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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : April 16, 2015

In my recent post “What is the Catholic Position on Yoga?” I failed to make a couple of distinctions that have led to some confusion among my readers.  I apologize for this confusion and want to offer a couple clarifications here.

First of all, my title was not strictly accurate.  While some of my initial comments certainly represent Catholic teaching, later comments reflected my considered opinion as a theologian, but not the official teaching or discipline of the Church.  While I believe my phrasing and language made this clear, the title of the piece and my own title...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : March 23, 2015

Canadian Martyrs shut its doors July 2014 but it remained a church and wasn’t de-consecrated until February 19, 2015.(see story elsewhere on this site.) What took so long?

There were several groups that expressed an interest in using the building as a meeting place. Those interested had been meeting at the JPII Centre but nothing replaced that facility after it closed (and now sold to local developer Nicor). But nothing came of those discussions.

The building is in reasonably good shape but it does require maintenance and there are costs associated with heat and...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : March 23, 2015

What a steep decline we have witnessed in Canada’s moral values. First we have the Supreme Court striking down abortion laws and now it has ruled the laws that prevent physician assisted suicide are an infringement of an individual’s rights. What next?

That reverses a Supreme Court ruling of 24 years ago in the Sue Rodriguez case when the court ruled the law is valid in that it gives protection to the weak and vulnerable. Specifically, Mr. Justice Sopinka wrote for the majority decision: The majority noted that the state has a fundamental interest in protecting human life; s. 241(b...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : February 19, 2015

What a steep decline we have witnessed in Canada’s moral values. First we have the Supreme Court striking down abortion laws and now it has ruled the laws that prevent physician assisted suicide are an infringement of an individual’s rights. What next?

That reverses a Supreme Court ruling of 24 years ago in the Sue Rodriguez case when the court ruled the law is valid in that it gives protection to the weak and vulnerable. Specifically, Mr. Justice Sopinka wrote for the majority decision: The majority noted that the state has a fundamental interest in protecting human life; s. 241(b...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : February 5, 2015

Last week, January 19-25 the week of Prayer for Christian Unity saw more activity than I’ve seen in a long time. Does it mean we’re finally getting closer together? Perhaps.

Father John Meehan S.J. President of Campion College, University of Regina gave several reasons in which he sees us moving closer together. He was the guest preacher at St Paul’s Cathedral here in Regina during a regular Anglican Eucharistic Service. Sunday, January 25, besides the last day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was also the feast day celebrating the Conversion of St. Paul. He...

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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : April 16, 2015

I have received a couple inquiries about Yoga by e-mail, and heard of others by word of mouth.  It seems that a lot of the faithful are wondering what a Catholic is supposed to think about Yoga.  Many even desire an outright condemnation from the Church.

That such a condemnation has not yet occurred is an important factor for anyone seeking to honestly answer this question.  Despite registering certain concerns, the Vatican has not felt compelled to tell Catholics that yoga is totally out of bounds.  Why not?

Many arguments Catholics tend to...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : January 15, 2015

Indian residential schools, created by the federal government and operated by Christian Churches, mostly Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian, were to transform native children into a societal image of their British rulers. How successful were they? Let’s have a look.

There are now several educational institutions that cater specifically to Aboriginal people while accepting non-Aboriginals in their classrooms; Aboriginal languages and culture - mostly Cree in this neighborhood - are part of the curriculum in all K-12 Saskatchewan schools as are the content and meaning of the Treaties...

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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : December 20, 2014

A reader (a pastor who has faced these questions from his congregation) asks:

“Many people still question the use of the term 'hell' in the Creed. Some are even upset because for them it connotes eternal damnation and irreparable separation from God, despite the best efforts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to explain it's reintroduction in the Creed replacing the term 'the dead'. Even article 635 of the Catechism uses the term 'death' rather than 'hell'. How can we help people to better understand this in light of the long popular understanding of 'hell' which, in...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : December 12, 2014

It may be wishful thinking but I sense Christians are beginning to win the war of words over Christmas.

The war began some years ago when Xmas became the norm for Christmas and Christians complained it’s CHRISTMAS, not Xmas. It took a few years but Xmas began to decline in popularity and while it still surfaces once in a while it’s not as visible as it once was.

Then political correctness took hold. Good heavens, far be it that we Canadians would offend anyone. Society played down Merry Christmas, Christmas sales, Christmas holidays, etc. for the more generic...

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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : December 12, 2014

Pope Francis recently (re)asserted that the scientific theory of evolution is compatible with traditional Christian teaching about God and creation.  As we might have expected, the media then completely botched the story.  (For a helpful analysis of this, see Joe Heschmeyer’s post here:  http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/what-the-media-got-wrong-about-pope-francis-and-evolution/4552/)  Among other things, they made this sound like a break from his...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : November 24, 2014

November 11 is long gone and as usual people will return to their daily lives without thinking much about what Remembrance Day represents but I want to tell you about a very special ceremony that took place at Ecole St. Mary School just before Remembrance Day.

The gym, much too small for the student cohort not to mention the visitors that came that day, began filling before the ceremony; parents, grandparents, a few veterans and a police officer in full uniform, likely a parent to one of the students but he was there as a spectator, took up space at the back wall. The...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : November 10, 2014

The 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918, the Armistice to end the war that was to end all wars was signed in a railway car just outside Paris. The Treaty of Versailles that laid out the terms was signed in Paris about six months later. They didn’t know it at the time but that turned out to be the first day on the road to WWII. It led to the rise of Adolf Hitler who vowed that the embarrassments and punishments meted out to Germany in Versailles would be wiped out. It is the loss of lives in those...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : October 29, 2014

I had the privilege of attending the Assembly of Priests held October 6-9 at the Heritage Inn, Moose Jaw. It’s an annual gathering but this was the first time that clergy of the Archdiocese met as a group with staff from the Archdiocese office. It seems it was a fruitful discussion with good participation from just about everyone there. (see separate story on this website).

Of course there is prayer and each day usually begins with a prayer but the last day began with a group sing of Salve Regina.

Archbishop Bohan led and after he sang the first syllable the rest of the...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : October 23, 2014

I’ve had the privilege of attending several high school liturgies and listened to the music performed by the school’s bands. They call them Praise and Worship bands because the music is related to the liturgy and I have to tell you that if the music they play were played in some of our churches we might attract many more young people.

I can’t tell you the music titles but I can tell you it’s uplifting and alive and adds very much to the liturgy. Yes, some of it has a distinct rock beat but that’s the music high schoolers, in general, have on those things they stick in...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : October 14, 2014

Hard to know what to expect to come out of the Extra Ordinary Synod currently underway in the Vatican October 5-19. More than 190 cardinals, archbishops, bishops, special advisors and specially invited family members from around the world are discussing behind closed doors several controversial issues affecting modern Catholic families.

Among the most contentious is whether to allow civilly divorced Catholics who remarry without an annulment to receive Communion. Pope Francis has said he wants to approach the issue with mercy and compassion but what does that mean? A...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : October 7, 2014

Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan has declared October Reverence for life month, a month where we’re encouraged to think about and pray for what’s happening to Canada’s moral compass. Those are my words. You won’t find them in any brochure or pamphlet talking about Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, or any other now acceptable terms for murder. But that’s really what this is all about; the moral structure of society.

Quebec, that once most Catholic of provinces, is the first in Canada to fall off the moral wagon by passing legislation that allows doctors, with some restrictions, to...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : September 16, 2014

Take heart people, not all is lost.

I’ll get to that in a few moments but first it’s been a busy period and I haven’t written the blog since July but with a new season underway, I’ll try to be more regular.

Back to the headline….

I attended a lecture at Luther College U of R, August 9, or thereabouts by Dr. Peter Beyer, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa. TitledFrom Here, Born Here, Grew Up Here it was all about how the first and second generation of Canadian immigrants view religion in their lives. (See separate story elsewhere on this web site)....

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : July 19, 2014

Each generation thinks today’s ‘teens are irresponsible wastrels and that thought goes all the way back to the Greek philosophers and I admit, sometimes I feel the same way. However, I’m more optimistic and confident in today’s high school ‘teens after observing them for about a year and a half as a trustee on the Catholic School Board and after attending a couple of graduating exercises. Those ‘teens I have seen are bright and focused.  Not all are sure of what they want to do with their life but they’re confident they either have the tools now or will obtain what’s needed to pursue...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : June 16, 2014

The June 2 issue of Time Magazine carries an interesting article on the effort and amount of money spent on ensuring the life of premature born babies, some as young as 22 weeks. 

Four million babies were born in the U.S. in 2010, 478,790 before 37 weeks of gestation and of those 462,408 survived the first year. A graph shows that most with just 22 weeks of gestation die but a few survive but with complications. The longer gestation, of course, the better the chances the child has of having a healthy life. At 28 weeks of gestation, the graph shows a few don’t make it but those that...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : May 20, 2014

The new government in Quebec intends to reintroduce legislation making it legal for doctors and perhaps others to administer lethal drugs to those who, under some supposedly strict guidelines, request the procedure.

The Canadian Medical Association in its most recent national meeting overwhelmingly opposed any such legislation but as CMA president Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti said in his opening and closing remarks at the National End of Life Dialogue held in Regina May 7 “there are a considerable number of physicians who support the initiative.” So much for the Hippocratic Oath of...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : April 16, 2014

Peter LaBarbera has been described as a hate monger, a crusader against homosexuals and someone who should not be allowed into the country. He was one of several guest speakers at the annual Saskatchewan Pro Life conference held April 11-12 in Weyburn. (see separate story elsewhere on this web page.)

From everything I read or heard about the man, I expected a fire breathing, firebrand, demagogue condemning all homosexuals to eternal damnation. What I heard was a man condemning homosexuality as a sin against God and against the natural order. Yes, he spoke with passion but mostly...

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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : March 25, 2014

One of the most difficult teachings of the Church for people to understand is its rejection of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  What could the Catholic Church possibly have against bringing new life into the world?  Isn’t it supposed to be universally pro-life?

Contributing to the confusion surrounding this question is that many people have been given deeply unsatisfactory answers to our title question by well-meaning but uninformed people.  So, for example, one may hear something like, “If God wanted you to have a baby, it would happen naturally.  We can’t play God.”

Such...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : April 16, 2014

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress this year, March 13-16, attracted about 40,000 people from 17 countries; offered 199 presentations on faith, religion, youth, spirituality, scripture, evangelization, prayer and dozens of other subjects including some that were decidedly secular. Several liturgies, morning, afternoon and evening, were offered including an opening and closing mass and each day featured keynote speakers. There were also several concerts over the noon hour break and in the evening. In short it was inspirational, sometimes overwhelming and an educational experience...

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by: Frank Flegel
Updated on : March 10, 2014

Pope Francis doesn’t like his superstar status and in fact finds it offensive, he told an interviewer of the Catholic News Service in Vatican City. The Pope sat for another interview, probably to try and put to rest some of the misconceptions and misinterpretations of some of his out loud thoughts. For example the rumour that he leaves the Vatican at night to feed the tramps on the Via Ottaviano. “That has never even occurred to me,” he told the interviewer.

In all his statements, he has not changed church doctrine and has said that but he also says there may be situations that...

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by: Brett Salkeld
Updated on : February 25, 2014

On Sunday Nov. 17, 2013, I gave my second of three talks on the theological virtues to SOURCE - Regina youth and young adult ministry.  SOURCE is a joint ministry of three Regina parishes (Resurrection, Christ the King, and Holy Family) and the Archdiocesan Youth Office. 

The first talk, on faith, is available here.  The second talk, very appropriately in November, the month we honour the faithful departed, was on hope.  It took place at Holy Family.

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