Glen Argan

Glen Argan

Glen Argan, former editor of Western Catholic Reporter, writes from Edmonton. See www.glenargan.com.

Authors of dystopian novels are bound to get a lot wrong. After all, they are looking into what they believe will be a dark future which is inherently unpredictable. The year 1984, for example, turned out to be nothing like George Orwell’s famous novel of the same name.

Since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, Quebec governments have been bent on driving religion out of their culture. Ironically, this campaign has co-existed with the broader campaign to preserve Quebec’s uniqueness in an English-speaking North America. 

In our liturgy, Catholics confess that we have “greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” Sin takes more than one form, and often what we fail to do makes as much space for evil to grow as do our overtly sinful actions.

The overwhelming election victory of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has heightened fears among members of the nation’s minority religions, including Christians. Yet Christians in the Western world might well learn some lessons, both positive and negative, from Modi’s politics of Hindu nationalism.

Fourteen years. That’s how long Jean Vanier said his life was in “a holding pattern.” 

For fans of the Edmonton Oilers, like myself, the Stanley Cup playoffs are a time of mourning. Our team has only made it to the playoffs once in the last 13 years. Well, we can cheer for another Canadian team, but this season all three which made the playoffs — Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs — lost their first-round series.

Belief in the bodily resurrection from the dead of the crucified Christ is the core of Christian faith. St. Paul stated the point succinctly: “If Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

Indeed, the importance of the Resurrection goes further than that. The empty tomb reveals that the Resurrection is not a testimony to the immortality of the soul or to a “spiritual” rising in which Christ’s spirit lives in His followers while His body decays in the ground. As well, the rational grounds for belief in the Resurrection are evidence that faith is not blind or irrational.

The mirage that mass shootings — such as the massacre of 50 Muslims at prayer in Christchurch, New Zealand — are isolated incidents long ago vaporized. While mass killings are performed by deranged individuals whose behaviour falls well outside social norms, they are societal phenomena with societal roots.

Former federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has become a Canadian hero for her courage in resisting political pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in a court case against the Montreal-based contractor SNC-Lavalin.

Ten years ago, on Jan. 25, 2009, Bishop Luc Bouchard, then bishop of St. Paul, Alta., issued one of the most courageous and most ignored pastoral letters in Canadian Church history. “The Integrity of Creation and the Athabasca Oil Sands” did create a brief firestorm before dropping out of the public eye. On the 10th anniversary, nary a mention was made of the letter.

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