Lord, to whom should we go?

{mosimage}Was the recent Anaheim decision of the 76th General Convention of the U.S. Episcopal Church just one more aftershock in the life of the Anglican Communion, or was it a new and quite serious quake whose thunderous presence and effects were felt all the way to Canterbury, England? We are speaking about the decisions of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s General Convention to bless same-sex unions and to permit the appointment, to all orders of ministry, persons in active same-sex relationships.

The latter decision is of earthquake proportions and sends deep and permanent fissures throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion. This decision, overwhelmingly approved (99-44 with two abstentions), opens wide the doors for the consecration of bishops in active gay relationships and gives final confirmation to the first such bishop, Gene V. Robinson, ordained bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

In praise of the Knights of Columbus

{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.”

Ontario Knights top charitable fundraisers

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.

Recognizing God in nature

{mosimage}For many of us summer is our peak time of interaction with nature. We spend more time than ever outdoors, enjoying activities such as gardening, visiting local parks, going to the beach, attending sporting events, picnicking, hiking, cycling, attending outdoor concerts and festivals, stargazing and vacationing in the woods or by the water. We also enjoy the many fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables available locally, some perhaps from our own garden.

Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when our consumption of — and damage to — Earth’s resources tends to be highest, due to often excessive lawn and garden watering and car washing, increased car travel (day tripping or driving back and forth to the cottage) and use of pesticides, gas-powered lawn mowers, air conditioners and motorboats, among other things.

Episcopal Church troubles pain me

{mosimage}One of the most painful events of my summer so far has been watching the Episcopal Church in the United States stab itself in the heart.

This church was my spiritual home before I came to Canada in 1969. It was a good one to be in during my young years: biblical, yet theologically imaginative, rooted in Christian traditions far older than the English Reformation, blessed with splendid liturgy and a rich heritage of devotion. If I am not an Anglican today, it’s because I ceased to find that rootedness in Scripture and tradition in American or Canadian Anglicanism, and found it in the Catholic Church.

Dialogue between adversaries is essential

{mosimage}“A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. A Proverb for our times.

The recent murder of the U.S. abortionist George Tiller, purportedly as an act of justifiable homicide to protect the unborn, was a horrendous event marked by contradictions and paradoxes that reverberate still. Everyone should meditate on the link, if any, between words, deeds, anger, despair, violence and hatred.

Let's talk real dignity

{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.

Supreme Knight optimistic pro-life voice is being heard

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.

Media pundits should read it to find the truth

Not surprisingly there are many — mostly in the business community — who have serious reservations about Pope Benedict’s new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).  Neil Reynolds of The Globe and Mail and Terence Corcoran of The Financial Post delight in savaging Benedict’s sustained reflection on “integral human development in charity and truth.”  As “experts” in finance they pull no punches as they lambast the Pope for his insufficient regard for the sweet joys of capitalism, his failure to appreciate the fruits of the free market and globalization and his unhappy reliance on the spurious economic wisdom of his illustrious predecessor, Pope Paul VI.

Unlike Reynolds — who appears to have read but a few papal snippets — Corcoran has paid the Pope the compliment of actually reading the text, at least to the extent that he has counted the number of footnotes. There is one particular passage in Corcoran’s minimalist and polemical exegesis that stands out as a real howler: “as with all encyclicals. . . the attacks are incoherent, inconsistent, unsupported and mostly catalogues of conventional leftist theories.”  John Paul II must be rolling in his grave.

Fix Canada's refugee system

{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.

Give men a fair hearing

{mosimage}To mark this past Fathers’ Day, The National Post carried an interesting feature about negative images of men in general, and fathers in particular, in consumer advertising.

Most of the complaints centred on portrayals of clumsiness and laziness with household tasks. Some men have found the portrayals offensive enough to file complaints with the Advertising Standards Council, and a few have been upheld.