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Pundits and politicians agree: Ontario’s newly minted Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown is in a quagmire.

His problem goes something like this: social conservatives got him elected as leader but pro-life, anti-sex-ed voters aren’t nearly enough to bring the new guy victory in a general election. Sooner or later, they say, Brown must abandon his base.

The Lord assures us, we will not be forsaken

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When we lose the great hymns of our past we lose an irrecoverable legacy. Alas as much as we hear “Lord of the Dance” at Mass, such happy-clappy tunes will provide little solace amidst a dark night of the soul.

The will to power won’t solve our difficulties

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C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their colleagues wanted to write fiction that would effectively “evangelize the imagination,” accustoming minds, especially of young people, to the Gospel. Accordingly, Tolkien’s Gandalf is a figure of Jesus the prophet and Lewis’ Aslan is a representation of Christ as both sacrificial victim and victorious king. Happily, the film versions of both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have been wildly popular all over the world.

It will take a nation to end modern slavery

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By Joy Smith, Catholic Register Special

On New Year’s Day, Pope Francis delivered his annual World Day of Peace message that passionately called for an end to modern-day slavery. The title, “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters,” is taken from St. Paul’s letter to Philemon. Pope Francis noted that “slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person which allows him or her to be treated as an object” and highlighted the many forms of modern-day slavery, including “persons forced into prostitution, many of whom are minors.”

A sacrificial gift to make a difference

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Parishioners across the Archdiocese of Toronto have always been generous towards the needs of the greater community. Last fall, I noted that the archdiocese would be undertaking the Family of Faith campaign in parishes, and that it was important to maintain support for ShareLife while we contributed to this effort.

The silent majority needs its voice heard on prayer

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My God, my God, why have we forsaken thee. Society is hell-bent on downplaying the existence of God, ignoring Him, pushing Him to the sidelines, pretending that He just isn’t real.

The latest volley in the deity war was fired broadside by the Supreme Court of Canada. In mid-April, the country’s highest court ruled unanimously that the practice of Saguenay, Que., city councillors of crossing themselves and spending 20 full seconds in Catholic prayer before conducting official municipal business was out of bounds.

Islam stands with us against blood, violence of terrorism

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The words to describe Islamic State atrocities have been all but exhausted. The bloodcurdling images in the news of their attacks stir the deepest resentment and there appears to be no end in sight to their violent activities. All of society feels insecure and vulnerable.  

What exactly did Loyola College win?

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Now that I am under no professional obligation to read court decisions, I generally avoid them. The turgid prose, the unctuous self-regard and the complacent sense of judicial superiority I find unpleasant and soporific.

Sometimes the court gets it right on religious rights

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It’s interesting how often the media picks up on bad news about religion — in particular, news about Catholic schools — and judiciously avoids some of the positive news from around the country.  

The joy of Easter overcomes the anger of winter

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It’s been the winter of our discontent.

After a practically snow-free December and January, the Maritime provinces were relentlessly buffeted by snowfall after snowfall during February and March. 
Two and sometimes three storms in a week left Nova Scotians scratching their heads and cussing their fortunes.


Going hungry to help feed the poor

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What makes it possible is doing it together. Since Ash Wednesday, a colleague and I have been fasting — taking only one meal of soup and bread a day.