One of the sweetest attractions of off-the-grid summertime breaks is the opportunity to push out the parameters of your usual reading routines. This summer I decided it was time to finally immerse myself in the writings of St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and read the two works for which he is best known, Confessions and The City of God.

Pope Francis caused a buzz in the Catholic world on Sept. 9 when he announced a relaxation of the Vatican’s stranglehold on liturgical texts in favour of sharing responsibility with local bishops.

Leaders in the Catholic Church, like leaders in any organization, hate scandals. They wish that they never happen, and when they do, they try to deal with them internally so as not to get a lot of bad publicity.

The mere thought of North Korea’s homicidal dictator possessing a nuclear bomb is terrifying. But as long as world powers cling to their nuclear arsenals, the spread of these weapons is inevitable.

Nothing unites the bishops more than being attacked from the outside. And if there was ever any doubt about the bishops’ campaign for immigration reform, Steve Bannon’s recent attack will encourage the bishops to double down.

The tragic case of a 77-year-old woman, known only as AB, who had been wracked with intolerable pain for more than three decades, was resolved in August through doctor-induced death.

Or was it?

As Montreal Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert quite rightly puts it, there is nothing complicated about how we should respond to a summer influx of asylum seekers at Quebec’s southern border.

Making something out of nothing. When somebody pulls that off, it tends to evoke wonder and admiration.

It was interesting to monitor the shock expressed around the world to recent news that Iceland has almost eradicated the birth of Down syndrome babies by prenatal tests and abortion.

Pope Francis seldom misses an opportunity to explain the meaning of mercy. A Toronto cop recently demonstrated what it looks like.

Regardless of where you stand on the nasty public spat involving the president of the University of St. Michael’s College and some school faculty, it seems fundamentally obvious that a Catholic institution of higher education should promote a visible and distinctly Catholic identity.