Pope’s Holy Land visit not your ordinary pilgrimage

The “principle purpose” of the May 24-26 visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land is not a conventional pilgrimage, as conducted by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I.

    Business as usual in Catholic schools

    Jesse Jackson once said, “Text without context is pretext.” His comment applies to the recent discussions around an Ontario Divisional Court decision that clearly is pretext taken out of any contextual understanding.

      Economic reform will be key to Vatican change under Francis

      VATICAN CITY - Canonization week in Rome served as something of an informal annual general meeting. The universal Church was catching up with herself after a momentous year since Conclave 2013, and everyone was talking about our new Holy Father. Over these weeks, I hope to share with readers some of what I heard about Francis’ reforming papacy from those in Rome from around the world.

        No place for state in personal beliefs of nation

        Just before Christmas, 1967, then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau famously said: “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

          Francis, the decider

          VATICAN CITY - Canonization week in Rome was about more than just the new papal saints. With three-quarters of the College of Cardinals in attendance, hundreds of bishops and Catholic scholars and commentators in abundance, it was akin to an informal annual general meeting. The universal Church was catching up with herself after a momentous year since Conclave 2013, the last time the whole gang was together.

            Making real connections

            Victor Boutros was on Parliament Hill unraveling the misapprehended connection between violence and poverty.

              Our acts of mercy show our allegiance to Jesus

              When the disciples questioned Jesus about the end of the world (Matthew c. 4), Jesus described signs and portents, and then related what has since become known as the last judgment. The people of Earth are assembled and the King renders a verdict based on each person’s conduct: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.”

                Coming full circle with St. John Paul II

                VATICAN CITY - Permit, if you will indulge me, a lapse into autobiography. That was, after all, one of the signal achievements of St. John Paul II, that his biography became part of so many autobiographies. The story of his life shaped the story of so many lives.

                  John XXIII, the witty saint

                  Pope John XXIII’s ascension to saint status, along with Pope John Paul II, sent me on a quest to find some of the new St. John XXIII’s wittiest remarks.

                    Easter ‘news’ follows a predictable pattern

                    Earlier this month, the international wire services carried a story involving a fragment of papyrus written in Coptic that suggested Jesus may have referred to “my wife” in speaking to a group of followers.

                    • By Joanne McGarry

                      Divine providence, divine mercy

                      ROME - John Paul will be canonized a saint on Divine Mercy Sunday, just as he was beatified in 2011 on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is not just because he designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday in the great jubilee year 2000, but because of his extraordinarily providential death in 2005.

                      • By Fr. Raymond J. de Souza