One Friday last August a Swedish schoolgirl decided not to attend her classes. Clutching her handwritten sign “School strike for climate,” she instead stood outside Sweden’s Parliament, a one-child protest against the damage humankind has wrought on the environment.

During the federal election I wrote about the unfair treatment Andrew Scheer received in the media.

Wrong decision

Re: Toronto Catholic board votes to include gender terms (Nov. 17):

I was admiring a friend’s potted plant recently when she noted that I had just missed the flowering. “I forgot to water it,” she noted, “and it just bloomed.” 

Traditionally, November is the time when we especially remember to pray for departed family members, friends and (maybe) enemies. 

The fall meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops brought with it an unexpected invitation. The group SNAP (Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests) organized a viewing in Cornwall of the documentary Prey, a film that sheds light on the predatory actions of Hod Marshall, a now-deceased Basilian priest who was convicted for sexually abusing minors.

Alberta MP Garnett Genuis was right when he blamed “anti-Catholic bigotry” for the current attacks on Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Incompatible vocations

Re: Synod gives hope to Canada’s North (Nov. 10): 

Two years ago, The Catholic Register published an article about Fr. Issa Maamar, a priest in the Greek-Melkite Church who was forced to leave Syria to protect his family. Priests in the Greek-Melkite Church are allowed to marry. Torn between leaving his people and protecting his family, he explained: “If I was alone, I would not have decided to leave, but because I had a family and I wanted to protect them, I had to make this decision.”

An emphatic defence of religious freedom by Ontario politicians was almost enough to set bells ringing at churches — and mosques, synagogues and temples — across the province. 

The issue of the right to freedom of conscience will not go away. In fact, it may be the defining issue of our time.