Glen Argan

Glen Argan

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

The rich man who came to Jesus looking for the meaning of life had kept all the commandments. Still, an emptiness remained. “What do I still lack?” he asked Jesus (Matthew 19:20).

My plan had been to write this week on the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul’s encyclical The Splendour of Truth, the sainted pope’s most controversial document. However, as often happens, events intervened and I put off writing that reflection. Maybe next time.

It is said that significant numbers of Catholics have left the Church over the clergy sexual abuse crisis and the ensuing coverup. I cannot verify this since I do not know any Catholics who have made that decision. Nor have I read any news articles which quoted people who have left the Church or which provided analysis showing the emigration of disaffected Catholics.

For several months, I have been attending yoga classes. As a tall man who has been crammed into ill-fitting chairs and desks all my life, I find these classes difficult. My body is stiff. I can be frustrated because of my inability to do poses others do so readily.

In the current state of distress highlighted by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s claim that Pope Francis has long known about accusations of sexual abuse against former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the story of the previous pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, should be recalled.

The Roman Catholic Church today has nearly 3,000 dioceses and archdioceses, each with at least one bishop.

Jesus told His apostles who had just returned from a missionary trip, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

Several years ago, a friend who had immigrated from the former Soviet Union told me, “Canada is the greatest place on Earth. It is a paradise.” While I felt flattered on behalf of my country to hear those words, I also wondered what in our country made him so effusive.

Two hundred years ago, a trio of missionaries were sent westward to bring peace and stability to an untamed colony.

Words are rarely enough. Actions speak louder than words. When we want to restore a broken relationship, a simple “I’m sorry” or even a long, detailed apology may not suffice. More is required. 

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