Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl

Robert Brehl is a writer in Port Credit, Ont., and can be reached at bob@abc2.ca or @bbrehl on Twitter.

A long-anticipated trip to Ireland, researching ancestors, a poignant story about children playing with a potato, even the name Barack Obama, all eventually led me to pondering the plight of Syrian refugees and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

Standing recently inside one of the oldest tombs in the world, with about 200,000 tonnes of stone above and around me, strange thoughts manifested in the darkness. The thoughts were not of fear but of perplexity about today’s materialistic, even hedonistic, culture.

At a recent dinner party, talk turned to most memorable Christmas gifts received. There was a first bicycle, some jewelry and a couple “bucket-list” trips mentioned.

Francis caught up in smear job by social ideologues

Some weeks ago, I mentioned an inevitable goodbye that would take place with a dear friend whom I met on the first day of Grade 9 at Neil McNeil High School in Toronto’s east end 40 years ago next week.

The pollster Gallup reports Pope Francis’ popularity in the United States has dropped significantly over the past year, fueled by his writings and teachings surrounding the environment, capitalism, income inequality and other issues.

The other day I was feeling sad. I had just heard the worst possible news about the health of a dear, old friend.

We’ve heard a lot about forgiveness lately, especially the immediate forgiveness from victims’ families to the shooter in the heinous murders in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

A Facebook friend took it upon himself to post on my home page for all my other friends to see an article entitled: “Religion is disappearing. That’s great for politics.”

The immediate repercussions from the Irish referendum where voters overwhelmingly supported same-sex marriage were obvious, but the long-term impact on the Church may come beginning this October.