Life on the page

Much has been written in recent months about the future of newspapers. In a week-long series, we asked our opinion-makers what newspapers mean to them and how they have affected their lives.

A few years back, a professor’s widow donated various things to our Catholic chaplaincy at Queen’s University. There was a piano, some furniture and an old, handsome desk. While rummaging around, waiting for men stronger than I to do the heavy lifting, I came across another treasure: A box of old newspapers recording historic events. I sat down to read; the others did the moving. Continue reading

Glendon, Notre Dame and Abortion Politics

Father John Jenkins likely thought himself very clever. Professor Mary Ann Glendon just took him to school.

In declining to receive the Laetare Medal alongside President Barack Obama’s honorary doctorate of laws at next month’s commencement, Glendon has refused to participate in the shabby manipulation Father Jenkins attempted to engineer. It is a rare personage who could ennoble an award by refusing to receive it, but Professor Glendon has done just that. The Laetare Medal will now be known best for the year in which it was declined. Glendon chose, to use the apt words of Bishop John D’Arcy in this regard, truth over prestige. Continue reading

Bambino would blush at expense

– in the Bronx, NY –

Opening Day in the new Yankee Stadium was planned for years. The goal was to preserve everything that was distinctive about the old Yankee Stadium, still standing across the street after 86 years as a centre of New York’s athletic, cultural and even spiritual world. So when the Yankee fans started booing the home team in the seventh inning it seemed somehow right — nothing had been lost from the old Yankee Stadium. Continue reading

Laughing with the saints

New York’s new Archbishop reminds us that devotion brings joy

The late Pope John Paul II used to call the late Cardinal John O’Connor, eighth Archbishop of New York, the “archbishop of the capital of the world.” In strict Catholic protocol, all dioceses are more or less equal, so that in principle, the Archdiocese of New York ranks no higher than, say, my own home Archdiocese of Kingston, Ont. And yet in practice, rather than protocol, New York is a unique centre of English-speaking Catholicism, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the mother church of the United States. Continue reading