Glen Argan

Glen Argan

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

Pope Francis’ decision to tighten restrictions on the use of the Tridentine liturgy has been the most significant global Catholic news story of the summer.

My most recent conversation with an avid COVID-denier came during one of my frequent walks in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley. According to my interlocutor, the COVID pandemic is a hoax and a mysterious “they” are hiding data which would show that tens of thousands of people have died from anti-COVID vaccines.

Some may take Michael Crummey’s brilliant 2019 novel The Innocents as a piece of nostalgia for a lost way of life in Newfoundland’s outports. But The Innocents offers insights much greater than the nostalgic pacifier Make Newfoundland Great Again. It depicts an unrelenting struggle for survival by two children left orphaned when their parents and baby sister die within a matter of months.

Although the last Indian residential school in Canada closed 25 years ago, new revelations will continue coming to light for many years. The existence of the schools is a national scandal which cannot be wiped from our memories.

Residents of my Edmonton neighbourhood are setting up front yard signs of solidarity to honour the 215 former students at the Kamloops Residential School whose remains were found outside the school. As well, demonstrations were held in some centres regarding the detection of these unmarked graves. This discovery has moved people in a way that earlier revelations about the schools did not.

Marian devotion and the Church’s preferential option for the poor come together in the feast of the Visitation, celebrated May 31. The feast marks the beginning of Mary’s three-month visit to her cousin Elizabeth.

Despite plenty of reasons to believe otherwise, Christianity remains the greatest force in the global push for human equality, human rights and the dignity of the human person.

When we talk about a sustainable society, the mind almost automatically shifts to the natural environment. Climate change, pollution, wilderness protection and restrained use of natural resources become the topics at the top of the agenda.

In recent weeks, I have encountered a few Catholics who believe the current pandemic is not real, that it has been created by an anonymous “they” who want to restrict the civil liberties of ordinary people.

On Easter Sunday, I will receive my first COVID vaccine. When I heard the date, it felt like an intrusion on the day of celebrating the resurrection of Our Lord. Upon reflecting about it for a while, I decided that receiving the vaccine was a fine way to mark the liturgical feast.