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Alberta Politics: St. Albert Catholic school board has spent more than $367,000 to defend firing of transgender teacher

PHOTOS: Transgender teacher Jan Buterman (Metro Newspapers photo). Below: Duncan Kinney of Progress Alberta, the former Pope Benedict, and David Keohane, Superintendent of Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools. ST. ALBERT, Alberta The St. Albert Catholic… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: St. Albert Catholic school board has spent more than $367,000 to defend firing of transgender teacher

Bill Longstaff: Pope Francis and the moral imperative of dealing with global warming

It’s no surprise that Pope Francis only gave PM Stephen Harper 10 minutes for his interview earlier this month. And no surprise he looked constipated in his photo op with the Prime Minister. Ten minutes with Harper would freeze the bowels of anyone concerned about global warming, and, unlike the recalcitrant Harper, the Pope is . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Pope Francis and the moral imperative of dealing with global warming

Bill Longstaff: Will Republicans keep invoking God if the Pope keeps pissing on their philosophy?

American politicians are particularly prone to invoking their Christian faith as a guide to their political beliefs. Although members of both major parties freely trot out scripture at the drop of a writ, conservative Republicans are especially inclined to pepper their appeals with references to their faith, God and Jesus.

But now they have encountered . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Will Republicans keep invoking God if the Pope keeps pissing on their philosophy?

Bill Longstaff: Did he really say that?

How does he get this stuff out of his mouth? Pope Francis, I mean. In a recent audience in St. Peter’s Square, he declared that couples who choose not to have children are “selfish.” He went on to pontificate that, “A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Did he really say that?

Bill Longstaff: The pope’s diminished freedom of speech

Did the pope just display an iota of sympathy for the zealots who massacred Charlie Hebdo staff? In response to a question about the attack, he replied, “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”

The pontiff justified his position by stating that if someone cursed his . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The pope’s diminished freedom of speech

Bill Longstaff: Sister Simone for pope

What you may ask is a non-Catholic, indeed a non-Christian, doing recommending someone for pope. Well, it’s partly tongue-in-cheek, of course, even if American Sister Simone Campbell might very well make a better pope than anyone else around, including Francis himself. I am quite aware that the Catholic Church, immersed in misogyny as it is, . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Sister Simone for pope

Bill Longstaff: Frank’s 10 happiness tips

Pope Francis may still be immersed in a certain amount of traditional Catholic misogyny, but he is nonetheless a breath of fresh air for the church, and for that matter, Christianity. In a recent interview he offered 10 tips to achieve happiness. The tips are worth repeating not only because they make good sense but . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Frank’s 10 happiness tips

Bill Longstaff: Thou shalt not have an economy of exclusion and inequality

I am no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, nor can I avoid cringing at some of Pope Francis’s views, particularly on women, but occasionally I do have to applaud the old boy. Such was the case with his recent apostolic exhortation when he criticized the world economic system, referring to unfettered capitalism as “a . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Thou shalt not have an economy of exclusion and inequality

Bill Longstaff: You’re making progress, Francis

After two doctrinaire popes, it’s a pleasure to have one who puts mercy ahead of dogma as Pope Francis did this week. In an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine, he criticized an emphasis on abortion, gay marriage and contraceptives at the expense of more important matters. Unfortunately, he doesn’t challenge the . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: You’re making progress, Francis

drive-by planet: ‘Vatican Inc’ on the Vatican Bank scandal: new Pope – old cover-ups

Beneath: old stone tower in Vatican City where the Vatican Bank is located

As the throngs in St Peter’s Square waited for puffs of “fumo bianco” to drift skyward from a copper flue, signaling the choice of yet another elderly white celibate to head the Church of Rome, many of us wondered . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: ‘Vatican Inc’ on the Vatican Bank scandal: new Pope – old cover-ups

drive-by planet: Recent IOR history: following the money

Bill Longstaff: Bully for the nuns

I’m no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, or organized religion generally, but when the folks in black do a good deed, I’m prepared to recognize it. And the good sisters of Network, a Washington-based Catholic social justice group, are doing a good deed indeed. They have initiated a nine-state bus tour protesting proposed federal . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Bully for the nuns

Bill Longstaff: "Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action"

Such is the considered opinion of the Vatican on this harmless and pleasant pastime. The indignant definition was part of the Vatican’s critique of a book by Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order, in which she audaciously suggested that masturbation doesn’t raise any moral problems and can actually help . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: "Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action"

Drive-by Planet: Cardinal O’Brien’s extremist rhetoric on same-sex marriage

The leading Roman Catholic cleric in the UK, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, made the rather bizarre statement recently that acceptance of same-sex marriage would be like legalizing slavery.

The Cardinal has been railing against what he rather derisively refers to as “progress” in British society. He clearly doesn’t mind being in a minority position. Even . . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Cardinal O’Brien’s extremist rhetoric on same-sex marriage

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Thinking It Through Brings Clarity

So what is an atheist who believes in a single secular public school system supposed to think about noon hour Muslim prayers in public schools.The answer should be simple but first let us look at the context.In the province of Ontario there are two pub… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Thinking It Through Brings Clarity

Catholics and Protestants: The great schism, explained

I suppose if I’m going to go on and on about church doctrine, it’s only fair of me to put it in context.What can I do? The power of Christ compels me.Related posts:All this Catholic-school business reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment LGBT students run in… . . . → Read More: Catholics and Protestants: The great schism, explained

Bill Longstaff: The "most Catholic country" slips away

Pope Paul VI once referred to Ireland as “the most Catholic country in the world.” Now it seems the Irish are slipping the Vatican’s leash. Abortion on demand remains illegal and most citizens describe themselves as Catholic, but the Irish people are … . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The "most Catholic country" slips away

Slap Upside The Head: Pope Pleads For Couples To Marry (Except Gays)

Pope Benedict XVI appeared before an audience in Croatia yesterday to plead for couples to marry instead of simply living together as common-law partners. In his anticipated homily, the pope lamented a “secularized mentality which proposes living together as preparation, or even a substitute as marriage.” So, to all you young couples out there: Do not, […] . . . → Read More: Slap Upside The Head: Pope Pleads For Couples To Marry (Except Gays)