Any violation of human rights is a crime against humanity

Doing a little isn’t good enough, especially when we ignore abuses

Any violation of human rights is a crime against humanityPrince George, B.C., officials recently decided to change the name of O’Grady Road, named after a former Catholic bishop of Prince George, to Dakelh Ti, meaning First Nation Road in the language of the Lheidli T’enneh. I knew Bishop Fergus O’Grady fairly well and I don’t think anything would have made him happier. The decisions…

Some ‘Christians’ deserve our anger and contempt

But filtering our anger through our spirituality becomes a powerful force for good

Some ‘Christians’ deserve our anger and contemptAnger can be a powerful force for good. It can also be extremely destructive, both to ourselves and the world around us. The key is to understand the anger within and to direct it in a way that will bring about positive change. Anger comes from a place of fear. We know deep inside that…

Catholic Ireland’s conflicted interest in the monarchy

Dublin cinemas planned to screen the Queen's coronation but opted not to after receiving threats

Catholic Ireland’s conflicted interest in the monarchyNews stories about Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee put me in mind of a book by Irish author Mary Kenny. Called Crown and Shamrock, it’s described by historian Roy Foster as a “characteristically breezy, racy and insightful” look at a complicated relationship. Kenny is five months older than I am and what she writes of Ireland…

Irish lead the way in the push to decolonize

Language and culture played a big role in helping the Irish survive and fueled their cultural renaissance

Irish lead the way in the push to decolonizeDecolonization is a word we often hear in Canada. In essence, it means to remove the colonial. That can mean different things to different people, and misconceptions often cause fear. Perhaps finding a relatively successful example of decolonization in process can help us understand the concept. Ireland was one of the first countries colonized by…

The overwhelming imagery of the Crucifixion

The child that was me experienced the lead-up to Easter as foreboding rather than inspiring

The overwhelming imagery of the CrucifixionI was never big on Easter. As a Catholic schoolboy in 1950s Ireland, Easter played second fiddle to Christmas. In fact, the competition wasn’t even close. Christmas had several advantages. For one thing, school holidays were longer. Whereas Easter only delivered a week and a half, Christmas tacked on a further full week. The tone,…

Who was Pontius Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus to death?

Pilate consciously misused his power to curry favour

Who was Pontius Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus to death?As a Catholic schoolboy in 1950s Ireland, Easter was a mixed bag. Yes, we got a week and a half off school, which was never something to be sneezed at. And the days were visibly brightening, indicating the departure of winter. But that was about it. In contrast to Christmas, the lead up to Easter…

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?

Catholic church doctrine was used to justify colonization, subjugation and exploitation worldwide

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?The papal apology to the Indigenous peoples of Canada on April 1 was an extraordinary moment for the individuals whom Pope Francis addressed directly. And it has the potential for much broader implications. In the days leading up to the apology, Francis listened intently and embraced the pain of the residential school survivors who spoke…

Only by embracing humanity as sacred can we end bloodshed

When we embrace the humanity of one another, borders don't matter and enemies become friends

Only by embracing humanity as sacred can we end bloodshedSince the end of the Cold War, there has been almost endless war and genocide. This century has seen Afghanistan and Iraq torn apart by violence. We’ve watched the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world continue in Yemen year after year, and we’ve yet to see an end to the conflicts in Syria and the…

How to live with your conscience and still have money

It’s possible to live a principled life, working hard to make a better world and still enjoy relative comfort

How to live with your conscience and still have moneyGrowing up Christian in an affluent society, there was a passage from scripture that always left me perplexed: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other. … You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) Did this mean that I was to sell all I owned and become…

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deaths

Just like any human institution, religions are in a constant state of evolution. Just like any human, religious leaders make mistakes

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deathsArticle 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship…
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