Glen Argan

Glen Argan

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

Count me among the significant majority of Albertans opposed to our government’s proposed Alberta Pension Plan (APP). Despite our serious concerns, the province would like us all to support the plan. So we are headed to a season of “public relations” aimed at convincing us that a patently preposterous proposal is both realistic and in the interests of the people of this province.

Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, The Splendour of Truth, made a major contribution to moving Catholic moral teaching away from a litany of “do nots” to a call for all to become people of self-giving love. Released 30 years ago, it was criticized for cracking down on wayward theological thinking. However, it was in largest part a response to Vatican II’s desire for moral theology to be rooted in the Gospel. What a novel idea!

At least give Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and her government credit for chutzpah. During a summer when Canadian forests were burning at an unprecedented rate and tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, the government imposed a seven-month moratorium on the approval of new projects using renewable energy to produce electricity.

Some World Youth Day pilgrims in Portugal were critical of Pope Francis for failing to condemn Russia’s brutal invasion of their homeland.

The June 16 death of Daniel Ellsberg again brings to the fore the morality of his release of the top-secret Pentagon Papers during the height of the Vietnam War. Did Ellsberg perform a morally good action in releasing documents detailing a long history of American deceit, lies and self-deception about a war which took the lives of up to three million Indochinese and 58,000 Americans? Or should he have upheld his oath to maintain the secrecy of confidential information?

When we were young many wanted to do great things — end global poverty, help usher in an era of lasting peace, develop a cure for cancer.

In the last few years, I have developed an increasing reluctance to use the word “God.” It’s not that I have stopped believing in God or that I no longer like God or that I would rather not discuss God.

In 1979, the Environment Council of Alberta issued two reports on the viability of solar, wind and biomass energy. At the time those sources were not viable, although the ECA said wind energy would soon be feasible. Merv Leitch, the energy minister of the day, brushed off the reports, saying the government would look silly if it developed renewable energy which undermined the markets for its vast petroleum resources. 

Many of us dislike going to meetings. Even more do we dread going to long meetings. For me, an hour and a half is the limit. Any longer and I may start looking for an excuse to sneak out the door.

Christ’s Resurrection is sometimes seen as the moment of his dis-Incarnation. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that all who believe in Him may not perish but have eternal life. The Son of God became flesh so that He would be one with us in our earthly trials and tribulations and redeem us from sin.