Unfinished encyclical already coming under attack

Douglas Roche

January 26, 2015

A sure sign that Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical on climate change will capture world attention is that it is being attacked even before publication. The pope's new encyclical will be published in time to influence the UN's major meetings next fall on reducing global warming and launching a new round of sustainable development goals. The pope also intends to convene a meeting of leaders of the major religions to call for political action to save the planet from the crippling effects of carbon emissions. And also the pope himself will make a major address at the UN General Assembly in September.

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At Cana in Galilee, Mary is mother of the new creation

Visits with Mary Logo – Small

January 26, 2015

In setting the scene for the beautiful story of the wedding feast at Cana (John 2.1-11), the evangelist writes first that the mother of Jesus was at the wedding, only then adding that Jesus and his disciples were also present. This would lead one to believe that the story is to be about the mother of Jesus – in John's Gospel, she is never called Mary – with Jesus playing a secondary role. In one sense, this is true. It is the mother of Jesus who first takes note of the fact that the wine has run out, and it is she who informs her son of this fact. In doing so, she receives what can only be interpreted as a stiff rebuke.

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Church teaching on domestic violence too often forgotten

Bob McKeon

January 26, 2015

In the last days of 2015, Edmontonians were shocked by news of mass murder in their community. Phu Lam killed his wife, Thuy Tien Truong, five other relatives by marriage and two other adults before killing himself. Police investigators describe these murders as a case of domestic violence. Two years earlier, Lam was arrested for punching and attempting to strangle Truong. At that time, Lam threatened to kill all the members of his wife's family. Shortly afterwards Truong withdrew her testimony about the violence and threats, and charges against Lam were dropped. Lam and Truong were reconciled for a time, and had another child together. Last month the violence escalated to murder.

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Sort out needs from wants to unload burden of debt

Austin Mardon

January 26, 2015

The New Year brings all sorts of traditions. My wife has to eat black eyed peas because that is the tradition from her Southern roots. We make New Year's resolutions. Those usually involve adding a good habit, or getting rid of a bad one. Most of us have trouble maintaining them for long though. It can take six weeks to six months to add a new habit or break an old habit. Our fast-paced society isn't geared to anything that takes so long to master. January brings lots of unpleasant things that don't include blizzards. It's time to start thinking about tax receipts and government forms. Many of us have yearly payments for things like insurance or memberships that come due in January.

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Mercy must extend to all who are harmed

January 26, 2015

Recent discussion about the plight of those Catholics who have been civilly divorced and entered into a second marriage has centred on the notion of God's mercy. The argument is simple. If we are merciful as God is merciful, we will allow such persons to receive Holy Communion. >The problem with this simple argument is that it is too simple. A larger context needs to be considered.

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Kasper's stance demeans Church's tradition

January 26, 2015

The Church's pastoral practices have always been rooted in mercy and compassion. The manner in which these are expressed varies. However, the essence of every Church doctrine remains intact. Cardinal Walter Kasper challenges the interconnectedness between doctrine and pastoral practice. In his haste to honour Kasper with the Mustard Seed Award ("Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed'," Dec. 29), Glen Argan overlooks legitimate concerns about Kasper's proposal that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion without annulment.

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Kasper's calculus muddled by Protestant thinking

January 26, 2015

Re: "Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed', WCR, Dec 29." Cardinal Walter Kasper's theology has caused severe response, and justifiably so, because it challenges the fundamental essence of Christianity staunchly defended by the saints and doctors of the Church, by Paul, Augustine, Aquinas all the way to John Paul II.

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Impossible to tolerate what is unacceptable

January 26, 2015

I am not a theologian, but a person doesn't have to have a degree to recognize muddled thinking. Really, what kind of double-speak is it to say we should "tolerate what is impossible to accept"? Am I a fundamentalist because I believe the Catholic Church teaches that a marriage has to be declared null before a person enters into a second (but hopefully this time by the grace of God), true marriage?

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Council elevated Catholic teaching on the family

January 26, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) began as a patchwork of various proposed documents on social issues that had been put forward by the commissions charged with writing documents for consideration at the Second Vatican Council. It is tempting to see part two of Gaudium et Spes as an appendix to the main document that wraps some of these earlier documents into one huge pastiche. What is remarkable, however, is how well the five "urgent problems" discussed in part two are woven into one constitution and how well they flow from the Gaudium et Spes' central focus on the nature of the human person.

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New cardinals reflect Church's global nature

January 12, 2015
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis has named 20 new cardinals, 11 of them from the global South. The new cardinals come "from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the Church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world," the pope said. Fifteen of the new cardinals are under age 80 and will be eligible to vote in a papal election.

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