Condemned for the holy truth

When Pope Paul VI was beatified last October, his feast day was set for Sept. 26, the date of his birth in 1897, rather than the customary date of death, Aug. 6, 1978. Blessed Paul VI died on the feast of the Transfiguration, so another day for his feast had to be found, otherwise it would never be celebrated.

Pope rattles some American chains

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.

There is no shame of the faith that is in you

Before I started theology school, I thought I would be trained in apologetics, which I saw as the art of arguing one’s own beliefs so well that others are converted to them. However, when classes began I was told, “We don’t do apologetics; we do theology.”

Andrey Sheptytsky and the lions of Lviv

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for 44 tumultuous years, has been decreed by the Vatican to be worthy of sainthood, needing only an approved miracle for him to be beatified.

Jokes so clean they can be told in church

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

A blasphemous gift

KRAKOW, POLAND - Was the “crucifix” given to Pope Francis by Bolivian President Evo Morales — a corpus hanging on the hammer-and-sickle — blasphemous?

Faith lives on

Over breakfast recently in Parliament’s Centre Block cafeteria, a good friend and I drifted into a conversation about the evolutionary significance of death.

The health benefits of forgiveness

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.

The uniqueness of the marriage bond

“Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings,” wrote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to co-operate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.”

Politics, pastor and presidents

When the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., took place, I was in the United States. I heard the news from another priest who, clearly devastated by the bloodshed in the house of God, added quickly thereafter a comment about the debate over gun control. I was struck at how even such a great wickedness was seen so quickly through the prism of politics. And indeed, in the days after the massacre, the talk shifted to political debates over gun laws and the confederate flag. The pastor of Mother Emmanuel, Clementa Pickney, murdered in his own church while leading a Bible study, was also a member of the South Carolina state senate, a pastor holding political office.

Man must serve God through His creation

The Book of Job, one of the great masterpieces of not only biblical literature, but all literature, is rarely read at Sunday Mass. Yet it was there last Sunday, a brief excerpt from the devastating speech of the Lord God to Job, who has dared to question Him: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the universe?