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It's always something

I have a disease. It started in a finger on my left hand and within a couple days moved to a finger on my right hand. I first noticed the unusual pains a few months after my 40th birthday. 

By that summer, I was practically bedridden. A misdiagnosis didn’t help. In fairness to the doctor, he didn’t have much to go on. In fact, even a couple of years later a specialist was still saying maybe you do have arthritis and maybe you don’t. 

Unborn would benefit from Bill C-484

{mosimage}In the past year there have been a number of high-profile cases where pregnant women have been attacked and killed. And in each of those cases the perpetrators were charged with only one murder, that of the mother.

Bill C-484, a private member’s bill, was introduced in Parliament in the fall of 2007. The proposed legislation — An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of an unborn child while committing an offence) — is also known as the Unborn Victims of Crime Act. The bill has now passed second reading and has been sent for study to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where it now sits.

Conscience next victim of liberal agenda

{mosimage}A pro-life doctor friend recently told me that if things get really bad here in terms of religious freedom, he’ll move to the United States. Not so fast: his dream escape is dissipating before his eyes.

Parish youth ministry needs to be a priority

{mosimage}My two daughters spent a week at camp this summer — in the mountains of northeast Georgia. That’s a long way to travel, I know, 990 kilometres to be exact. But it’s an experience they couldn’t get around here, at least not to my knowledge.

The camp, Covecrest, is operated by Life Teen, a non-profit, Eucharist-centred Catholic ministry focused on leading teens into a closer relationship with Christ. Originally a single-parish program in Arizona, Life Teen can now be found in more than a dozen countries.

You’ll always be baby to me

{mosimage}There was a crib set up at my church. It wasn’t someone’s version of a crying room and it wasn’t going to replace the manger. This crib was meant to encourage donations for an organization that assists unwed mothers and their babies. People were encouraged to bring baby clothes, diapers and baby food.

I was excited about shopping for baby items. I had seen an ad for the cutest little sleeper sets and chattered away about my shopping plans to my husband as we drove away after Mass. “Why wouldn’t you just give money?” asked my husband the accountant, “and then you could get a tax receipt.”

Church is also where laity are

In much of the news coverage relating to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States last spring, it was noted that he “bonded” with the American people, even though some had expected to feel negative towards him.

Religion, morality have a place in public debate

The British House of Commons was supposed to once again wrestle this summer with the Human Embryology Bill, a piece of legislation ostensibly designed to bring the legal framework of Britain into line with the realities of genetics research. But Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decided to once again postpone the end state of the debate.

Humanae Vitae: 40 years on

Editor's note: Below are two commentaries on the meaning of Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which was released 40 years ago this summer, on July 25, 1968. The encyclical, which reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching against the use of artificial contraception, has long been considered a watershed document in the history of the post Vatican II Catholic Church.

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Jesuit novelist mines Africa's joy and anguish

A fine novelist can capture in fiction what objective documentary evidence is unable to realize. No matter how detailed, objective and scientific a study of a human calamity like the Holocaust can be — and there are many human-generated catastrophes to choose from in our carnage-loving time — the capacity to evoke true horror as well as the power of the human spirit to survive is only approximated by historical analyses. Art invariably succeeds where analysis fails. And it need not be in words.  Think of the haunting works of the Polish composer Henryk Gorecki.

It's OK to use taxes for social goals

{mosimage}Canadians are evenly divided on Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s plan to use the tax system to reduce Canada’s disproportionate contribution to global warming.

When the Liberal carbon tax and its purpose was described to them by pollsters at Harris/Decima, 47 per cent of Canadians said they support the concept versus 39 per cent who were opposed.

Trials and tribulations of a soccer dad

{mosimage}Prior to our daughters’ soccer tournament in New York state last weekend, my husband tried to interest other parents in carpooling. He volunteered to drive the two-and-a-half hours each way, but forewarned that our minivan’s air conditioning wasn’t working.