A year under Pope Francis

A year ago today, I was broadcasting from St. Peter’s Square when the new pope’s name was announced — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. He was unknown to the vast crowd in the piazza, and only slightly less unknown to the broadcasters. No longer. After an exhilarating year, Pope Francis has become the world’s parish priest, with Catholics and non-Catholics alike feeling close to him. Continue reading

Pope’s ministers of mercy

I was a little nervous about Pope Francis’ meeting with the clergy of Rome last week. As a semi­narian and a new priest, I always looked forward to Blessed John Paul’s annual Holy Thursday letter to priests. To my disap­pointment, Pope Benedict XVI did not continue that tradition, but replaced it with an annual encounter with the clergy of Rome in the first days of Lent. Pope Francis opted this year to continue Benedict’s practice, and so met with the parish priests of Rome last week. Continue reading

Restore, don’t replace the beauty of marriage

Last week we had the honour of hosting Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in Kingston at the annual St. John Fisher Dinner. The Fisher Dinner, named in honour of a great man of letters before his coura­geous defence of marriage and martyrdom under Henry VIII, supports the work of our Newman House Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen’s University and the mis­sionaries of Catholic Christian Outreach who are an essential part of our mission. Continue reading

Russia’s broken spirit

The nascent revolution in Ukraine and the subsequent invasion of Crimea by Russian forces makes urgent the question of Ukrainian sovereignty and the possibility of liberal democracy in Kyiv, the ancient capital of the Russian people. Yet what is at stake is also the future of Russia and, more particularly, whether Russians might one day achieve in Red Square what their fellow Slavs achieved these past months in Kyiv’s Maidan. Continue reading