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.

Canada is now a lesser nation

The Supreme Court of Canada’s historic decision on assisted dying immediately took me back 15 years to the longest week of my life.

A community withers

The great Catholic journalist Malcolm Muggeridge said there is nothing more pathetic than a ruling class on the run. Well, maybe there is. Maybe it is  a community that lets its institutions die from the inside out.

Oscar Romero, a martyr’s life that is worth rejoicing

Next month, on March 24, the Church in San Salvador will mark the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Soon the whole Church will celebrate the beatification of Archbishop Romero, for on Feb. 3 Pope Francis approved the decree for his martyrdom. (Martyrs do not require a miracle for beatification, but do require one miracle after beatification for canonization.)

In Fr. McBrien’s passing, the Church’s liberal standard bearer moves on

The ranks of the priest-columnists are not few, but we are one fewer with the death of Fr. Richard McBrien on Jan. 26. He had both great longevity — more than four decades of syndicated weekly columns, with his home at the National Catholic Reporter — and great influence. In the 1980s, he was the go-to source for Catholic stories. The chairman of the theology department at the University of Notre Dame, he appeared constantly in the leading American newspapers and on television, an influence that extended into Canada.

Each family has its differences

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared it will rule in the coming weeks whether same-sex marriage will be extended nationwide, the esteemed New York Times and others called the issue “one of the great civil rights questions of the age.”

St. Joseph Vaz, the great missionary saint

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - Passing through Rome on the way to the Jan. 14 canonization of Fr. Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Sri Lanka, I heard something extraordinary from Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints.