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Benedict puts his mark on Assisi prayer summit

October 24, 2011

Slowly and carefully, the Vatican is setting the stage for the third edition of the interreligious "prayer for peace" encounter in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi.

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Compassion means being present to others

Gordon Self

October 24, 2011

Those visiting the new statue on the Alberta Legislature grounds recognizing the historic contribution of the Catholic sisters in our province may experience what I did when I first looked up at the stained glass plate in the hands of the bronze figure.

The sister's face is framed in one of the central glass panels focusing an array of warm light around the statue. Seeing her face in this light underscores the creative vision of artist Herman Poulin who attests the sisters' work as one of service, reflecting ultimately the light and compassion of Christ.

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Political control over religion corrupts

Bishop Fred Henry

October 24, 2011

With more than 100 religious leaders in attendance on Oct. 3, International Affairs Minister John Baird opened formal consultation on the creation of an Office of Religious Freedom.

The office's mandate is intended to promote and protect freedom of religion and belief, consistent with Canadian values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The office will operate within the department of foreign affairs and international trade.

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Make your life your living witness to God

Ralph Himsl

October 24, 2011
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2011

The Gospel readings for recent Sundays have Jesus engaged in discussions with priests, scribes, elders and Pharisees - community leaders in Jerusalem. He berates them in personal confrontations.

Even in their absence, as in today's Gospel, he discusses their failings in a forthright manner. He acknowledges their intimate knowledge of the law - the scribes for example, made copies of its texts and so knew them well. But their failure to live by its requirements drew Jesus' ire.

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Healthy sex is predicated on both passion and chastity

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

October 24, 2011

Our world thinks it understands sex. It doesn't. Moreover it is beginning to ignore and even disdain how Christianity views sexuality.

We are paying a price for this, mostly without consciously realizing it: Sex, outside of its proper containers – respect, unconditional commitment and love – isn't bringing more joy into our lives, but is leaving us more fragmented and lonely.

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We kneel in humility before the greatness of God

WCR Logo

October 24, 2011

During Pope Benedict's trip to Germany last month, he raised the question of who may enter the kingdom of God. In a homily during a Mass in Freiburg in Breisgau, the pope said some agnostics – those "who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of their sin" – are closer to God's kingdom than are believers whose life of faith is routine and who see the Church as mainly an institution.

The pope raised this matter, not to incite our curiosity about who is going to heaven and who is not, but to challenge us to a deeper faith.

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Magazine brings faith into the public square

Convivium Magazine Logo

October 31, 2011
CATHOLIC REGISTER STAFF

TORONTO – More than two years in the making, Canada has a new magazine that intends to inject the voice of faith into public debates.

Convivium published its preview issue Oct. 18 with limited distribution in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.

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Melkite urges Canadians to befriend all sides in Middle East

Archbishop Elias Chacour

October 31, 2011
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – Years ago, Melkite Archbishop Elias Chacour flew to Washington, D.C., to make an unannounced visit to then Secretary of State James Baker's personal residence.

The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and All Galilee was having trouble getting a building permit to expand a school from the Israeli government. That problem had repeated itself many times over the years as he built schools and summer camps for impoverished Christian and Muslim villagers.

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Church efforts faltering to raise $25M for natives

October 31, 2011
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

CORNWALL, ONT. – Donor fatigue has left the Canadian bishops' efforts to raise $25 million for healing programs on First Nations reserves well short of its goal.

Archbishop Richard Smith, the new president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), attributed that fatigue to financial anxieties over the current world financial crisis and multiple requests for funds.

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Our amusements are a serious business

St. Francis de Sales

October 24, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Some might wonder why St. Francis de Sales devotes attention to how one's recreation activities affect his or her spiritual life. Everyone needs recreation after all and, as long as one stays away from the most hideous forms of activity, one should have free rein in deciding how to spend one's free time. Right?

Francis is quick to agree that everyone needs recreation. "It is undoubtedly a defect," he writes in his Introduction to the Devout Life, "to be so strict, ill-bred, uncouth and austere as neither to take recreation ourselves nor to allow it to others." Every person needs to relax both mind and body.

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