Pope Francis leaves on Monday (Oct. 31) for an overnight trip to Sweden, a historically Protestant country that today is one of the most secular in the world.

Published in International

TORONTO - To Iain Benson, secularism in politics is comparable to a pair of yellow, spotted pyjamas.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
March 5, 2015

Fear and suspicion

A harsh ruling by a Quebec judge against a hijab-wearing Muslim woman offers a cautionary tale about what can happen when a peaceable society falls sway to fear and suspicion.

Published in Editorial

OTTAWA - The Canadian bishops’ doctrine commission, in a new booklet, is stressing the role of all Catholics in the new evangelization.

Published in Canada
December 4, 2014

Cultural war is coming

In mid-November, Pope Francis gave an address to new communities and ecclesial movements in the Church that was, even by his high standards, utterly inspiring.

Published in Peter Stockland
VATICAN CITY - Ankara and Istanbul were gray and cold during Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey. And the general reception, outside of the Pope's official meetings, was hardly warmer.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - In five speeches over a period of six months, Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S. bishops of the threats that an increasingly secularized society poses to the Catholic Church in America, especially in the areas of religious liberty, sexual morality and the definition of marriage.

Yet the Pope did not advise that American Catholics withdraw from a largely hostile environment in order to preserve their values and faith. Instead, as part of his call for a new evangelization within the church and beyond, he urged believers to engage even more closely with wider society for the benefit of all Americans.

Published in Features

DUBLIN - Europe today is a culture in which God appears to be "silent and unmissed in the lives of many" the Irish bishops warn in a new pastoral letter issued March 29.

The 12-page document, "Repent and Believe the Good News," deals with the importance of repentance for the Irish Catholic Church.

In their discussion of the European context in which the Irish church is forging its path, the bishops said that today there are "many spheres of life in which even believers rarely recognize the relevance of the Gospel."

Published in Features

There's no such thing as democracy or pluralism without religious voices as far as Cardinal Thomas Collins is concerned.

"The voice of faith is not going to retreat into the world of private devotion," Collins told members of The Canadian Club of Toronto in a March 28 address. "So we need to be able to listen to each other attentively and to engage humbly and courteously in the democratic conversation, with mutual respect, for the benefit of all."

Under the title "Faith and Secularism in the Public Square," Collins tackled the problem of how Christians and all people of faith can participate in democratic, pluralistic societies that claim to be secular.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Canada is not a secular state. It is ruled by "econo-theism," Green Party leader Elizabeth May told a March 25 interfaith conference in Toronto.

“We worship the economy,” May told delegates to the Green Choices for Faith Communities conference at the Noor Cultural Centre.

The conference organized by Greening Sacred Spaces and the Green Awakening Network included presentations on political activism for churches, spirituality, solar power for Churches and modern lighting systems to cut energy use.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

MANCHESTER, England - A "deeply intolerant" militant secularism is taking hold of Western societies, said a senior British government minister heading a delegation to the Vatican.

Such secularism "demonstrates psimilar traits to totalitarian regimes -- denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities," said Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim. She said Europe must counter the threat by becoming "more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity."

Published in International
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