Catholic Register Editorial

Catholic Register Editorial

The Catholic Register's editorial is published in the print and digital editions every week. Read the current and past editorials below.

October 2, 2009

Progressive step

{mosimage}The most recent casualty of the global financial crisis is the economic organization widely blamed for causing the near-collapse of the world economy. The G8 has been retired from its role as caretaker of world finances, giving way to the G20, a younger, more inclusive organization that comprises nations from every region in the world.

This historic transfer of power, which occurred Sept. 25 at a G20 summit in Pittsburgh, marks  a significant — and welcomed — evolution in world relations. The G8, forged during the Cold War as an economic alliance of mostly rich, Western nations, had become an anachronism in a world in which emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America have been playing a greater role in global affairs.

As American President Barack Obama put it in his closing remarks in Pittsburgh: “We can no longer meet the challenges of the 21st century economy with 20th-century approaches.” That meant finding a place at the table for the likes of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and South Korea.
{mosimage}As the great procrastinator Hamlet might have put it: To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question.

With cases of H1N1 influenza (a.k.a. the Swine Flu) on the rise and deaths beginning to mount, millions of Canadians apparently remain unconvinced that immunization is necessary. Polls indicate that up to half the population either distrusts the evidence of an impending health crisis or doubts the safety of the vaccine and will not vaccinate. Health officials are ringing the alarm for a coming pandemic, but skeptics are seeing a hot-air balloon and a boy hiding in the rafters.
October 23, 2009

Understanding, respect

{mosimage}Talk about timing. As the stunning news of Pope Benedict XVI’s bold initiative to bring traditionalist Anglicans into the Catholic Church was starting to spread on Oct. 20, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada was rising to address the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Anglican Archbishop Fred Hiltz had been invited to the annual Bishops’ Plenary in Cornwall, Ont., to reflect on ecumenism. He applauded the progress over the years in inter-faith relations, affirmed his personal commitment to the cause of ecumenism and spoke optimistically of a future in which Anglicans and Catholics would work more closely together because the theology and history of the two churches share much in common.

October 16, 2009

Ease Tamil anxiety

{mosimage}Throughout May their faces of anger and defiance were displayed on nightly newscasts and in daily newspapers. Canadian Tamils took to the streets by the thousands to demand that the federal government intervene in an apparent slaughter of Tamil civilians as the civil war in Sri Lanka came to a violent end.

Five months later, an investigation by The Catholic Register’s Michael Swan has uncovered a “mental health emergency ” among a Tamil community that is now grieving dead loved ones and despairing over family that have disappeared but may still be alive in squalid Sri Lankan refugee camps.

{mosimage}It was bound to happen but it nonetheless came as a shock to hear doctors endorse the position that, when other treatments fail, it may sometimes be acceptable to simply kill the patient.

In effect, that is the position of the Quebec College of Physicians in a policy paper that says euthanasia can be an ethical and viable option for doctors when a patient, facing “imminent and inevitable” death, is suffering extreme pain. As put by one doctor: “We are saying death can be an appropriate type of care in certain circumstances.”

November 6, 2009

Fr. Raby inspires

{mosimage}Truth be told, the decision to publish a book of memorable Register columns by Msgr. Tom Raby was made before Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this as the Year For Priests. But when The Little World of Fr. Raby, 1980-2007 arrived from the printer it was obvious we could not have selected a better project to celebrate the priesthood.

So, yes, there is excitement at The Catholic Register this month. The gentle words of wit and wisdom from Msgr. Raby, beloved Register columnist for almost 60 years, are back among us.

Just about anyone who has read our paper in the last half century will recall “The Little World of Fr. Raby,” the title atop his popular column that graced more than 2,000 issues of the paper. Failing health forced Msgr. Raby, then 88, to retire his column in 2007. But through the efforts of Managing Editor Mickey Conlon, Raby’s prose has been revived in a book that borrows the title of his popular column.

{mosimage}Perhaps the only thing tougher for a New Yorker than fighting city hall is taking on the mighty New York Times. So all Catholics should applaud New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan for publicly criticizing the anti-Catholic bias found not only on the pages of the The Times, but pervasive throughout the media. 

Dolan wasn’t speaking for Canada when he wrote an essay recently that labelled media prejudice against the Catholic Church “a national pastime.” But his comments apply on both sides of the border. Canada’s mainstream media, like its southern cousin, often operates with one set of rules for minority religions and another for the Catholic Church. Maybe it’s time we also got angry.

November 20, 2009

End indifference

{mosimage}In the time it takes to read this sentence, somewhere on the planet a child will die of starvation. That’s one dead child every five seconds, six million children this year, out of one billion undernourished people in the world, according to statistics from the United Nations.

Those are the eye-popping numbers rolled out at the opening of a three-day world food summit in Rome. Organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) , the summit was convened to study how to replace inadequate and inefficient aid programs with well-funded initiatives to make poor nations self-sufficient in food.

December 10, 2009

Court gets it right

{mosimage}Christians living in several Middle East, African and Asian nations are routinely persecuted and often killed. It is a serious issue that is generally overlooked amid the many international and domestic matters that occupy our media and political leaders.

So it was as welcomed as it was rare to see a Federal Court judge overrule an immigration department official and grant a temporary order last week allowing a Catholic convert from Guinea to remain in Canada. Lamine Yansané is seeking permanent refugee status claiming that his father, a fundamentalist imam, had ordered his death — declared a fatwa against him — if he is returned to Guinea.

December 4, 2009

Do right by nature

{mosimage}World leaders are descending on Copenhagen this week for a UN climate conference that seeks an aggressive strategy to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Their ultimate goal is a new international agreement to replace the failed 1990 Kyoto accord.

It is an ambitious undertaking and, even before it starts, Canada has been cast among the villains. The UN General Secretary has singled out Canada as lacking stringent reduction targets. Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has been targeting the Alberta tar sands as a threat to the planet’s survival. The left-leaning Guardian newspaper of London published a column that called Canada a “corrupt petro-state” that, more than any other nation, has been trying to sabotage a new climate agreement.