What to do with Anglicans?

{mosimage}The long-standing conversation between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion about unity has been patient and respectful — and painstakingly slow. But recent events on the ground may be overtaking this genteel high-level dialogue of prelates and theologians, and lending fresh urgency to the question: Whither Catholic-Anglican relations?

7th annual Somerville Lecture: Christian voices in the urban jungle

{mosimage}Editor's note: John Bentley Mays, an award-winning journalist, art and architecture critic and author, presented the 7th annual Henry Somerville Lecture on Christianity and Communications on Oct. 18 at the Newman Centre in Toronto and Oct. 19 at St. Jerome's University in Waterloo. His title was “The Creative City: the Future of Christian Urbanism.” Below is the entire text of his speech.

At the present time, the cities of the global West are enjoying a remarkable moment in the sun. In Toronto, the city I know best, architects, urban planners and social theorists who learned their lessons about liveable cities well from Jane Jacobs have come of age and occupy positions in city bureaucracies, the design professions and the universities.

Christians under pressure in Iraq

While U.S. government officials insist that security in Iraq has improved since the so-called “surge” in troop strength began earlier this year, the situation of Iraqi non-combatants remains dire. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or injured in sectarian violence and millions have been forced from their homes. Kidnapping and other acts of criminal banditry occur every day. A recent report by the United Nations states that civilians continue to be targeted by armed groups through abductions, suicide bombings and extra-judicial executions.

Nuclear justification is just plain wrong

The recent decision of North Korea to dismantle its facilities for producing nuclear weapons — if we can believe the leaders of that ruthless totalitarian state — is a faintly hopeful development in the otherwise grim recent history of nuclear proliferation.

Pray for Anglican Church in crisis

It hurts to see the Anglican Communion breaking up over the issues of openly gay clergy and same-sex unions.

Film shows path for Christian art

The 2007 Toronto International Film Festival was a huge, happy party from start to finish. It was a mix of gala screenings, sightings of Brad and Angelina, stylish cocktail parties and non-stop schmoozing and gossiping by people in the movie industry. It was one of those events that makes you feel good about our town, and about our moxie when it comes to hosting big cultural conclaves.

CNN religion series is way off the mark

God’s Warriors, the six-hour CNN special report broadcast over three evenings in late August, was promoted as an even-handed look at the evil that Jewish, Christian and Islamic militants are promoting in the name of God. Hosted by Iranian-born reporter Christiane Amanpour, a CNN heavyweight, the series purported to document the dark taste for violence in all three religions with roots in Holy Scripture, and, by implication, the violence of biblical religion itself.

Greening our sacred spaces

{mosimage}TORONTO - The serenely modern Catholic Church of St. Joan of Arc, on Bloor Street West in the High Park neighbourhood, was one of Toronto’s earliest post-Vatican II ecclesiastical settings designed to accommodate the reformed liturgy initiated by the council.

The timelessness of Ingmar Bergman

{mosimage}When death came for Swedish film and theatre director Ingmar Bergman in late July, it found a lonely old man living on a desolate island, whose most important accomplishments in art lay far in the past. He still had numerous fans, as we were reminded by the outpouring of tributes. But despite the polite homage often paid him by younger directors, he had no followers in Scandinavia or anywhere else.

Poet issues a plea for beauty in the modern city

{mosimage}In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable upsurge of popular interest in cities. Architects, planners and myriad ordinary citizens are talking, as never before, about what makes cities work and what can be done to make them work better. The topics of this optimistic discussion are wide-ranging; they include sustainability and transportation, the problems and opportunities of suburban development and the enhancement of the public realm.

Church architecture out of the ordinary

{mosimage}Though design is an important part of it, Toronto’s 21st century wave of new cultural buildings is about more than just architecture. It’s also about city-building: how best to create an urban complex that is beautiful and liveable, and that serves the millions who live here. Each of the new structures we see going up suggests a different approach to this crucial task.