Catholic Register Editorial

Catholic Register Editorial

The Catholic Register's editorial is published in the print and digital editions every week. Read the current and past editorials below.

February 7, 2012

Scientifically speaking

The planet is a better place because humans are a curious species. Occasionally, a scientific discovery comes by happen-chance but typically it flows from a curious mind asking the right question.

Thus we are living longer and more comfortably than ever. Progress has been mankind’s hallmark since before the invention of the wheel. Life is full of wonder. One discovery leads to another. The Wright brothers wondered if man could fly and barely a lifetime later Neil Armstrong was standing on the moon.

January 31, 2012

No to all bullying

Catholic educators have responded to the controversial anti-bullying initiatives of the Ontario government by politely but firmly indicating they won’t be bullied. Bravo!

The response came from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association in a comprehensive document titled “Respecting Difference” that articulates the Catholic perspective on an issue that has become unnecessarily controversial. With input from trustees, bishops, educators and parents, the document exhibits compassion, clarity and resolve as it addresses bullying uniformly, rather than elevating one type of bullying above others.

It should be required reading for all educators.

January 24, 2012

Troubled airwaves

So, people constantly ask in exasperation, “What’s the world coming to?”

In the U.K., what it’s coming to are television and radio advertisements to promote private, for-profit abortion services. This regrettable development is the result of a regulatory change that, critics say, means abortion will be advertised into family homes as casually as toothpaste and breakfast cereal after new rules kick in April 30.

Decades of failed policies and broken treaties have created an appalling level of social and economic misery that affect every layer of aboriginal life. So the first thing needed to fix the problem is a decision about where to start.

To that end, First Nations leaders will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and key government members on Jan. 24 in an Ottawa summit to address what Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg ranks as the most important issue facing Canadian society today —  forging a new relationship between the First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and the rest of Canada.

The title of “Cardinal” derives from the Latin word cardo, meaning hinge. When cardinals became integral to the Church many centuries ago, they were likened to hinges that let the gates of the Vatican swing open to the outside world. Cardinals were the hardware that, in a tangible way, connected the people to the Pope and the Pope to the people.

That function — advising the Pope and being his eyes and ears among Catholics worldwide — remains vital today and is why Archbishop Thomas Collins was such an astute selection for the College of Cardinals. As an archbishop in Toronto the past five years and in Edmonton seven years before that, Collins has been a sturdy hinge for the Canadian Church.

January 3, 2012

Religion a core value

The Christmas morning bomb attacks on Nigerian churches that killed dozens of worshippers underscores why the Stephen Harper government cannot act soon enough to establish an Office of Religious Freedom.

Its creation was promised during last spring’s federal election and, under Foreign Minister John Baird, consultations began in October to set parameters for the new department. The Minister has promised details in coming weeks but, as yet, has not announced an opening date for the new office. Horrors like the carnage in Nigeria should spur him to keep this initiative on a government front burner.

The Catholic News Service, which provides The Register with Vatican reports and international news, has named Pope Benedict XVI the top newsmaker of 2011.  There is no disputing that  Benedict dominated Catholic headlines as he passed his fifth anniversary as pontiff with another year of tireless service and faithful ministry. But in terms of a Catholic person of the year we respectfully nominate the Pakistan martyr Shahbaz Bhatti.

Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister of minorities, was ambushed on his doorstep on March 2 because he lived openly as a Catholic in a hostile anti-Christian environment. He died because following in Christ’s footsteps compelled him to denounce his country’s detestable blasphemy laws and defend a Christian woman condemned to death on trumped-up blasphemy charges.

December 13, 2011

Christmas wishes

Our consumer society is afflicted by a “commercial contamination” that spikes in December. As Christmas approaches, we stay busy decorating, partying, drafting our wish list or buying and wrapping gifts for others.

In this mad rush we too often become guilty of neglecting the authentic peace, joy and spirit of Christmas. This is a season to celebrate Christ’s coming with prayer and reflection and also a time to look beyond our own family and friends to reach out in joy, charity and prayer to the forlorn and forgotten.

December 7, 2011

Show genuine care

Before Canada’s federal and First Nations leaders hold a summit in late January to address the shameful state of native reserves, they should read Megan Blair’s plea for help in this issue of The Register.

They should feel the pain, share the despair and experience the sorrow she witnesses daily. A registered nurse in Moose Factory, Ont., Blair’s patients include the sick and dying from Attawapiskat, the small northern village that is Canada’s new symbol of neglect for its First Nations peoples.

“The poverty is immense,” she writes. “But it is not just a poverty of material things. It is a poverty of spirit. There is so much hopelessness and suffering.”

November 29, 2011

Mind God’s gift

It was hardly news on Nov. 28 when federal Environment Minister Peter Kent dismissed the Kyoto protocol as a “big blunder.” Like the Liberals who signed the climate-change treaty in 1997, the Conservatives have made little effort to honour Canadian promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But Canada is not alone. As 190 nations gathered in Durban for a climate conference, the spirit of Kyoto, if not the treaty itself, was vanishing faster than the icebergs it was supposed to save. Kyoto was doomed by the many countries that cynically signed on and then did nothing and by a handful of big countries, such as the United States and China, that snubbed the treaty all along and gave big polluters like Canada an excuse to renege.