Analysis and Comment

Will COVID-19 Lead to a long-term shift in church attendance? Comments 0

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

We are entering truly unprecedented times for people of faith. Churches, synagogues, and mosques around the world have suspended regular worship services for an indefinite period of time. This coming weekend may represent the fewest people engaging in corporate worship in the last two millennia. This is uncharted waters for those in church leadership. Many Read more

Where is God in a pandemic? Comments 0

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Last summer I underwent radiation treatment. And every time I passed through the doorway marked “Radiation Oncology,” my heart seemed to skip a beat. While I was in little danger (my tumour was benign, and, yes, one sometimes needs radiation for that), I daily met people who were close to death. Every weekday for six Read more

Canon lawyer asks: When can Catholics confess by phone? Comments 0

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

If a priest is wearing a mask and standing three or six feet away from a penitent requesting the sacrament of reconciliation, is he really more present to a penitent he knows than he would be by telephone? Maybe, but maybe not, said Father Giorgio Giovanelli, a professor of canon law at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran Read more

Staying social while social distancing Comments 0

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

An essential part of finding fulfilment in our lives is the ability to share them with others. As social beings, we crave connections with friends and family and thrive with social interactions in our weeks. For some of us, that may just being able to say good morning to our co-workers each day, and for Read more

Mass myopia and coronavirus Comments 0

Monday, March 23rd, 2020
Mass myopia

“Instead of watching Mass on the computer, why don’t we read from the Bible together?” That’s how our eight-year old daughter reacted last Sunday when we gathered to watch the celebration of Mass at home, where we’ve been self-quarantined since last week. From the mouths of babes… Our daughter is used to seeing me as Read more

Coronavirus revives the old, ushers in the new in Catholic practice Comments 0

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

With the coronavirus forcing church closures and limiting access to sacraments, the Catholic Church has dusted off some old practices that perhaps had fallen into disuse, while also availing itself of new means of ensuring faithful can access the essentials. With increasing numbers of people confined at home with no access to Mass or confession, Read more

How strong a role does religion play in US elections? Comments 0

Monday, March 23rd, 2020
faith and the us presidential election

On March 17, Joe Biden took firm control of the Democratic nomination process, winning primaries Florida, Illinois and Arizona by significant margins. The ongoing coronavirus epidemic is in part responsible, having reshaped voters’ worries and expectations, but the role played by religion in Biden’s resurrection should not be overlooked. Indeed, Biden’s comeback began in South Read more

Parliament shamefully abandons women and their unborn children Comments 0

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Parliament Wednesday evening passed the Labour-led government’s Abortion Legislation Bill by 68 to 51. It represents an attack on the family, on the status and dignity of women and on the right to life of New Zealanders in the first nine months of life. Our right to life is universal and inalienable. The denial of Read more

What happens when a virus forces faith communities to go virtual Comments 0

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

When two or three are gathered on Facebook, is Christ there? When 10 Jews meet on a Zoom call, is it a minyan? Over the past few days, as states have asked houses of worship to suspend services, synagogues have held muted Purim celebrations and other religious meetings and services have been cancelled, people have Read more

Rome, a deserted city Comments 0

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Since the fall of the fascist dictator Mussolini, the state in Italy has been a rather nebulous entity. Governments rise and fall — 61 since the end of the Second World War, but who’s counting? – yet things have kept on just fine. Where the state was for the most part invisible, the Catholic Church Read more