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.

{mosimage}There are currently 1,662 people in Ontario on waiting lists for organ transplants. At year’s end, in rough numbers, just 450 will have received a new organ, 1,150 will still be suffering and 62 will have died waiting for a donor.

The numbers are startling but, sadly, are nothing new. There has always been a huge gap between  demand and supply when it comes to human organs.

June 11, 2009

Hail to the Chief

{mosimage}Phil Fontaine is leaving the Assembly of First Nations in July after serving three terms since 1997 as National Chief. He will be missed. His accomplishments are many but perhaps Fontaine aptly summed up his own legacy in one succinct sentence: “We are now in a position to say we forgive.”

Fontaine’s years as National Chief were sewn together by a thread of reconciliation. That single theme — establishing harmony and friendship with the rest of Canada — dominated his tenure. Fontaine understood that a two-way relationship of fraternity and trust would only occur when First Nations peoples received a sincere apology for the many wrongs suffered over the decades. Then would come the difficult part: they’d have to forgive.

Under Fontaine’s leadership, reconciliation was a journey with three roads. First came a multi-billion-dollar compensation settlement between the federal government and First Nations people stemming from the national scandal of the residential schools. That was followed by last June’s apology in the House of Commons from Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of all Canadians. Third came a Vatican audience at which Fontaine received an expression of sorrow from Pope Benedict XVI for the  conduct of some church members.

June 26, 2009

It won't go away

{mosimage}The report is in but the final chapter may not yet be written regarding allegations that have swirled  around Development and Peace since March.

Amid charges that D&P was aligned with five Mexican groups that support abortion, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has concluded an investigation and exonerated D&P, according to CCCB president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

{mosimage}From the Industrial Revolution to the Great Depression to the onset of the Digital Revolution, papal social encyclicals have erected guideposts to steer Catholics through the mazes of hardship that confront society.

Pope Benedict XVI has more than maintained that tradition with Charity in Truth, a sweeping encyclical that reinforces traditional church teachings while issuing bold challenges to world leaders to do a better job and to individuals to lead more charitable lives. (For full text: www.vatican.va/latest/latest_en.htm)

{mosimage}New federal regulations that require travellers from Mexico and the Czech Republic to obtain visas to enter Canada will not fix the nation’s troubled refugee system. Yet this recently announced initiative of the Conservative government has the overwhelming support of voters, recording 69-per-cent approval in an Angus Reid poll.

Some might interpret that as a general rebuke of Canada’s open-door policy of providing safe haven for those forced to flee their homes due to persecution, war and violence, often ethnic or tribal in nature. But we suspect the opposite is the case.

{mosimage}With a contentious debate looming on the parliamentary horizon, Archbishop James Weisgerber is urging his fellow bishops to awaken Canadian Catholics to the dangers in proposed legislation that would legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

 The wakeup call was issued by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter addressed to bishops but with words intended for us all.

{mosimage}The title of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent encyclical, Charity in Truth, was intended for a broad audience, but Carl Anderson believes it speaks directly to the Knights of Columbus.

Addressing the Knight’s annual convention in Phoenix earlier this month, the Supreme Knight called the title of the encyclical confirmation of the Knights’ first principle — charity — and affirmation that “his priorities are our priorities.”

September 4, 2009

Save Arrowsmith

{mosimage}The new supervisor of the dysfunctional Toronto Catholic District School Board will be among the busiest administrators in the province this fall, but we hope Richard Alway finds time to consider the displaced students of the mothballed Arrowsmith program.

Alway was appointed by the Ontario government last month to succeed Norbert Hartmann, who had been appointed a year earlier with a mandate to balance the books of the disgraced TCDSB. Hartmann delivered a balanced budget and then resigned. He leaves behind a board that is in better fiscal health but otherwise remains sickly.

September 11, 2009

The right decision

{mosimage}The Canadian Human Rights Commission does important work in battling discrimination and ensuring work place equality. But it has no place as the nation’s censor and should be stripped of its power to police and prosecute matters pertaining to hate speech.

That is the position of several civic groups, Catholic organizations and media outlets that have asked Parliament to lop some tentacles from the CHRC. The Catholic Women’s League is the most recent group to join the debate, passing a resolution last month that urged Ottawa to diminish the CHRC’s authority.

{mosimage}There are times when it is proper for a minority government to fall and for the country to go to the polls to settle a matter of public urgency.

Absent some pressing issue, however, the electorate has a right to expect politicians in a minority Parliament to set aside partisan differences and work collaboratively to provide good and productive government. A willingness to co-operate should be even more profound during tough times.