Change our ways for changing days

The pastoral arena or terrain in the Greater Toronto Area is considerably changing every year. The latest numbers from the 2006 Census show quick and dramatic changes in the demographic composition of the metropolis. There were reports that one out of four Torontonians is foreign born. What does this mean? What are the pastoral implications of these data?

The intolerance of the secular

{mosimage}If it wasn’t so serious it might be funny, the way perceptions and conventional wisdoms can be turned on their head. Intolerance is often seen as the hallmark of religion, the critique raised when the secularist wants to curtail or restrict the role religion occupies in modern societies.

Zimbabwe politics reaches Canadian shores

{mosimage}A week ago, I wrote an opinion piece titled “Zimbabwe in 2008: What ought to happen versus what will happen.” I distributed the article to journalist  colleagues in Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States through an e-mail list. I am not aware if the article was used in any publication.

Wrong message sent by response

{mosimage}The vigorous letter of Dr. Andrew Caruk in the Catholic Register of Dec. 30—Jan. 6, about what constitutes courage in upholding Catholic teaching on sexual orientation, got me thinking hard about the difficult ecclesial times in which we live.

These are tough but inviting times for Jesuits

{mosimage}This is a momentous time for the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits are currently holding their 35th General Congregation in Rome, a gathering of 219 electors from around the world who will be considering such matters as promotion of justice, ecology, governance, Jesuit-lay collaboration, interreligious dialogue, etc., as well as electing their new general. As the respected historian and director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, John Padberg, says in his "Preludes to General Congregation 35":

We have freedom of speech, except for Catholics

Any Catholic who has gone to university in Ontario knows that there is a lot of anti-Catholic feeling here. And any Catholic whose family has been in Ontario for more than two generations is not particularly surprised.

Beware children and the Internet

{mosimage}There is finally a growing awareness that, if the Internet is like the Wild West, children are exceedingly vulnerable to being targets of stray bullets. These may take the form of pornography stumbled upon, online bullying by peers, commercial exploitation by manipulative corporate marketers or even — at an extreme — sexual luring by adults.

Through the Holy Spirit unity is achieved

{mosimage}This January we mark 100 years of prayer for Christian unity. Fr. Paul Wattson, co-founder with Lurana Mary White of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, had their attention repeatedly drawn to a particular verse in the Gospel of John: “That all may be one . . . that the world may believe” (17:21).

When children are off to school

{mosimage}I didn’t run the dishwasher today. Surprisingly, Veridian Electric didn’t come to the door to congratulate me for cutting down from three times a day most of last summer. Nobody left the porch light on all night, either.

Two sides of the condom coin

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In what came as a shock to some, U.S. First Lady Laura Bush promoted condom use “every time” in the pages of the Washington Post on Dec. 1. Writing on World AIDS Day, Bush urged: “Practise safe sex,” and advocated the “correct and consistent use of condoms” which, she said, “means not just occasionally, but every time.”

Democracy and natural law

{mosimage}Pope Benedict XVI told members of the International Theological Commission, in an October address, that the natural law must be the foundation of democracy, so that those in power are not given the chance to determine what is good or evil.