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Smith learning from aboriginal people

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Catholics can learn important lessons from how God is moving in and among First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. Smith said aboriginal people have taught him the importance of listening deeply, respect for elders and how a person's sense of identity is linked to their place in the family and the wider community. The archbishop made his comments during his homily at the Dec. 12 Mass at St. Joseph's Basilica marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.

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Parishes called to become centres for evangelization

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Canadian parishes are in need of "profound conversion" so that they can fulfill their call to evangelization, says a statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Parishes are called to be missionary – not necessarily to foreign countries – but primarily to those around them," says the statement, The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today. The 11-page exhortation notes that some parishes are already experimenting with "new ways of Christian living," and it urges them to step out into their neighbourhoods to propose the faith and invite those who do not practise that faith to encounter Christ "through a vibrant parish community."

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Bishops seek protection from bullying for all students

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The Alberta government's Bill 10, which would have allowed "gay-straight alliances" (GSAs) in the province's schools, made a serious attempt to reconcile the right of student safety with parental and school rights in the education and formation of children, said Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. In a letter circulated in parishes in the archdiocese on the Dec. 13-14 weekend after the bill had been withdrawn from the legislature, Smith said public debate on the issue has continued and "the commentary has not always been kind to the leadership of our Catholic schools." Catholic schools, he said, insist that the approach to protecting children "be a fully inclusive one," one that takes into account the many reasons why children may be subjected to bullying.

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Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed'

Cardinal Walter Kasper

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

For more than 30 years, Cardinal Walter Kasper has been an outspoken proponent of a more welcoming attitude to those divorced and remarried Catholics not permitted to receive the Eucharist. More recently, his theology of mercy, outlined in his popular book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, has had a major influence on Pope Francis and is provoking new directions in the Catholic Church. One of the world's leading theologians, Kasper served from 1999 to 2011 as secretary and then president of the Vatican's Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

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Christian beliefs ought to humanize secular societies

January 12, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

My own commitment to the Church and to Christian living has been strengthened by encounters and friendships with numerous Christians who give of themselves to make the Gospel come alive in the broader society. Wherever one turns, it seems, there are Catholics involved in their professional associations, volunteer organizations, various forms of advocacy for the vulnerable, including the unborn, the dying, the poor and the disabled, and assorted political parties.

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Abortion can lead to lifetime of trauma

January 12, 2015

Re: "N.B. gov't plans to loosen abortion restrictions" (WCR, Dec. 15). The new Liberal government is proposing easier access and possible government funding for women seeking abortions.

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Mother Church offers wisdom on agriculture

January 12, 2015

Responding to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR, Dec. 15). I am a farmer interested in learning more about the Development and Peace petition for saving seed. After Mass, I studied the petition and signed it without hesitation.

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Cardinal puts forward liberal, revisionist theology

January 12, 2015

In October, five cardinals published a book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, that is diametrically opposed to the views of WCR's 2014 Mustard Seed Award winner, Cardinal Walter Kasper. The first part of the book is dedicated to the biblical texts pertaining to divorce and remarriage, and the second part examines the teaching and practice of the early Church.

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Pope gives blessing to global movements striving for change

Joe Gunn

January 12, 2015

Chances are that you will never have heard of this encounter. There is no document about it in English. Only one person attended from Canada. Yet, this event tells us much about the priorities of Pope Francis and the model of Church that he wants Catholics to live into. A Toronto-based trade union activist, Judith Marshall, brought to the attention of her friends a report on the pope's participation in something called The World Meeting of Popular Movements.

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New Year's can be time to restart the engines

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

January 12, 2015

I was struck by the following quote that is often repeated in the context of New Year's resolutions: "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." It's an inspirational statement, though you might be forgiven for thinking that such messages sometimes fall flat when you are really struggling. Many complain that New Year's Day is an equally provisional symbol of a fresh start . . . as though all the pain or joy, the failures or successes of the past year suddenly vanish just because we reset the clock.

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