, prayer beads, prayer mats, common prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, a wing and a prayer.