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.

A recent decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal that placed the state’s interest ahead of parental rights should be on the radar of everyone interested in preserving Catholic education.

The case involved Catholic parents from Drummondville who sought a court order to exempt their two sons from attending a classroom program called Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC). ERC was launched in 2008 and is compulsory in Quebec from Grades 1 to 11 in both private and public schools, including Catholic schools. The program was created to help foster harmony between cultures and religions and, to that end ERC examines multiple world religions, moral codes and belief systems and treats each with equal weight and merit.

{mosimage}Thousands of words have been written and spoken in recent days about Pope Benedict XVI and the latest child-abuse scandal sweeping Europe. Much of it originates from a secular media that, in the Internet age, too often seems driven by a nudge-nudge, wink-wink modus operandi. The challenge, then, is to separate fact from fiction.

To his credit, the Pope has never tried to hide from the modern tragedy of the church: the sexual abuse of children at the hands of priests. On the contrary, prior to recent events he has earned praise even from church critics for his up-front handling of an ever-widening tragedy that continues to plague Europe and North America.

PHOENIX, Arizona - Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus , has called on those who “say they want to reduce the number of abortions” to join with pro-life groups to implement a strategy that has proven results in reducing abortion by up to 90 per cent.

PHOENIX, Arizona - Led by donations from Canadian councils, the Knights of Columbus bucked the recession this past year to break its own record for fund raising by donating more than $150 million to worldwide charities.

TORONTO-The relationship between science and religion has never been easy but in an era of momentous scientific discovery Fr. Rob Allore believes honest conversation between the two groups has never been more essential.

August 31, 2011

Defender of faith

His Eminence Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic never craved a public spotlight in life and would not have sought the widespread outpouring of affection accompanying his death. But it is entirely appropriate for the Catholic community to stop and prayerfully commemorate a life of unwavering faith and service that touched so many lives.

To those who didn’t really understand him — and, sadly, it seems there were many — Cardinal Ambrozic was the gruff, old-fashioned, uncompromising archbishop who led the archdiocese of Toronto for 16 years.  But to those he called friend or colleague, to the many poor and disadvantaged he quietly helped, to the thousands of new Canadians he welcomed with open arms, and to the champions of such causes as vocations, education, life and family, he was a wise, supportive and unfailingly kind pastor.

As head of Canada’s largest archdiocese, much of Cardinal Ambrozic’s ministry was conducted in public view. That was unavoidable. But despite the demands of his busy office, Cardinal Ambrozic quietly spent countless hours in parishes and schools, supported several lay movements and social-justice causes, and privately ministered to those on the fringes of society.  

August 24, 2011

Benedict’s WYD

They endured egg-frying heat, followed by lightning, howling wind and pounding rain. They slept on hard ground. Food and water was scarce. Washroom lineups were 90 minutes long. More than 2,500 of them were treated for heat-stroke and dehydration. And yet they stayed.

The overnight vigil and next-day Mass that closed World Youth Day in Madrid overflowed with 1.5 million pilgrims. Another 250,000 young people, including many of the 5,000 Canadians in Spain, were denied access for safety reasons to the crammed, dusty airstrip that served as the final meeting place of WYD. The staggering numbers exceeded all predictions.

By comparison, the crowd that attended and tried to attend the papal Mass was the size of last year’s entire 81-game attendance of the Toronto Blue Jays. The pilgrims came largely from Europe, but also in great numbers from North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Almost all the nations on Earth were represented, drawn together in a celebration of fellowship and faith.

Attendees described the huge, peaceful crowds as “breathtaking.” They gathered in an area the size of 48 football fields. Pilgrims exclaimed there was nothing but joyous young people hoisting flags and banners for as far as the eye could see.

The world’s 193rd nation entered the world on July 9 as predominantly Christian, optimistically democratic, oppressively poor and facing a tenuous future.

The Republic of South Sudan became a sovereign state with the inauguration of a new constitution and the swearing in of its first president, Gen. Salva Kiir, a Catholic. Kiir had fought for independence since Sudan’s Islamic government imposed Sharia Law in 1983 on the predominantly Christian south. That edict sparked a 22-year civil war, Sudan’s second since 1956, that resulted in some 1.5 million deaths. It saw the Muslim north accused of murder and torture of men, women and children on orders from Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

Sadly, atrocities are not new to the former colonies of Africa. Much less common is the type of conciliatory response Kiir is advocating now that the guns are silent.

July 27, 2011

Aid for East Africa

During the summer months, when The Catholic Register reduces its publishing schedule to twice monthly, it can be a challenge to stay atop the news cycle because world events move so fast. Sadly, however, that is not a concern regarding the tragedy unfolding in East Africa.

There is no end in sight to the famine that has already claimed tens of thousand of lives in Somalia and threatens to spill over into Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. The United Nations estimates that 11 million people are threatened by the deadliest situation in the region since the Ethiopia famine of 1984-85 killed one million people.

But particularly distressing about the current crisis is that it could have been lessened, if not altogether averted, had nations heeded several unequivocal early warnings. Famine does not happen overnight.  Experts have developed scientific models to forecast these types of natural crisis.   When drought was added to food shortages, rising costs and armed conflict already present in Somalia, the UN sent out an international SOS late last year. But even as the crisis alarms rang louder in recent months the international community stayed largely indifferent.  

Finally, some straight talk from the Church about same-sex attraction.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops should be commended for releasing an overdue but welcomed pastoral letter on same-sex attraction. The letter from the bishops’ Commission of Doctrine clearly enunciates Church teachings on this contentious topic while offering frank advice to priests, parents and educators on how to support young people who may be troubled by society’s mixed messages on this difficult issue.