Envisioning Canada without poverty

{mosimage}The Catholic Register deserves our praise for printing three moving pages of Michael Swan’s portraits of poverty (“The human faces of poverty among us ,” Aug. 17-24). Swan reflects on the well-known passage, “The poor you will always have with you…” He wonders why we who profess to be followers of Jesus keep the poor out of sight and out of mind.

    Option for the poor

    {mosimage}When the Catholic Church talks about Christianity’s “preferential option for the poor,” the notion has both personal and political implications. During this federal election campaign in Canada, this principle should help guide Catholic voters in making a wise choice on their ballots.

    The Canadian bishops have identified this “option for the poor” as a “Gospel imperative.” In the document, “Election 2004: Responsibility and Discernment,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote that “Jesus had a special love for the weak and vulnerable; He identified Himself with them and proclaimed the Good News to them.”

      Celebrating St. Paul Ecumenically

      {mosimage}Ecumenists were particularly delighted when, in his first address to the College of Cardinals following his election, Benedict XVI clearly put the Roman Catholic Church on notice that he would work without sparing energy to bring about the unity of the Christian church. It proved nothing short of embracing ecumenical continuity, giving testimony to an endeared legacy of his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

      To date evidence of that energy has clearly manifested itself throughout the early years of Benedict’s active pontificate.

        Life issues

        {mosimage}Even before this federal election campaign started, those who believe in the sanctity of human life were bound to be disappointed. There is no political party that officially supports the pro-life position and few political leaders that even want to talk about it.

          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.

              We all lose

              {mosimage}By the time you read this, it is likely that Canada has been plunged once again into a federal election campaign. While Catholics can find arguments to support either of the two main federal parties, they might also agree that neither the Liberals nor Conservatives have covered themselves with glory in recent weeks.

                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.”

                      Do no harm

                      {mosimage}The original Hippocratic Oath, once sworn by all doctors entering their esteemed profession, required that its adherents “do no harm” to their patients. Moreover, it insisted that doctors never participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide or do abortions. How things have changed.