Quebec struggles to deal with its spiritual death

A culture expresses itself in what it chooses to build. Ancient Egypt gave us the pyramids, tombs of their god-kings. Medieval France gave us the Gothic cathedral. Twenty-first century Texas gives us a $1.2-billion football stadium.

Recently the Quebec provincial government and the Quebec City municipal government announced $400 million in funding for a new hockey arena. It will be the new home of what remains, as of now, an imaginary Quebec City NHL team. Continue reading

The passing of Archbishop Zycinski is a great loss for the Church

One of the brightest lights in the Catholic episcopate died suddenly in Rome on Feb. 10, at only 62 years old.

I just met Archbishop Jozef Zycinski once — almost 17 years ago now. It was July 1994, and he was then the bishop of Tarnow, a rural diocese just outside Krakow. I was a student on the celebrated seminar led by Fr. Maciej Zieba, the Polish Dominican, and his American friends, Michael Novak, George Weigel and the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Bishop Zycinski came to speak to us about religion and public life in the newly liberated Poland. Continue reading

Of Popes, players and prostitution

“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” Even those who have never read G.K. Chesterton have likely heard a variation of his famous line. Messy are the ways that sinful men seek what is good.

Chesterton’s insight came to mind when reading of the latest debauched misadventures of Charlie Sheen who, should the aphorism be true, has been looking for God with prodigious intensity. Sheen may well be unaware of Chesterton’s view. Certainly it would be known to Martin Sheen, Charlie’s father and a serious Catholic. It’s a quite a family; Martin recently made a film about the medieval Christian pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with his first-born son, Emilio Estevez. No doubt he prays that amidst the booze and the cocaine and the pornography and high-priced hookers, his younger son might find God, and at last find peace. Continue reading