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Beatitudes provide a guide to Christian living, says pope

June 23, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Being a good Christian demands concrete action and deeds, Pope Francis said. And, he said, the "how-to" manual is found in the Beatitudes and the Last Judgment, which spells out the consequences awaiting those who fail to help others in need. Jesus offers a guide to life that is "so simple, but very difficult," the pope said June 9 during his morning Mass.

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Only God can bring peace to Holy Land

June 23, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil. "More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it," the pope said June 8 at an evening ceremony in the Vatican Gardens.

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Round up the whole parish and embrace RCIA inquirers

Nick Wagner and wife Diana Macalintal

June 23, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The work of forming new Catholics is not just the job of the RCIA team but of the whole parish. That was one key message delivered to RCIA members from across Western Canada by Nick Wagner and his wife Diana Macalintal, founders of TeamRCIA, a California-based ministry that offers a variety of online and in-person training for Church ministers and volunteers.

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Prostitution bill receives crucial second reading

June 23, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – After only five hours of debate, the federal government's prostitution bill passed a June 16 second reading vote by 139 to 117, with no support from the New Democratic, Liberal or Green parties. "For the first time in Canadian history, Bill C-36 will amend the Criminal Code and shift the burden of criminality from the sellers to the buyers," MP Joy Smith said in a statement.

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St. Vincent de Paul Society takes stronger advocacy role

Peter Ouellette

June 23, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will become a stronger advocate for the poor as well as continuing its longstanding charitable work of providing food, furniture and clothing to those in need. "We are recognizing that the idea of giving to those living in poverty is a wonderful short-term solution, but it does not change the situation of those living in poverty," says Peter Ouellette, president of the Western Region of the society.

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World Cup should promote solidarity, says Pope Francis

World Cup Soccer Ball

June 23, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
and LISE ALVES
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis called on fans and competitors at the World Cup to celebrate the event as an opportunity to promote dialogue, respect and peace. He also warned against all forms of discrimination on the sidelines, in the stands and on the field: "Let no one become isolated and feel excluded! Watch out! 'No' to segregation, 'no' to racism!"

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Bible has both human and divine authors

July 7, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) was surely the most difficult document to finalize at the Second Vatican Council. The original document on revelation appeared in November 1962 and was soundly rejected by the council fathers. It went through roughly six more major drafts before finally being approved three weeks before the council ended in 1965. To win approval, compromises were needed, and nowhere is that more evident than in the document's discussion of Sacred Scripture.

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Do more to fight politicians' stands against life

July 7, 2014

Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring editorial about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ("Pro-lifers must not abandon politics," WCR, May 26). We appreciate and recognize what Cardinal Thomas Collins and Archbishop Richard Smith said about Trudeau's position ("Catholics face barriers to political involvement – Smith," May 26).

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Shunning former friends closes door to possible reconciliation

Mark Pickup

July 7, 2014

I had a Christian friend who wrote off our friendship, like a bad debt. Perhaps he saw me as a liability perhaps I am a friendship liability. His name is David. I miss him and wish I knew why he severed our friendship so abruptly and without explanation. David has not spoken or communicated with me for over a decade; my overtures went unacknowledged; my attempts to contact him to set things right were met with stony silence. We are no longer friends.

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Canada slams door shut on thousands of Syrian refugees

Joe Gunn

July 7, 2014

I'll never forget the refugee child who died in my arms. Deep in the jungle of southern Mexico, by 1983, 100,000 Mayan refugees had fled the barbarous offensives of the Guatemalan Army. I had been visiting Church workers along the river and had not had a meal since the first day I arrived. You can't eat when everyone around you has nothing – all our food had immediately been given away upon arrival.

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