Tara writes to ask how best to respond to people who say that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist isn’t real, it’s just symbolic.Thanks for the question Tara!I think there are at least two complementary ways of approaching this.  The first is the most common.  Catholics who want to defend the claim that Christ is REALLY present in the Eucharist turn to Scripture.  There we can find extremely realistic language.  At the institution of the Eucharist Jesus says “This is my body... Read More
This is the fourth of a five-part series.In the first three parts of this series I have tried to paint a bleak picture of what the legal availability of physician-assisted suicide means for vulnerable individuals and Canadian culture generally. On the other hand, while this legal battle seems unwinnable at this stage, I am not without hope. The church has lived through bleak times before. While history is no picnic, Christianity offers us great resources for dealing with evil. In the final... Read More
Last Tuesday, I was lucky to be a member of an ecumenical and interfaith delegation that went to the provincial legislature to present a joint statement calling for more palliative care in our province and conscience rights for health care workers and institutions in light of Canada's new laws on assisted suicide.  The delegation included Roman and Ukrainian Catholic, Anglican, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Evangelical, and Muslim delegates and represented a much larger... Read More
While it is not necessary to appeal to Scripture or the authority of the Church to demonstrate that assisted suicide is bad for people and for society (you’ll notice I made no such appeals in the first four parts of this series), that does not mean that Christian faith is of no help for our present situation. It should be possible to demonstrate from rational principles accessible to people of all faiths (or none) that assisted suicide is an evil.  And Catholics are generally happy to... Read More
By Brett SalkeldThe following is the third of a five-part series.We live in a culture that makes an idol out of choice. In our basic and unquestioned public discourse choice per se, without any reference to the object of that choice, is seen as a basic good. Choice is understood as the sine qua non for authentic human freedom. Take away someone’s choice in any matter and you limit their freedom. This is seen as acceptable only when their choice might harm others.It should not be surprising,... Read More
This is the second of a five-part series.  In the first part of this series we looked at the claim that, “An assisted dying law would not result in more people dying, but in fewer people suffering.” We saw that, while the statement is true, it is irrelevant. No kind of killing increases the number of people dying for the simple reason that everybody dies. But there is another problem with this statement: it imagines death as the solution to suffering. This is a dangerous idea. ... Read More
This is the first of a five-part series on assisted suicide by Archdiocesan Theologian Brett Salkeld.  It is being co-published on his Archdiocesan blog sAsk-a-Theologian and in the Prairie Messenger every two weeks.  Parishes are very welcome to print and distribute this material in their Sunday bulletins and to provide the link to this blog in their bulletins and other communications platforms, i.e., Facebook pages, e-mail listservs, etc.... Read More


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