Christian disciples united by legacy of John Paul II

I had the pleasure this past week of hosting George Weigel, one of the Church’s leading public intellectuals, in Toronto and Kingston. I had long wanted to host Weigel, a mentor and friend and colleague for more than 20 years, and thought that 2015, the 10th anniversary of the death of St. John Paul II, would be the perfect year to do it.

    Picking the wrong battle

    A country that deems it progressive to kill your grandmother but conservative for the state to dictate your choice of hat might be going, in a technical sense, nuts.

      Gender equality report hits centre court

      Basketball superstar LeBron James and the National Basketball Association have joined best-selling author Sheryl Sandberg in promoting gender equality, the timing coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8.

        Death to the death penalty

        I have been staunchly against the death penalty since I started visiting the now-defunct Kingston Penitentiary as an undergraduate, meeting weekly with a group of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment.

          Forgotten faithful

          A friend who attended a commemoration Mass at a church in Montreal’s Villeray neighbourhood at the end of February e-mailed me this compelling observation shortly afterward.

            War on houses of worship

            As I wrote last week from Jerusalem, just months after the massacre at a synagogue in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood, I felt a duty to make a visit, to pray for the dead and to offer, in a small way, solidarity with those who suffered the desecration of their house of worship.

              Where is it safe to be Jewish?

              JERUSALEM - Where is it safe for Jews to live?

                Tuning out thanks to technology

                The paradox of technology has always intrigued me: it offers great benefits, but not without costs. This interest in the paradox goes back to high school when at Neil McNeil in Scarborough we studied science fiction books like 1984, Brave New World, The Last Western, Future Shock and others that predicted and exposed sinister sides of technology.

                  Death wins out

                  In 35 years of journalism, I’ve had two significant encounters with jailhouse views of life and death. Memories of both came back sharply standing in Canada’s Supreme Court earlier this month when nine justices declared doctor-assisted killing legal.

                    Benedict Daswa African martyr

                    One of the dynamics of last year’s Synod on the Family was the contrast between the German-speaking bishops, who have been preoccupied with finding a way for those in invalid marriages to receive Holy Communion since Joseph Ratzinger and Walter Kasper were young theologians, and the African bishops. The latter, not to put too fine a point on it, objected that it was not possible for the Church to teach that simultaneous polygamy was immoral for poor black Catholics in Africa while serial polygamy was okay for rich, white Catholics in Europe.

                      Snow as sin: more toil than play

                      “Benedicite glacies et nives Domino; laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula!”

                      During the ice storm of 1998, a friend of my uncle took a photograph of an outdoor crucifix in Montreal, thinly covered in ice and surrounded by trees encased as if in shimmering glass.