Christian conspiracy or journalistic overkill?

antonyFlew.jpgJournalism is not really about objectivity or neutrality. There are biases in the choice of story, biases in perspective, biases in the way we do stories, especially the language we use.

What he didn't say

{mosimage}Cardinal Marc Ouellet appears to be taking a page from Calgary Bishop Fred Henry’s book when it comes to media coverage. The archbishop of Quebec has found himself on the front pages of daily newspapers well outside his province talking about — wait for it — religion.

We do remember

remembrance2002.jpgOTTAWA - On Nov. 11, I attended Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. More accurately, I tried to attend. As it happened, I did not get close enough to see the prime minister and the Governor General and the other dignitaries, or to see the wreaths being laid.

Seeking miracles in AIDS ministry

AIDS_africa.jpgHealing is tougher than handing out pills. The spectacular results of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment have many thinking such drugs are the solution to the pandemic. They can make a huge difference. Where available, they prolong life, improve its quality and thereby reduce stigma. Making them as available throughout Africa as they are in Canada is an urgent issue of international justice.

Focus on caring

{mosimage} In Canada, all too often, the debate over “health care” focuses on dollars and cents. It is about technical fixes, efficiencies and accountability. All important things, surely. However, rarely is it ever about the second word in that phrase --— care.

Morals and politics

Meeting in Baltimore last month, the U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a new guide intended to inform Catholic political opinion. The circumstances surrounding this document are urgent: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States” is directed at American Catholics trying to live out their faith in the contentious presidential campaigns now under way and who are looking for ways to express themselves responsibly in next year’s presidential and congressional elections.

After Noel’s fury

HurricaneNoel.jpgExperiencing the power and fury of a hurricane is unforgettable. On Oct. 30 the Dominican Republic tasted the wrath of hurricane Noel whose powerful winds and rains swept up from the Caribbean, striking a devastating blow to that country’s central region.

In Merton’s poetry, the ‘Word percolates deep’

Thomas Merton and the Dalai LamaLast October Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, sponsored a conference on the poetry of Thomas Merton called “In The Dark Before Dawn: Thomas Merton, Poet.” I was invited to give the keynote address at the conference and my paper actually embraced more than Merton in that I considered two other parson poets — Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (a regular contributor to the pages of The Catholic Register and currently poet laureate of the City of Toronto) and Roderick J. MacSween, the founder of the Antigonish Review and a professor of English at St. Francis Xavier University who died in 1996.

Tackling poverty in Canada

{mosimage}Remember 1989, when all politicians in the House of Commons voted in favour of “eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000”? Surely the politicians would rather forget, because today — seven years after that deadline — poverty is alive and well among Canadian children.

What to do with Anglicans?

{mosimage}The long-standing conversation between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion about unity has been patient and respectful — and painstakingly slow. But recent events on the ground may be overtaking this genteel high-level dialogue of prelates and theologians, and lending fresh urgency to the question: Whither Catholic-Anglican relations?

A lover of human love

0819873942.jpgWoody Allen once said that 80 per cent of success in life consists in just showing up. While Allen has been described as many things, “theologian” probably isn’t one of them. Still, there are good reasons to think that Pope John Paul II — especially in what has come to be known as his teaching on the “theology of the body” — would say that Allen is right, or at least 80-per-cent right.