Bob Brehl: Will Vatican meeting lead to real change?

Frustrated by the Church’s inability to defuse long-running clergy sex scandals, Pope Francis has summoned the worldwide presidents of Catholic bishops conferences to the Vatican in February to find better ways to protect children and eradicate predatory priests.

Readers Speak Out: September 23, 2018

Make reparations

There is a time for mercy and a time for turning over the tables of money exchangers. The time for mercy is over! Now is the time to turn over those proverbial tables.

Our shepherds must stop asking for forgiveness and engage in profound reparation (for sexual abuse victims) in the hope of meriting forgiveness. Only then can the abandoned and abused sheep begin to trust the shepherds.  

And, no, the money must not come from the donations of the faithful but rather from the personal pockets of each predator and enabler, including the pockets of those who kept the secrets.

Dona Tiberio-Smith,

Maple, Ont.

Editorial: Confront the past

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was long, emotional and painful, but necessary as an act of a nation’s contrition after facilitating decades of abuse at residential schools. 

Luke Stocking: Time to overcome fear

How little it takes. How few people cross our borders before we allow narratives of fear to start taking hold of us. 

Charles Lewis: The papal office deserves a defence

Before I became a Catholic 10 years ago I viewed the papacy as a monarchy, representing great strength and self-assurance. 

Church on the street: Don’t be afraid to ‘put out into the deep’

In a remote fishing village, the people became accustomed to the pounding of the heavy seas which imperiled every boat leaving their harbour, but they never could become accustomed to the deaths. The deaths of fishermen caught in the grip of an uncompromising ocean in the dead of night. 

Glen Argan: Francis is making slow but sure progress

In the current state of distress highlighted by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s claim that Pope Francis has long known about accusations of sexual abuse against former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the story of the previous pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, should be recalled.

God's word on Sunday: The true voice of God will challenge us

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 16 (Year B) Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 116; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35


Fr. Raymond J. De Souza: Church offers fresh devotion through art and the Passion

I am looking forward to my next visit to Holy Family Church on King Street West in Toronto. It was my home for two years in the 1990s when I was a student at St. Philip’s Seminary, which is attached to the parish. 

Readers Speak Out: September 16, 2018

What is clericalism?

My heart goes out to our priests and bishops  — the good ones, which is most of them. To say that the Catholic priests in my life have been beacons of virtue and guidance would be an understatement. 

This is why I get disturbed by the simple use of “clericalism” as  an explanation for the abuse crisis. Perhaps a “policy of maintaining the power of a religious hierarchy” has something to do with this cancer, but I wonder to which “hierarchy” this term refers? 

Is it the majority of good priests and bishops who want nothing more than to serve their parishioners while remaining true to their holy order? Or does “clericalism” refer to those poorly formed bishops and priests who either practice an utter disregard for true Catholic sexual morality in general and celibacy in particular, or cover up for those that do? 

If this second definition is what is referred to by “clericalism,” then I’d have to agree.

Mario Loreto,

Toronto, Ont.

Peter Stockland: The Church will always right herself

Earlier this summer, I came as close as I’ve ever come to proverbially setting my hair on fire over the unfolding catastrophe seeming to cripple the Church. And that was before the infamous j’accuse letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò alleging Pope Francis was well aware of the sexual scandal roiling around former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.