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.

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.

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?

Propping up the faith

Some Catholic friends and I recently had a discussion on the constant renewal of faith being necessary for faith to be truly faithful.

A woman offered up an intensely self-critical testimony about her frustration at how much she must struggle to keep her faith a matter of vital assent rather than mere acquiescence.

Ours is a religion of culture

Two recent papal-related events highlighted that Catholicism is meant to be a religion of culture. Every culture, as St. John Paul II taught, answers the fundamental questions of life and different cultures are differentiated by their response to the mystery of God.

End of religion is greatly exaggerated

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.”