Monday, October 22, 2018

Polish Movie 'Kler' Stirs Up Debate in Poland

Polish-language movie 'Kler' (clergy or priest)
Image courtesy:

A recently released Polish-language film, Kler (cleric or priest), with the main theme of how some Catholic priests deal with money, power, and sexuality, has generated hot debate in Poland. Conservatives have slammed it for smearing the Church with negative stereotypes and giving a wrong image of the priesthood in Polish Catholic Church. Others have praised the film for portraying the truth. Some viewers told a news agency that Poland needed this moment of truth. 

Directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, an established Polish film-maker, the Kler portrays three priests -- the first one, an alcoholic priest, falls in love with a woman and encourages her to have an abortion, the second priest is accused by his parishioners to be a pedophile, and the third one is an archbishop, having connections with political higher-ups in Poland, lives a life of luxury, corruption, and blackmail. The film has been inspired by the biblical message, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15).  

Film Director Smarzowski said: "... I guess the most important factor is that I am not the only person in Poland who is disturbed by the fact that the Church is above the law... I consulted priests and former priests, who aided us at every stage of the production. They helped me with the script, the choice of locations, the costumes, the on-set work and, later, the editing process. Those who want change in the Church shared their experiences and other observations. They liked the film and considered it to be Christian, and they said it didn't insult the Christian faith...."

For more on the film, click on the following: 

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 21 - 27, 2018)

"Don't tell me we can't, just because we haven't." --Brent Butt (1966 -    : Canadian actor, comedian, writer, cartoonist)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Canada Makes Recreational Use of Cannabis Legal

Cannabis (also called Marijuana)

Seeding of Cannabis plants
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Call it cannabis, or marijuana, pot, weed, drug, bud -- they usually mean the same. It was a prohibited item in Canada for the last 95 years. From today, October 17, 2018, cannabis is legal all over Canada, which, after Uruguay, is the second country in the world to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Previously, medical use of cannabis or marijuana was legal under strict conditions. Liberal Party's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the initiative to legalize cannabis use for the recreational purpose like smoking of cigarettes. 

This is a drug -- it has its good effects if used properly, but it also has serious ill effects if used irresponsibly. In Canada, only adults are allowed to use it recreationally. 

Parents and guardians with children are wary of this new legalization. They are not much aware of the physical and mental effects of this drug on children, adolescents, and early youths. What about persons getting allergic to cannabis? If, what will happen and what to do, by chance, children eat edible cannabis sold in the form of brownies, candies, etc.? What will the real effect be on driving under cannabis influence? They don't know. They also don't know the effect it will have on criminal activities if persons are high on cannabis. What about home and condo owners not willing to rent out rooms to cannabis smokers? 

As the days go by, the Canadian government has to be vigilant and responsible on these matters. 

To learn more about the pros and cons of cannabis and its use, please click on the following:

Lessons from Cannabis Legalization in Colorado State, U.S.A.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 14 - 20, 2018)

"If bishops, clergy 
and religious lose the personal 
relationship with God to which we are all called, careerism, clericalism and ways of life at odds with the Gospel often result. This diminishes or quenches the flame of love and life in Christ that we must have in serving the People of God. We can become spiritual operators, or worse, perpetrators of serious harm to others." -- 
Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, 
Portland, Oregon, USA 
(Sept. 2018)

A quotation of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, Oregon,
 on 'Bishops, clergy and Religious' relationship with God,' 
compiled by Jerome D'Costa

Above Design by Jerome D'Costa

(Updated on Oct. 15, 2018)

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Artwork by Andrea Mary D'Costa (Oct. 8, 2018)

The Thanksgiving Day is observed in Canada on the second Monday of October each year (in the U.S.A., it is observed on the fourth Thursday of each November). On this day, Canadians give thanks and celebrate the harvesting of different types of crops, and fruits and vegetables. They also share their celebratory meals with their relatives, friends, and neighbours. 

To know more, please read the following:

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Reactions of Members of the Catholic Laity and Clergy to Present Sexual Abuse Crisis

Reactions on the Recent
Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis Worldwide

The clergy sexual abuse cases that came to the limelight recently in a series of storms -- one more dreadful, shocking, and shameful than the next one. Some Catholics in the U.S. said, "How could this happen again?" Another person said, "Your faith is shaken." 

"I'm horrified," Ellen Ahmad told CNN of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. "It's so sad. As a Catholic, I'm ashamed."

In the U.S., some Catholic lay groups are demanding more responsibility to investigate clergy sexual abuse as the hierarchy has shamefully failed to address the crisis. 

Some big donors of the Catholic Church in the U.S. stopped their regular quota of donations. Some other wealthy Catholics decided to compile their "Red Hat Reports" on red-hatted American cardinals until the next papal conclave (election of the pope). In these reports, they will track which cardinals took appropriate measures on sex abuses and how many others failed to do so and why.

Some laypersons even started to sue the Vatican and certain U.S. dioceses on the issue of clergy sexual abuse.

For more on reactions, please read the following:

(Updated on Oct. 15, 2018)

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 7 - 13, 2018)

A quotation of Pope Francis on 'a bishop and a priest
who are for the people,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Design © Jerome D'Costa

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