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.

September 30, 2010

Keep our word

maternal healthWith much fanfare a decade ago, international leaders unveiled a noble 15-year blueprint  to reduce world suffering. The ambitious plan, named Millennium Development Goals, heralded significant reduction in poverty and hunger, expansion of primary education and gender equality, investment in child and maternal health and HIV/AIDS, and achievement of environmental sustainability.

It was a bold undertaking launched before 9/11 sent many richer nations to war and before international financiers sent the world into recession. Without those crises, the challenge was daunting. With them, it became Herculean.
September 23, 2010

End the debate

euthanasiaQuebecers have seldom felt obligated to be in step with the rest of Canada, so the road show currently marching across La Belle Province is no surprise.

The Quebec government has been holding public hearings across the province on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Ostensibly, this is a fact-finding tour but the name of the committee betrays its true sentiment. It is called the “Dying with Dignity Special Commission,” implying, of course, the odious notion that euthanasia and assisted suicide bring dignity to death.
Bev OdaCanada’s maternal and child health plan raised $5 billion in public and private funding and was endorsed in June by all the G8 members. The program to save the lives of tens of thousands women and children in developing nations was one of few highlights from the summer’s outrageously expensive gathering of world leaders.

Despite pressure from many quarters, the government of Stephen Harper took the commendable position that none of Canada’s $1.1-billion contribution would be channelled into abortion. That position didn’t sit well with all our allies. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thundered that “you can not have maternal health without reproductive health and reproductive health includes contraception and access to legal, safe abortions.” She, and others, were persuasive to the extent that Canada eventually included family planning into the program but drew the line at abortion.
September 8, 2010

Into the lions’ den

Pope and WilliamsPope Benedict XVI will land in Britain on Sept. 16 and when commentators suggest preparations are almost complete what they really mean is the lions are being ushered into the den.

In this case, the lions would be all those individuals, groups, politicians and, of course, the media who are licking their chops at the prospect of getting their claws into Benedict XVI on home soil.

In only the second papal visit to Britain since Henry VIII split with Rome in 1534, and the first since Pope John Paul II drew huge crowds in 1982, Benedict will meet with the Queen, other political and religious dignitaries and be serenaded by Susan Boyle. But the crescendo will be the beatification Mass of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham on the final morning of the four-day tour.
internet gamblingWithin two years anyone in Ontario with access to the Internet and a credit card will be able — and probably encouraged — to gamble in a government-run online betting parlour.

Cash poor and morally hobbled, the provincial government of Dalton McGuinty intends to bring legalized online gambling to Ontario by 2012 despite fears about dire social and spiritual consequences. To put this in language his betting public will appreciate, the premier’s decision is as unwise as drawing to an inside straight.
August 11, 2010

Honour Sr. Roach

Sister Simone RoachThe Church has received little good news of late so we should take a moment to celebrate last month’s announcement that Sr. Simone Roach has been named to the Order of Canada.

Admittedly, this editorial is a few weeks late and might not have come at all but for some second guessing being directed towards Sr. Roach. There is a school of thought that holds that Sr. Roach — and, for that matter, all Catholics — should refuse the Order of Canada because two years ago it was given to abortionist Henry Morgentaler. Not to diminish the shame of that decision, but it seems unfair to tar Sr. Roach with Morgentaler’s brush.
July 28, 2010

The right call

Canada Census 2011The world has come a long way since Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be counted in King Herod’s census. In our technological age, information and statistics shape our everyday living. Our personal information is digitally stored and used by everybody from the taxman, health providers and bankers to government licensing agencies that keep track of everyone from drivers to fishermen to hot-dog vendors.

There seems to be almost universal agreement that gathering detailed data is essential to a smooth-running society. But how far should governments go to collect a citizen’s personal information? That is the crux of a debate sparked by a federal announcement that Canadians will no longer face fines and possible jail time for refusing to complete the long-form version of the Statistics Canada census.
July 14, 2010

Crusading cardinal

Cardinal Jaime OrtegaEvery Sunday morning for seven years the Ladies in White attended Mass at Havana’s Santa Rita Church then marched in peaceful protest for husbands, fathers and sons locked up as political prisoners in Cuban jails.

For the most part, the marches were silent and easily ignored by the Castro government. Then last March, to mark the seventh anniversary of  the “Black Spring,” when 75 dissidents were arrested, hastily tried and harshly sentenced, the Ladies in White became bolder, marching into off-limit Havana neighbourhoods. The government dispatched agents to disrupt the marches and harass the women. That brought Cuba’s crusading 73-year-old cardinal into the fray. Cardinal Jaime Ortega celebrated Mass with the women at Santa Rita and then took up their cause with the government of President Raul Castro.
June 30, 2010

Progress made

Maternal HealthIf you look past the crazy billion-dollar price tag, the trampling of civil liberties and the street thuggery that marked the G8 and G20 meetings, it’s possible to see light in the summit tunnel.

Of course, ignoring the excesses is a challenge. To have almost a billion dollars spent on security and still see gangs of petty criminals terrorizing shopkeepers, torching police cars, smashing windows and drowning out legitimate peaceful protests is beyond scandalous. And to have police, in addition to arresting real criminals, round up hundreds of citizens solely because they lacked the common sense to stay indoors is appalling.
TRCC logoCanadians often express pride in building a nation that respects and celebrates cultural diversity. But as true as that might be today, our national back-patting takes a short view of history. For most of Canada’s existence, Ottawa directed a cruel policy at aboriginal peoples that is rightly likened to cultural genocide.

Canadians are being asked to confront that dark era at a series of public events organized by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools. The first of seven meetings, held recently in Winnipeg, saw dozens of survivors and their families courageously step to a microphone and have their personal stories preserved as a paragraph in Canadian history.