Glen Argan

Glen Argan

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

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.

When I was in Grade 8 at St. Augustine School in Regina, one of the priests at the neighbouring Little Flower Church frequently asked me to be the altar server at funerals. After a few of these ventures, my teacher told me to stop taking time away from school to serve at these Masses. I considered his command and decided that since this was a Catholic school, being the server at these funerals was the right thing to do. So, I engaged in my first acts of civil disobedience.

A long-time fan of the Edmonton Oilers, I hold in my heart the glory days of the 1980s when my team won five Stanley Cups in seven years. It was an exciting time for both me and the city. Although I lived most of those years in Winnipeg, I remained a dedicated member of the Oilers’ diaspora.

The Chinese government has unjustly imprisoned Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The “Two Michaels” are innocent pawns in a high-stakes game China is playing with Canada to secure the release of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies.

It’s astonishing that, amidst massive protests across the United States against police racism, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki had to sort through various definitions of systemic racism to determine whether it was endemic to Canada’s national police force. At first, she claimed the RCMP was free of systemic racism before doing an about-face and admitting that racism is indeed entrenched in the Mounties.

Creation is a symphony, a symphony which only God hears in its fullness. I hope God is listening. I hope that in creation’s symphony, my out-of-tune voice will be gathered with the voices of more exquisite singers to sing a song of joy and praise to the beauty of God and the beauty of creation.

In Alberta, the province where I live, those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are workers in meat processing plants.