Glen Argan

Glen Argan

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

U.S. President Joe Biden is the most publicly religious American president since at least Jimmy Carter. Biden is knowledgeable of Catholic social teaching. He is comfortable talking about his faith, attends Mass weekly and prays his rosary regularly. Yet, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is not comfortable with Biden. The reason? He is an unabashed supporter of abortion rights.

Pope Francis spoke for the common good on Christmas Day when he called for the world’s nations to ensure that those who are poor receive their fair share of the vaccine for the coronavirus.

In a famous fifth-century sermon, St. Leo the Great preached that Christmas is a time for rejoicing. “Sadness should have no place in the birthday of life.”

Although Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was elected in 2019 on a platform of improving the economy, providing new jobs and eliminating the government deficit, his election as both party leader and premier came with the support of Alberta’s pro-life movement. The current pandemic has made it clear that the Kenney government’s overwhelming priority is to keep businesses open even if it means a loss of human life. The government shows no sign of a pro-life commitment.

Rosa Parks, a poor, humble black woman, sparked the civil rights movement when she refused to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white person in Birmingham, Ala., in 1955. Moses, another introvert, was led by God to go to the Egyptian pharaoh and seek his people’s freedom. Lech Walesa, an electrician, organized illegal protests in the Gdansk, Poland, shipyard throughout the 1970s. He was arrested numerous times, fired from several jobs and placed under constant surveillance. His efforts bore fruit in the Solidarity trade union which led to the collapse of Eastern European communism.

It’s been 42 years since I emigrated from Saskatchewan to Alberta, but I still have a place in my heart for the old country. Although I don’t have any stake in what happens there and can’t name the mayor of either Regina or Saskatoon, I did check in to see the Saskatchewan election results on Oct. 26.

Amy Coney Barrett, who will likely soon be confirmed as a justice of the United States Supreme Court, is the nightmare selection that America’s progressive elites hoped was no longer possible. A Catholic mother of seven who subscribes to the judicial philosophy of originalism must, in the progressive view, be someone afraid of change and especially of the future.

Thank you to Winnipeg’s Archbishop Richard Gagnon, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, for daring to state that that a malaise is affecting the Church in this country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes, even the obvious does not become real until it is named, and Archbishop Gagnon has done that in comments published in last week’s Catholic Register.

Next week, Pope Francis will issue a new encyclical which will add to a train of teaching that can be traced back to the Second Vatican Council or, if you can imagine it, to the eighth century BC.

Statues typically honour those who have done great deeds. They are built so we do not forget our past. To forget the past is to lose hope for a better future. Without a memory of the past, our only vision of reality is that of the present. We are stuck in the ideology of today, reduced to a one-dimensional world. Memory opens horizons.