Mired in Afghanistan

The recent deaths of eight Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan underline once again the troubling direction of Canada’s largest initiative in the global struggle against terrorism. It is not so much the fact that soldiers are dying in a military conflict that is so worrisome — though this is tragic enough — but the seemingly ad hoc management of this military venture by the Conservative government.

Reflections on the passing of John Billings, a gentle giant

The passing of Dr. John J. Billings on April 1 at 89 years of age will elicit, throughout the world, two kinds of responses. The first will concern his illustrious career as a medical doctor, researcher, founder and teacher of the Billings Ovulation Method. His work in developing and promulgating this method of natural family planning was recognized by Pope Paul VI in 1969 with a papal knighthood and earned an additional star by Pope John Paul II in 2003 for his 50 years of work in this field.

The situation of refugees and displaced persons in Iraq

Editor’s note: The following is a joint statement submitted to the fourth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva by Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers), Dominican Leadership Conference, Pax Christi International, Congregations of St. Joseph and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and five non-governmental organizations in special consultative status.

Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers), Dominican Leadership Conference, Pax Christi International, Congregations of St. Joseph and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas express their deep concern for refugees and internally displaced people of Iraq. An estimated 100,000 Iraqis leave their country each month, including many of Iraq’s best educated professionals. Approximately two million Iraqis have fled since the 2003 invasion and about 1.8 million Iraqis are internally displaced.

The ‘new creation’

As the consensus develops over global warming, the Catholic Church is slowly sifting through its teachings to find wisdom that can help Christians understand their own responsibility for creation.

Some good out of past evil

As Britain remembers the 200th anniversary of the legislation abolishing the slave trade this year, calls for reparation have gone forth from Africans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Easter promises us that we are being renewed in Jesus

With the coming of Easter, the calls for conversion we Christians heard so often during Lent are naturally heard less. The mind of the church turns to other things: the victory of Jesus over death, the coming of His Spirit, the inauguration of the Kingdom of  God as a radical new reality in the life of humankind.

Truly risen

The documentary Lost Tomb of Jesus, for all its trumpery, posed a question that is as relevant this Easter as it was two millennia ago: Did Jesus rise from the dead? Even if the answer is self-evident to Christians, it does no harm to be able to explain it to the rest of the world in which we live.

We need to act to end poverty and social exclusion

What could we accomplish if Canada made a real effort to significantly reduce poverty in our country? Societies can reduce the rate of poverty and the depth of poverty. The key rests in the political commitment to develop an integrated and comprehensive action plan to combat poverty.

A sad ending

One of the Catholic Church’s most valuable and humble services to the people of Saskatchewan is coming to an end. Regrettably, the owners of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the small city of Humboldt have been told their religion is no longer welcome at the governance of of their institution.

Don’t miss the opportunities ‘under your nose’

“Sometimes we overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.”  Unknown

The recent March break was a low-key one for our family — very unstructured for a change.

Ontario needs to tackle poverty

Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from a brief presented to the Ontario Legislature’s standing committee on finance and economic affairs last month by Catholic Charities. The next provincial budget is expected to be revealed March 22.

There is a crisis that continues to grow in our midst. It is one that affects the poor and marginalized and the most vulnerable in our society.