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.

We need to pray unceasingly throughout life

{mosimage}This year's theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 20-26) uses Paul's words “Pray without ceasing” from his letter to the Thessalonians (5:13b-18). This is sage advice, not only in the cause of Christian unity, but for life in general.

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).

Community for all in housing developments

{mosimage}For many people in the earthly city, the first of January marked the end of the gift-giving season. The exchange of holiday presents was over, and the last chance to make a charitable donation for 2007 had passed.

It will cost us

{mosimage}The report released Jan. 8 by the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy is no more or less gloomy than the many other reports being issued these days by organizations given the task of assessing how real the crisis over greenhouse gases actually is and what should be done about it. Unfortunately, few political parties in Canada, with the possible exception of the tiny Green Party, appear ready to really grasp the nettle.

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.”