Lawlessness and Trumping Choice

Besides being the memorial – or, as I like to think of it, the feast – of Saint Thomas Aquinas, this is also the rather ambiguous anniversary, back on this day in 1988, of the striking down of Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 abortion law by the Supreme Court. The Court deemed the law ‘unconstitutional’, but not in a good way: Rather, as too restrictive for women seeking abortions – requiring a panel of physicians, and ‘proportionate’ reasons, like health. Hence, they ordered parliament to formulate a new law, which they have never done. Hence, Canada is one of the very few countries in the world – China, Vietnam and North Korea, all atheistic, communist dictatorships, which is what this nation has more or less become, or at least devolving into.

Saint Thomas provides the antidote, with his clear teaching, the harmony he draws between faith and reason, his mystical holiness. Without Thomas and the scholastic method which Popes have advocated since the time of his death, the Church would be in danger of falling into an emotionalist, milquetoast mush, offering ersatz compassion, ignoring the harm to the most vulnerable, like babies and children – also a proximate reality of the current situation. Only the truth will set us free.

And what of Trump and his remarkable, rhetorical speech at the March for Life, advocating in no uncertain terms protection for the unborn from conception? Rare is the bishop who speaks like this. Some claim he is an opportunist, seeking Evangelical and Catholic votes, and he’s just faking it. If so, he’s doing a remarkably realistic job, appointing pro-life justices, promulgating pro-life laws, restricting Planned Parenthood and overseas abortions. Yes, he may have changed his mind – see my comments on metanoia on Saturday’s feast of Saint Paul’s conversion – but such is eminently possible, and even likely. We should give credit where credit is due.

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Trump and Netanyahu propose two-state plan for Israel-Palestine peace

Washington D.C., Jan 28, 2020 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a new peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday. The plan includes an independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. 

Trump said Jan. 28 that the plan offers a “win-win opportunity for both sides” and a “realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” 

“This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map, illustrating the territorial consequences it’s willing to make for the cause of peace,” said Trump. “And they’ve gone a long way. This is an unprecedented and highly significant development.” 

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Supreme Court allows ‘public burden’ rule for migrants, but Catholic leaders object

Washington D.C., Jan 28, 2020 / 01:15 pm (CNA).- A Trump administration rule defining more low-income immigrants as a public burden may go into effect, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week. Catholic leaders decried the ruling, saying it will harm families’ ability to secure basic services and that it represents a radical departure from American traditions.

“We implore the administration to reconsider this harsh and unnecessary policy and rescind it in its entirety,” Sister Donna Markham O.P., president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, said Jan. 27. “By allowing this harmful policy to go into effect, the administration imposes a chilling effect on access to basic services, creating fear among eligible individuals threatening family unity and stability.”

“We will be judged on how we treat the hungry, the homeless and the stranger among us and this decision signals a watershed change of course from the best moments of our American heritage of welcoming immigrants and refugees,” Markham said.

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Catholics and Evangelicals chip away at wall of misunderstanding

The “Berlin Wall” between Catholics and Evangelicals in Canada is slowly but surely being chipped away, say two experts who are part of a group at the forefront with a metaphorical hammer and chisel.

“People couldn’t imagine what the end of the Cold War was going to look like, and then one day they woke up and no one was guarding the wall. People started taking it down. Christian unity has to be something like it. Until it’s achieved, it’s kind of unimaginable. You don’t know what it will look like,” said Brett Salkeld, the archdiocesan theologian for the Archdiocese of Regina.

“We’re chipping away at that wall. Absolutely,” added Jo-Ann Badley, the academic dean at Ambrose University in Calgary.

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