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Showing posts from January, 2010


Please continue to pray for Dr. Rob Susil, son in law of my friends George & Joan Weigel. He continues to fight for his life this morning having survived a harrowing night but his condition is still grave. I recommend praying as well for the intercession of John Paul II as George is the author both of his biography ( Witness to Hope ) and the soon to be released "Pope John Paul II -- The Struggle for Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy. " John Paul the Great, pray for him! Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for him! Saints of God, pray for him! All holy men and women, pray for him! Totus Tuus!

Atheists go postal over stamp honoring Mother Theresa

The National Post has published an article outlining the efforts of atheists to kill a US stamp honoring Mother Theresa. It is their contention that such a stamp is a violation of the principle of separation of Church and State. I wonder if they were as outraged when issues of stamps bearing the likeness of Martin Luther King or Malcolm X were published? I admit that one should not separate Mother Theresa's faith from her good works (given that it was her faith that inspired these works),  but one would think that works which merited the awarding her a Nobel Peace Prize would justify her qualification as meriting this "postal" honor. What do you think?

Pope Benedict - and his great drive for ecumunism... an exercise in the papal office as true pastor of the Christian flock

If there has been one constant value that is evident in the pontificate of Benedict XVI (aka B16), it has been his creativity and openness to searching for ways of bringing back into the Catholic communion those who have broken away. His overtures to the Anglican communion and the Pius X Society have been well published and debated. This current overture to the Orthodox Churches is another example of his willingness to explore every avenue possible to heal the 1000+ year old rupture that split the western and eastern halves of the ancient Catholic Church. Clearly he is willing to explore new liturgical forms (as with the Anglicans). Now he has evidently opened up the possibility of redefining the role of Peter's successor in a way that maintains the essential truth of this divine office, while at the same time presenting it in a manner that is palatable to those in the Orthodox communion. Check out this article is you want to learn more.

Your prayer help is URGENTLY and IMMEDIATELY needed

I beseech all who read this blog to please immediately offer a prayer for Dr. Rob Susil, son in law of my dear friends George and Joan Weigel. He has developed a sudden grave complication during his treatment for cancer as is at this moment fighting for his life.  Rob is husband to Gwenyth and father to a young 3 year old son, William. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... storm the gates of heaven with prayer that God will grant him either a miraculous return to health or a merciful entry into eternal life. He is a man of great faith, who deserves all the support that we can merit for him through our prayers. Venerable John Paul the Great, intercede with Jesus for the recovery of this wonderful and kind man. Spare his family the pain of his loss. Pray for him. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for him. St. Joseph, pray for him. St. Perigrine, pray for him St. Jude, pray for him

Point to remember when posting comments

Folks, It is my default position on this blog to freely post comments. However, comments that include offensive language or personal insults will not be published. Overall the comments that the posts have generated have been exceptional, but there have been a few that have not been posted. I simply ask that this simple guideline be followed: charity in all things. Fr. Tim

An excellent reflection on the Church's use of the new media forms

Matthew Warner of the National Catholic register writes and excellent column in response to the call from Pope Benedict XVI for Catholic priests to embrace the internet and various other social media, to evangelize and propagate the faith. In it he makes an essential distinction between simply have a presence in these media as compared to using them as tool to further the Kingdom of Christ. May dioceses ( my own included ) have impressive looking websites which offer an abundant array of information, but they serve as little more than a virtual version of the bulletin board and pamphlet tables that do little more than accumulate dust at the entrance to our churches. To truly embrace the Pope's challenge, priests as well as Catholic laity and Chanceries must come to understand that to be effective, these foray's into the virtual fields must be much, much more. Check out your own parish or diocesan websites and see whether, in your opinion they meet the challenge as express

Here's you chance to put your "John Henry" on an important document

Have you signed the Manhattan Declaration yet?  This breakthrough document brought together Catholics, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestant and Orthodox theologians, clergy and lay people together to put together paper outlining a common position on the major hot button religion/state issues. They are trying to garner 1,000,000 signatures and are almost half way there. If Christian faith and values are important for you, take a moment to put your virtual "John Henry" on this landmark document.

US Federal Buildings closed for people of faith

Meghan Duke recounts on the First Things webblog how it was that she was denied entry into the US National Museum of Art because she was wearing a pro-life lapel pin. It seems that security guards have been trained to ask all patrons of the museum to remove any item that might be interpreted as being "religious" on the grounds that expressions of faith cannot be demonstrated within publicly owned buildings. Aside from the fact that to be "prolife" does not require that one necessarily hold religious beliefs, this seems to be just another example of the enmity that is growing between the forces of the state and voices of faith, even within the borders of the country which holds to their "freedom of speech" so forcefully as to vitiate their own electoral campaign regulations to permit the voices of corporations and other groups the spend without limit to ensure that politicians will create legislation that will benefit their benefactors. It's one of

Today is a fruitful one on the internet

Today is a fruitful one on the internet. Found this tidbit on the National Post, Holy Blog. ------------------ by Barneyrubble Jan 26 2010 4:33 PM I live in a part of Canada that does have a Muslim population. I don't see too many burkas though. When I see them I think they are strange looking however, kind of like a Jew wearing a skull cap or a Hindu wearing a turban - or even a Christian with a cross dangling about his or her neck. Religion is weird if you are not part of it. As an atheist I have taught myself to respect other peoples' ideas about religion, however.  I know that they believe strongly in the things that they do. Is it my right or my duty to make them conform to my way of thinking? I don't think so. I guess that is why I continue to be proud to live in a country that respects the rights of individuals and in their right to express themselves and to carry on in their own ideas regarding faith and religious dres

A quick and easy post!

We all get those emails. You know, those jokes that make the virtual rounds. Thank God every now and then one gets recycled that's been out of the loop for so long, it's new again! Here is one such example. Thank you to Fr. Michael Smith. -------------------------------------- God and the Scientist God is sitting in heaven when a scientist says to him,"Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning." "Oh, is that so? Tell me," replies God. "Well," says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into your likeness and breathe life into it, thus creating man." "Well, that's interesting. Show me." So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil. "Oh no, no, no," interrupts God. "Get your own dirt."

Another civil exchange of the challenge the Church faces in today's cultures

A welcome follower of this blog is a person who writes under the handle of "reddog". Recently he responded in the threads of the BlueWave link to the threat atheism poses to freedom of religious expression. I follow with my response. Your comments are always welcome! Fr. Tim ---------------------------------------------- "Atheism poses no threat to freedom of religion. It's the freedom itself that threatens organized religion. Most people will always possess some type of spiritual beliefs. Once they can believe anything they want without the coercion of a dominant religion, they do. Cafeteria style. They borrow from friends more than model after priests. JPII was an attractive and charismatic figure, he helped the RCs regain some ground, though the faith of those that came back was diluted and had a lot of ecumenical pollutants. Benny 16 is back to the model of a self loathing, closeted, Gay, that RCs suffered through with Paul 6. No help there. Priests no

Thoughts to consider before leaping into reaping virtual souls for Christ.

In the light of the Pope's current endorsement of priest's bringing their ministry onto the pages of the internet, I thought it might be instructional to describe what commitment it takes to maintain and produce as much text and postings as I do in the pages of this blog. There is no question but that the up-keep of a virtual presence does require time, commitment and a discipline if any priest does not succumb to the allure of the internet. It can be quite an ego stroke to have even hundreds of people think enough of one's intellect and argument that they would visit one's blog - especially if one is feeling less than fulfilled with the numbers who regularly listen to him on any given Sunday. The seduction of letting this misordered intention can lead a priest to become a focal point for those who bear a grudge due to some grievance, perceived or real. This might lead a priest to become a point of opposition and conflict, bring injury to the Body of Christ. To this e

Christianity: A Threatened Belief (The arrival of persecution for Canadian Christians)

It once was held as gospel that Quebec was one of the most Catholic jurisdiction in the world. The clergy dominated virtually every field of public life, even to instructing the faithful how to vote, under pain of sin (“Le ciel est bleu, l’enfer est rouge”). Then came the cultural transformation known as “la revolution tranquille” and the Church was, in an instant wiped from institutions, government and influence in the public square. In fact, for any idea, policy or moral position to be come from the Church was to automatically cast it in a disparaging light; discarded as out of date and unbefitting modern societies. Through the years, this atheist orientation of sensus fidelium has inexorably moved Quebec from a position of just denying the Church, and the values it embodies, a public role in society, to now attaining its ultimate goal of punitively sanctioning the very expression of all theist voice, but particularly the voice of the Roman Catholic Church.  Now, that wave of “anti

Interesting statistics of the life of the Catholic faith

The New Advent blog has posted an article linking to a comprehensive list of Church statistics. It is worth noting that whereas the media would have us believe that the Church is in severe decline as evidenced by the declining numbers of priests, the actual truth is that priest numbers have steady increased since 1985. To apply the wisdom of Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the church are greatly exaggerated.

One of Bishop Fred Henry's (Calgary) classics

Here is an excellent article to contemplate when challenged to prove that the voice of faith has a right to be heard within every medium of modern society. In a letter, written in defense of Pastor Steven Boissons, Bishop Henry of Calgary viscerates the philosophic underpinnings of modern day secularism as practiced today in Canada. It is this philosophy which dominates the public square these days, creating an ever increasingly hostile atmosphere for the free expression of one's religious convictions. You can say that a church is still free to speak and preach its creed and beliefs, however you demand that they be punished for believing in values contrary to current public opinion, then their speech is hardly free. Given Bishop Henry's involvement in the NP Holy Blog story about a Calgary church being stripped of its charitable status , thus denying it the right to offer tax receipts. This decision is not made because they are not a charitable organization...they serve ov

Pope calls on priests to use the internet to spread the faith!

Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement today in which he encourages priests throughout the world to better use the internet and all the virtual media to promote the cause of faith. As a blogger, it does my heart good to receive this message from the Holy Father as it is evident that with a few exceptions, the Bishops of our lands have been slow to use these new mediums to spread the good news of Jesus. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for priests who have chosen to speak out for the faith to run afoul of their Bishops who are threatened by the clarity and faithfulness of their blogs and webpages in the promotion of our Catholic faith. Perhaps we might stand in better stead with the support of the Pope for our endeavors. THANK YOU Pope Benedict... and thanks as well to Catholics everywhere who have taken up the challenge of promoting the faith in every venue possible, real or virtual.

Canadian Government continues its ATTACK against institutions which promote Christian values

In today's National Post you can find an article about a church in Calgary, Alberta that has been stripped of its Charitable Institution status (allowing it to offer tax receipts for donations) because it has publicly spoken out in support of traditional Christian values on marriage, sexuality and life. This is just one more example of a (tragically) growing body of evidence that Christianity is under attack by the state in Canada. This story, along with many of the anti-faith comments that accompany the article should chill the soul of any believer (no matter the creed or church) for it proves just how hostile the Canadian government has become to any organization that speaks in opposition to the social experimentation that has afflicted our country since the 1960's. Despite years of promises from politicians that Churches would be protected in their ministries, the facts prove that politicians and bureaucrats cannot be trusted. I am left to wonder how much longer it will

More on the connection between evil, sin , grace and the Haitian earthquake

Fr. Michael Smith, a former philosophy professor and current pastor in Temiscaming, Qc (my next-door-neighbor... even though he's almost 60 miles distant) has offered the following  in response to my previous post on Epicurus' dilemma on the existence of evil. I thank Fr. Mike for the kindness of his response and trust that it might serve to prompt further comment on this subject. The italicized (not) is my addition to his message as I believe that it was omitted in error when he sent me his post. I include my response to him at the end of his post. ------------------------------------------- Tim, I have read your appeal for help with the problem of evil. The whole argument is subject to a number of limitations: 1. If one grants, as Augustine does, that God would not permit evil unless a proportionate good could come out of it, the problem is that we have such limited knowledge that we cannot possibly know what good can come from some forms of evil (e.g., the Holocaust

Looking for help with an ancient theological puzzle

"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; Or he can, but does not want to; Or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how come evil is in the world?"  Epicurus (341-270 bce) This quote was offered today in the comment threads of one of my earlier posts. 'Martin' suggested that this mystery cannot be solved without  one "miring themselves in confused, byzantine, and self-contradictory poraxisms of illogic." I would appreciate some input from others in the blogosphere in formulating an answer to this question, either in the form of suggested reading or perhaps a proposed answer that you might wish to propose. I responded by suggesting that the problem inherent in this conundrum is that it imposes on God the limitation of existing in time - a conclusion I tried to back up using Einstein's formula of relativity (

A summary for Martin - a fellow seeker for truth in the face of evil, pain and death

I have started an exchange with a former classmate (Martin) from my philosophy days that has been sparked by my postings re: Haiti, evil and the existence of the devil. I spent some time between appointments  typing out the following response to his most recent questions, only to discover that it was too long to be posted as in the comment threads. So, I post it here in the hopes that he will find it and respond - as I hope others will as well. I do not claim that what I am developing is entirely orthodox (I hope it is, but I'm open to being corrected) but I have found that it provides a solid foundation from with to deal with such questions. I look forward to your comments, pro or con. Fr. Tim --------------------------------------------------- Ok goes. 1. I introduced the concept of free will into the discussion because I believe it to be the key to rationally understanding the question of the existence of evil and ultimately for the existence of Satan as

How did "sex" change from meaning one's gender to one's orientation

If there is one topic that is certain to generate responses in the blogosphere, it is whenever any one posts something that is considered by others to be homophobic (which now is defined as contrary to the gay rights agenda). The basis for the charge of discrimination that always follows such a post (at least within Canada) is usually based upon the philosophical and legal foundations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part I, section 15-1) which states:   Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.  My question to anyone interested in such matters is this:  is the use of the word "sex" in this section not supposed to refer to on

Another thought produced by the tragedy in Haita

A brother priest sent me the following in response to a comment from 'Martin' in the threads of the Haiti post. It contains a wisdom that expresses better than I had via a vis Christ's relationship with us and we with him. Fr. Tim H/T to Fr. MS ---------------------- I was particularly struck by Martin’s point about God not lifting any stones to rescue the victims. In the Living with Christ missalette, the introductory blurb for this coming Sunday takes Martin’s point and turns it on its head. The author, Teresa Whalen Lux, quotes St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands, no feet but yours.” In the Incarnation, God gave up the use of omnipotence to take on the limitations of human flesh. Because of this, we are saved THROUGH our humanity, not FROM it. We also become God’s instruments in saving the world. An incarnate God without human agency is a contradiction in terms.

Moral/Mental Reservation

Earlier today, someone offered a series of comments in which were pasted a document that explains 'moral/mental reservation', a religious teaching that has been (mis)applied by some Churchmen to keep abuse cases secret. I decline to publish such a long series of comments, but I offer here the link to the Wikapedia article on the subject . I trust that this will honor the intentions of the poster. Here is my response to the implicit question posed by the posting of this material. In essence the practice is founded on the concept of the 'greater good' ie: it is for the greater good of the faith to keep offenders protected rather than to report the abuse. While there are evident cases where this is practiced in everyday life ("No, those pants don't make you look fat" jumps to mind), it very clearly is not appropriate in matters as grave as the sex abuse scandal. I believe this to be so for two simple reasons: a) it is not proper to protect those who a

Robert F Kennedy: 4 April 1968.... man of peace and faith

"Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much." RFK 4 April 1968 Truer words were never spoken. In this, the authentic Catholic voice was presented, purified by the fires of despair, hate, grief and Christian hope at a time and place of great anger and rage. A testimony that is a pure illustration of where calling people to their better natures, even at the cost of ones own life, is worth the effort. For those six short weeks that spanned their respective assassinations, RFK offered a model of Christian and civil service that helped a nation survive after standing on th

Quebec defines that heterosexuality cannot be taught as being normal

With thanks to CA, I offer this report on the latest addition to the secularist formula as expressed in Quebec with the publication of the " Quebec Policy Against Homophobia ." Whereas I agree that it is right to accept that the State has the right to establish what will be considered legal or "normative" in its own curriculum and policies, it should not infringe on the right of the Church to argue for that which it believes to be moral. Morality is a priori within the very mandate of religion. There should not be subject to the limitations of State, beyond the consensual understandings of what is needed for civic health. To do more is an infringement of the freedom of religious expression. The State cannot tell the church what they may or may not teach as essential tenet of their faith, any more than the Church should have the right to dictate to the State how to manage affairs within its purview. The Church must be granted the right to argue for its understa

Pope B16's visit to the Roman Synagogue

I wanted to share a note I sent to a friend earlier today who knows better than I how the Vatican works. I've edited out his name so that he is not forever linked with my opinions in the virtual world. I believe it speaks to the issues raised by the Pope's recent visit to the Roman Synagogue and the responses to it as reported in the media. Fr. Tim ------------------------------------ G'day ------- Taking a break as I am from reading a book on comprehending, E=MC2, I took advantage of the timeout to check some reputable news sites, only to discover that Pope Benedict's visit to the Synagogue was less than an overwhelming success. How can it be that he seems to be an blending of the intelligence and orthodoxy of John Paul, and the public relations skills of Paul VI ? I'm mean, "discrete"... really that's the best he could come up with? Perhaps coming from the mouth of JPII, as a victim of Nazism such a word would carry the meaning B16 intended,


Friends... Friends are like butt cheeks. Crap might separate them, But they always come back together.

The devil is real... and he is us.

The Haitian earthquake has brought to the floor a discussion about the role of evil in the world. The musings of Pat Robertson claiming that the death and destruction of that impoverished nation come from a "pact with the devil" should and has been opposed. ( Click here to read Rex Murphy's contribution or click here to read what is most likely the best response to date ) There is however one small grain of truth in his malicious claim: evil (sin) is indeed responsible for death and destruction, but this evil was wrought by human hands. Consider if you will this column from David Brooks (NY Times) in which he points out that when an earthquake of the same magnitude struck San Francisco (1989) it resulted in the death of just over 60 people. Yet the same strength event resulted in over 50,000 deaths in Haiti. What was the cause of this horrific difference? Poverty, unenforced building codes, and lack of civil services. Each of these causes can clearly be laid upon hu

Does Haiti teach us any lessons about God?

One cannot open a newspaper or watch TV without witnessing the unimaginable horror that is Haiti today. As the images of death and destruction assail us, questions about the goodness and love of God comes to the fore for any believer. Many people are using this tragedy to denounce people of faith as being fools. After all, if we believe that God is all powerful and loving, how could he permit such death and destruction? Aside from the easy response of challenging such people with the question as to whether they are willing to grant to God the responsibility for all that is good in the world as they logically must if they are going to hold him liable for all that evil, it is essential that we understand that we too are the ones responsible for the role of evil in this life. It is mankind that is as responsible for what has befallen Haiti as God. I say categorically that we are responsible for what has transpired in Haiti because it is our own participation in sin that permits evil

Keeping "clean" on the muddy paths of the internet

Being new to the world of blogging, I am still learning many "virtual life" lessons. This fact has been made abundantly clear to me over the past day or two. I was reminded that it is difficult to comprehend the line that separates our private from public lives. I have chosen to take the position with my own life to use my proper name and life situation in the public forum. Others have made different choices. Neither is right or wrong but it brought to mind the fact that there ought to be some sort of etiquette that applies to these internet exchanges. To date, I have not found such an item. In one case, I had posted a request for prayers for a person that I have come to respect who had made know to me a particular prayer need. Alas in doing this I inadvertently crossed over the line where the private and public are divided. While he was (as always) gracious in pointing out my error, he did help me to see that whatever is posted on the internet lives on for a very long ti

Getting the most out of Mass

If you find the experience of attending Mass to be less than you might hope for, then this is the article for you . In this concise article, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. offers some tips to improve ones personal experience of the eucharist.

Confession by the Numbers

In the year following my ordination to the priesthood, I had the opportunity to gather a few of my classmates together for a small celebration of our first year in ministry. As we sat around a campfire taking in the beauty of the Ottawa River, conversation turned to what we considered to be the best experience of the priesthood. The first answer that quickly came to the lips of my brothers was the incredible grace that comes from celebrating the Eucharist. To know that, thanks to the grace of ordination, we could make present the very person of Christ in the Eucharist brings immense joy to any priest. However, this was not the first thing to came to my mind. For me, the greatest moment as a priest comes when I have the opportunity to offer the forgiving, healing presence of God in the sacrament of reconciliation. These moments when as a priest, I can become an instrument of God's hands and bring the peace of a spiritual healing of some of the most intimate wounds have sustained

Canadians cannot withhold taxes in abortion contest

David Little, a Canadian prolife activist has been refusing since 2000 to pay his income tax as a protest that his money could/would be used to provide for abortion services, something that he found morally unacceptable. In refusing to take up his case, the Canadian Supreme Court seems to be agreeing with lower courts that there is no connection between the payment of taxes and agreeing with particular policies of the government. Read the National Post account of this battle here.

Finding God in clay vessels

Every now and then I find other bloggers republish earlier posts, so it is in that spirit that I once again offer this personal homage to a musician from Mattawa, Roy Payne (The Goofy Newfie). clay vessels: Drinking a Beer with Jesus I have been fortunate to come to know personally the writer and performer of this song. His name is Roy Payne. To say that Roy has has lived life "in extremus" would be kind. Any polish or veneer that once adorned his countenance has long since been burned off by the trials of life; some of his own making, others by the trials of fate. Yet having visited the joys of fame during the '70's on the country music scene, he has also lived that sad state of life memorialized in those ballad and songs of woe. I am also privileged to be able to talk with him about how it is that he continues to experience (if not always heed...) the gentle touch of God in places we would not always think to look: like "Drinking Beer with Jesus".

A Group worthy of support, praise and reading!!!

Click on the title of this post, or here to visit the website of the "Pave the Way Foundation", an organization that stands for faith, but against any extremist elements that would threaten each others religious and civil rights. There message is powerful: Pave the Way Foundation is dedicated to achieving peace by closing the gap in tolerance, education and the practical relations between religions, through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. We strive to eliminate the use of religion as a tool which, historically has been used, by some, to achieve personal agendas and to cause conflicts. Through our inter-religious projects of identification and elimination of obstacles and our concrete gestures of good will, we utilize our earned level of trust, in order to "pave the way" towards improving inter-religious relations and by encouraging intra-religious relations. We task the faithful of all beliefs that the true danger to international peace i

Amid the hysteria... some perspective

The threads of commentary on the internet is polluted with those who refuse to grant to Muslims the rights of religious freedom, opting instead for a "tit for tat" policy. While I grant that we are in the midst of clash of cultures and convictions, I question both the efficacy and the appropriateness of their strategy in the conduct of this war. In short: I agree with their cause for concern, but I believe that the actual reading of history, as seen through the lens of the historical memory of the church, leads to an understanding of the most effective and proper manner in which cultures have both succeeded and failed in negotiating a peaceful coexistence. Society ignores her advice at its own peril. Let's just for a moment, consider the following. In this Time Magazine article , we gain some perspective with which measure the level of fear and hysteria which is inflamed by those who pretend to be 21st manifestations of Winston Churchill. First we demonize, then we open

Defending the indefensible!

If you click on the title to this post, you will be taken to an article from the Catholic News Service (USA) in which the Archdiocese of Milwaukee defends the installation of a bronze relief in which former Archbishop Weakland is depicted kneeling at the holy creche of Christmas. Aside from the question as to whether it is ever appropriate for a church to insert local clergy into holy pieces of art ( in my opinion it is not for it is a simple expression of the ego of the person depicted), the revelations that were made public of his ongoing sexual relationship with another male (thank God not a minor, as if this makes his actions any less reprehensible) and the fact that literally a tens of thousands of  dollars taken from Diocesan funds were used to keep his partner silent) one would have thought the such a piece of art, commissioned by Weakland himself,  should have never seem the light of day. It most certainly is offensive to all victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy to

Calls for moderation within the greater world wide Islam faith condemning violence and terrorism

There has been an ongoing debate as to the role of Islam in western societies. One place where these conversations have been taking place is within the threads of the National Post’s “Holy Post” blog , especially in response to any article dealing with the Islamic faith. Today the HP blog has posted a story about 20 Imans establishing a fatwa against those who would threaten violence against either Canada or the United States, and as per usual there are many people who are commenting. Yet absent from the threads of this exchange are the voices of those who continue to deny that there is such a thing as a “moderate” Muslim, a fact that is belied by the almost 20 million of adherents of Islam who currently are peaceful citizens within both of these countries who successfully live as Muslims within our predominately Christian cultures. Islamic extremism continues to be a threat to all western countries, yet it is important to note that they in fact comprise a small minority within Isl

How to reach lapsed Catholics

Here is an article that examines the issue of how to reach out to and bring home lapsed Catholics. This is a challenge that every priest (and minister for that matter) faces almost on a daily basis. The conclusions might surprise you. Give it a look by clicking here

Eleven steps to a better ministry

Every clergyman, priest, deacon or bishop has faced the questions about how to better minister to his flock. There is certainly no shortage of books written on the subject. Yet it is not often that one can find in a simple and concise article an 11 point plan that would work for any of us who find ourselves searching for the direction to take to better make Christ present within our communities than this one written by Todd Lemieux in the pages of the Catholic Exchange website. Here are his eleven points, pared down into short pithy titles. 1. embrace limits 2. utilize limits 3. begin again 4. dump the ego 5. what is the experience you are creating? 6. tell the story 7. communicate 8. think about the idea 9. be deliberate 10. break the rules 11. pray Read the article to discover what each means. It might just help some of us find our way to better minister and make present the Good Shepherd to those for whom we have taken the responsibility to pastor.

Questions about genetic research... is it about to boom or bust?

“Human geneticists have reached a private crisis of conscience, and it will become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis has depressing health implications and alarming political ones. In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races.” This is the lead into an article found in The Economist by Geoffrey Mille r in which he examines the advances and trials of genetic research. His concern seem to be that further exploration down this “yellow brick road” might nor bring us to “Kansas” but instead might provide fodder or justification for the type of ethnic based violence that marked so many years with the last century. I do find it interesting that the great concern is that such research might bring about a widespread conflict between humans of difference ethnicities, but seem to have little concern about the pos

Why Catholic scandals are treated differently than those of other faith communities

Written in response to the question "Why do Catholic clergy failings garner such national salacious  coverage when Protestant failed clergy often get little or no national media coverage?" -------------------------------------- If I may point out one essential difference between the protestant vs catholic experience of their respective scandals: in their case the institutional response was too one-sided with the alleged victim over and against their paid and ordained staff. I personally can remember ministers who were ridden out of town when they were found to be be without the support of their employer in the face of such allegations, even when they were later proven to be unfounded. And by God, it was splashed across the pages of local papers on a regular basis from coast to coast so often that they no longer warranted coverage by the national media. We Catholics on the other hand, have been found culpable of dealing with these same sorts of matters in a deceitful and ha


As the title says, this is the place to start any conversation you would want. If different themes develop, or if new items are offered for discussion, I will set up new postings to "host"  individual topics. To use a scriptural quotation... "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening." Fr. Tim