August 30, 2019

The following novena has been adapted from Pope St John Paul II’s prayer at the Western Wall: God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your name to the nations. We are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who, in the course of history, have caused these children of yours to suffer.   Lord Jesus Christ, Have mercy on us! Mary, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us! St Maximilian Kolbe, Pray for us! St Edith… Read more

July 8, 2019

G.K. Chesterton once pointed out that orthodox Catholics disagree with one another more than any other Christian denomination. The reason being we agree on enough common principles to make disagreement possible. It is within this context that I find myself disagreeing with Mark’s latest piece Still Catholic, Still Prolife, But No Longer Part of the “Prolife Movement”. In fact, I was tempted to title this piece Still Catholic, Still Pro-Life, Still Part of the International Pro-Life Movement. Ironically, I disagree… Read more

April 13, 2019

I just finished Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent letter reflecting upon the sex abuse crisis. For those who have not read the essay but are curious about various reactions pouring forth from the media (including Catholic media), the text is not too long. It is well worth reading. Catholic News Agency has published a free online English translation here. In reading the letter, four thoughts stood out to me as a retired canonist and Catholic apologist, not to mention a longtime student… Read more

March 18, 2019

Conservative radio talk show host and Evangelical Christian finance guru Dave Ramsey has embroiled himself in yet another controversy. This time, over his following tweet: If you do rich people stuff, eventually you will be rich. If you do poor people stuff, you will eventually be poor. Many are accusing Dave of shaming the poor. While other critics claim Dave irresponsibly preaches the Prosperity Gospel to those who can least afford it. After all, telling his Twitter followers to “do… Read more

March 15, 2019

Suleyman Demiray, a close friend of mine, is an internationally-respected Canadian imam. In particular, he has earned the respect of Christian faith leaders for his dedication and commitment to interfaith dialogue and fostering peace between Muslims and Christians. As an Eastern Catholic ecumenist I have found myself participating in local dialogue because of Imam Demiray’s insistence that Eastern Christians be included alongside our Latin Catholic and Protestant brothers and sisters. Our western Christian brothers and sisters are often surprised to… Read more

February 10, 2019

“Are all instances of blackface alike?” asks Professor John McWhorter, a popular African-American author and academic, in The Atlantic.  McWhorter is discussing recent political controversies in Virginia over revelations Attorney General Mark Herring and Governor Ralph Northam had engaged in separate incidents of blackface as college students. McWhorter calls for people to distinguish between the two incidents. The crux of McWhorter’s argument is as follows: Perhaps there is a difference between blacking up to mock black people, as whom we might… Read more

February 3, 2019

Forgiveness Sunday brings one of my favourite liturgical acts as a Byzantine Christian. Called the Rite of Forgiveness, it takes place during vespers on the last Sunday before Great Lent. The rite involves the priest and each member of the congregation asking and receiving each other’s forgiveness for any sins committed through the past year. There are different variations among the various Byzantine Churches to the practice of this rite. Here is how our parish practices it: Our pastor approaches… Read more

December 1, 2018

Pope Francis has released his fraternal greeting to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle according to the Byzantine Calendar. The statement was read during the Divine Liturgy offered by the Ecumenical Patriarch. This is an important feast for Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics. St Andrew, the first of the 12 apostles Christ called, is also the founder of the See of Constantinople. Historians often refer to the mutual excommunications of 1054 as the catalyst for… Read more

October 13, 2018

In a few days, Canada will become the first developed country to legalize cannabis. Not just for medical use–which is already legal in Canada–but also for recreational use. This is a major shift in Canadian socio-cultural attitudes. One that leaves many Canadian faithful still working through a Catholic response. What follows is merely my personal reflection as a Byzantine Catholic. In no way do I present it as official Church teaching. Nor should my personal thoughts be taken as representative… Read more

June 23, 2018

Addressing the topic of family separation at the border, Sister Vassa Larin said today on Saturday Morning Live: “This is a very painful situation […] I don’t know of anyone who could observe this story without being deeply disturbed.” For anyone following this controversy, I invite you to watch the full episode here: Eastern Catholics often describe Sister Vassa as ‘the Russian Orthodox Mother Angelica’. Not only is her show Coffee with Sister Vassa popular in Christian social media today, but… Read more

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