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.

It never fails to amaze me how much the secular media loves to take shots at the Church. Pope Francis offering indulgences — or opportunity for forgiveness of sins — to those following him on Twitter during World Youth Day festivities in Rio de Janeiro is the latest hit and gigglefest for the media.

As we celebrate Canada Day, it’s not too difficult to get down on our country right now.

As we mark Pope Francis’ first 100 days in office, it would be impossible to argue that they have been anything other than successful. Some might say wildly successful.

Media reports this past week about the anti-blasphemy law in Pakistan got me angry, then it got me thinking.

Political scandals, whether on Parliament Hill, city hall or elsewhere, are like car accidents: you don’t like to see them happen but it’s difficult to look away.

Earlier this year the topic of gun control was brought up in this space, citing how that issue underlines perhaps the biggest cultural difference between Canadians and our neighbours to the south.

About 35 years ago, I walked into religion class at Neil McNeil High School in east end Toronto and the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy for the Devil” was blaring from an old record player. My first thought was some cheeky classmate put it on, but the teacher was sitting at his desk, head bopping to the music, drumming a ruler.

When the song ended, the teacher began a discussion with questions like: Is there really a devil? If there is, what possible scenarios could lead to sympathy for him? Why does God even allow the existence of a devil?

Digital Columnists

The article you have requested is only available to subscribers of the Catholic Register.


There are two ways to read this article.

1. Subscribe to our digital edition and read the complete newspaper, plus additional features, on your PC, laptop or tablet.  Subscription rates start at just $3.99.

2. Subscribe to our weekly newspaper and have the print edition delivered right to you door each week.

After last week’s Masters golf tournament, perhaps Tiger Woods’ sponsor should change its marketing campaign to: “Don’t mess with the golf gods.”

The world’s Number 1 ranked golfer again found himself in the middle of a media storm when in the second round of the Masters he took an illegal drop after his ball careened off the flagstick and into the water.

When Woods later admitted to the mistake, the rules committee assessed him a two-stroke penalty and used a new rule to allow him to remain in the tournament instead of facing disqualification, which was the automatic penalty up until two years ago. Some thought he should have been disqualified, others thought a two-shot penalty was ample punishment...

Digital Columnists

Digital Columnists

The article you have requested is only available to subscribers of the Catholic Register.


There are two ways to read this article.

1. Subscribe to our digital edition and read the complete newspaper, plus additional features, on your PC, laptop or tablet.  Subscription rates start at just $3.99.

2. Subscribe to our weekly newspaper and have the print edition delivered right to you door each week.

When I was 12 years old, a Grade 8 classmate at Holy Cross Catholic School in East York was working at Maple Leaf Gardens selling ice cream and popcorn.

Like most everyone, I’ve been fascinated and delighted with the election of Pope Francis. His simple, gracious acts during his first days on the job bode well for the Church.