Donald DeMarco

Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus of Saint Jerome’s University and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He is a regular columnist for the Saint Austin Review and the author, most recently, of Reflections on the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Search for Understanding.

recent articles

In Canada, Gay Pride Is Mandatory

On May 25, 2020, the Calgary, Alberta city council passed a “conversion therapy” bill by a vote of 14-1. According to the bill, any councilor who offers to reduce a person’s same-sex attraction or reaffirm a person’s birth sex is subject to a fine of up to $10,000. The by-law also applies to anyone making … Read more

The Media and the Mediatrix

A mediator is someone who is situated between two parties and seeks to bring them into accord. The mediator does have a particular position of his own but operates in a completely unselfish manner. A medium, in the sense of a psychic, refers to one who establishes contact with the supernatural world. All three senses … Read more

A Grim New Meaning to ‘Last Supper’

The Last Supper, for Christians, is deeply significant. It is the moment when Christ instituted the Eucharist. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body’ ” (Matthew 26:26-28). According to St. Thomas Aquinas, it was during … Read more

Jean Vanier’s Sins Are His Own

According to a report released by L’Arche International, Jean Vanier, the Catholic Canadian founder of a network of communities for intellectually disabled individuals, sexually abused at least six women. This news comes as both a disappointment and a shock to all those who regarded Vanier as a man of exemplary virtue. “I was horrified,” writes … Read more

How Canada Lost Its Mind

We all, at various times, are forgetful. One of my recent memory lapses found me in my branch library sans reading glasses. The librarian could not comply with my request to borrow a pair since she did not want to break the law. The law is taking very good care of me, I thought, and … Read more

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of God

Etienne Gilson was one of the clearest thinking philosophers of the 20th century. As a good philosopher, naturally, he fully understood the importance of reason, a power that is often downgraded or even dismissed in the modern world. In an address he gave at Harvard’s Tercentenary Celebration (1936), he made the following statement: “Realism always … Read more

Nature’s Witness to Intelligent Design

I was finishing my morning coffee and nothing in particular was occupying my mind. A black-capped chickadee suddenly appeared before my eyes, walking alongside our front yard maple tree. It was busy, no doubt looking for food. At that moment it seemed to be operating with more purpose than I was. This tiny little oviparous … Read more

The Year of the Philosopher?

Three notable Catholic thinkers drew considerable attention in the year of 2019: Saint John Henry Newman for his canonization, Bishop Fulton Sheen for the approval of his beatification, and G.K. Chesterton for his cause for sainthood being stalled. Although Newman is best identified as a theologian, Sheen as a preacher, and Chesterton as a journalist, … Read more

Toronto’s Catholic Schools Bow to the Rainbow Mafia

On the night of November 8, 2019, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, after a long and heated debate, voted to adopt four gender terms into its code of conduct: “gender identity,” “gender expression,” “family status,” and “marriage status”. The chairman of the board, who supported the 8 to 4 vote, stated that “we need … Read more

Our Lady Is the True Guardian of Womanhood, Not Feminism

On the night of October 29, 2019, Meghan Murphy, a freelance writer, spoke at a Toronto library to an audience of roughly 100 people, mostly women. Her topic, entirely unwarranted just a few years ago, was “Gender Identity: What Does It Mean for Society, The Law, and Women?” Her main point was that “allowing men … Read more

Welcome to the People’s Democratic Republic of Canada

Canadian voters have re-elected Justin Trudeau as their Prime Minister. The October 21 election shows that the Liberal Party garnered 157 seats to 121 for the Conservatives. Four other parties gained 60 seats total, which means that a Liberal minority will be in power. The popular vote was much closer with the Conservatives getting 34.4 … Read more

Ideology is Moral Blindness

Many moons ago, even before Roe v. Wade, I taught an ethics class that consisted of 16 students. At the outset, I used an anonymous questionnaire to learn about their respective stances on abortion. The class was split in half, with eight accepting abortion and eight opposing it. By the end of the course, all … Read more

Families and Fallacies

The late Rodney Dangerfield, whose signature statement was “I get no respect,” claimed that when he tried to explain to his wife that he, like wine, gets better with age, she locked him in the cellar.  There is usually an element of illogic in humor.  In this case, the sadly misunderstood Rodney Dangerfield was using … Read more

Choice and Repercussion

Jean Bethke Elstain, an author I greatly admire, made an astute observation when she remarked that “much that comes parading through town under the banner of ‘choice’ is actually a new set of constraints and compulsions.”  “Parading” is an appropriately descriptive word since this new attitude toward choice does not come to us through a … Read more

When a Crowd Becomes a Mob

It was Victoria Day in Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays were hosting the Rays of Tampa Bay. The word “hosting,” however, hardly applied to the treatment that one Yunel Escobar, the Rays shortstop, received, who was lustfully booed each time he came to the plate.  When he homered in the 9th inning, he was … Read more

St. Thomas of Napa Valley

The Sebastiani family has been making and selling wine in California for more than one hundred years. One of its Napa Valley wines bears the intriguing label, “Aquinas,” in honor of the Catholic Church’s greatest philosopher/theologian. The choice of this label might raise some eyebrows. What is the “Angelic Doctor’s” name doing on a product that comes … Read more

Life, Like Baseball, Demands Order

Baseball, it should never be forgotten, is a game.  But it is not just a game.  Because of the way it employs life and death metaphors, its analogy with human drama is compelling if not totally convincing.  A runner may “die” on third, but not literally.  A batter may stay “alive” if he fouls off … Read more

The Slide Toward State Control

During his Apostolic Visit to the United States, on April 16, 2008, which was also his birthday, Pope Benedict XVI was welcomed to the White House by President George W. Bush.  The Pope expressed the hope that his visit would be a source of renewal to the Church in the United States. Early in his remarks, … Read more

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account … Read more

Barriers to Teaching Boys How to Become Men

While perusing a secular newspaper this morning, my eyes fell upon an opinion piece entitled, “Who will teach our boys to become men?”  The author bemoaned the plague of gun violence among boys, but he did not suggest a way in which this type of violence could be mitigated.  This is not surprising for a … Read more

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