Archive for June 2015

Is science policy a theological matter?

Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

With his latest statement on science, technology and the environment, Pope Francis has sought to change the debate on climate change. But his statement has broader significance for the way we think about the future.

More, from the Guardian, at:



Save Thy Planet: The Gospel According to Francis

imagesCrawford Kilian has crafted an articulate analysis of the new encyclical by Pope Francis, and distilled some of the wisdom therein into the following:

“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

“The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs to buy, own and consume.”

“Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us.”

“For indigenous communities, land is not a commodity, but a gift from God, a sacred space.”

“Earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.”

“We should be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst.”

“We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Kilian writes that, “This is highly incendiary stuff, and the pope is clearly aware that not all his bishops and cardinals will want to propagate this kind of revolutionary faith. But his encyclical frequently credits the clergy of various nations (including the Canadian bishops) for their endorsements of countless key points. They are on his side whether they want to be or not.

Read more at:

Pope Francis rocks the world-and Catholics too

Theology in the Vineyard


Pope Francis second Encyclical is entitled Praise be to you, my Lord or On Care for Our Common Home which I am sure this teaching will be known. For many of us encyclicals and papal letters are are known by their Latin names (Populorum Progressio,Octogesima Adveniens etc) so in this case Laudato si . The central question posed by Francis: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (no. 160).

I love the way Francis refers to our common patrimony, the earth. Much like the man from Assisi of the 13th century, he speaks in relational terms. He refers to the earth as “our sister.” Right off the bat he lays out the harm which humans have inflicted on the earth.

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we…

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Posted June 23, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

Eldon Comfort (2)

Eldon was a master creator of limericks. In one of his publications he gave the following explanation:

Though some of my thoughts are perverse,

I like to express them in verse.

I use an old gimmick

That is called a limerick – 

Recorded here for better, for worse.

In terms of justice / injustice, Eldon once wrote:

When we see round us deeds that appall,

And Heaven seems deaf to our call,

We need not inquire

What the Lord doth require-

It’s justice and kindness for all.


Posted June 17, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

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Eldon Comfort

Remembering Eldon Comfort

Self-described “reluctant soldier” turned pacifist became a pillar of Toronto’s peace and social justice movements.

Posted June 15, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

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Leadership Qualities

What makes a good leader for any organization?

Wesley Wes Granberg-Michaelson approaches this question in a reflection on the resignations of two prominent “leaders”.

“My experience in the worlds of both religion and politics convinces me that one of three issues is at the heart of the catastrophic demise of any leader — money, sex, or power. Sometimes it’s a trifecta of all three together, like the case of John Edwards, the former Democratic presidential candidate. But in virtually every case, a leader’s personal inability to exercise appropriate constraint and control over one or more of these three dimensions of life can lead to careers that crumble and reputations that become shattered.”


However, there is a positive aspect to Grandberg-Michaelson’s response as well.

At the end of the day, the inner qualities of a potential leader — and especially a president — can end up having huge external consequences. No, we can’t expect them to be saints. It’s a start, in fact, if they can at least recognize that they are sinners. And then we can hope and expect that they are living well-examined lives, that they have dealt with their inner demons, and that they are living by habits and practices that can integrate their deeper selves. From such leaders one can expect wisdom, courage, and discernment. Their internal work can externally affect millions for the good.”

Read the full reflection on qualities of a leader at:

Posted June 5, 2015 by allanbaker in Canadian society, Politics

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Climate Publishers Network

Reducing carbon in the atmosphere

Reducing carbon in the atmosphere

Looking for improved media coverage of climate change?

The Climate Publishers Network has been established, and Tyler Hamilton provides details in this article:

This is indeed good news – a step forward.