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Having faith helps Andy Kemp, a Toronto paramedic, make sense of the madness that is a regular part of the job. "You can't predict Friday night to Monday morning what is going to happen," said Kemp, a deacon at St. Joseph Parish in eastern Scarborough when he's not on the job.
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VATICAN CITY – Opening a two-day meeting of the world's cardinals, Pope Francis said the Church's pastoral approach to helping couples must be "intelligent, courageous and full of love." The family today, the pope said, is "looked down upon and mistreated."
Reports from bishops’ conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a clear divergence between what the Church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics – even those active in parish life – personally believe. The differences are seen “above all when it comes to pre-marital cohabitation, (the status of the) divorced and remarried, birth control and homosexuality,” said the German bishops’ report.
Marriage is better now than ever. The old idea of marriage with the wife at home wearing a mini-apron as she waits for her husband is an idealized, romanticized, impoverished view of marriage, maintain Blake and Brooke Sittler. Sadly, "We play into it and still yearn romantically for that and to our children and in society that has virtually no meaning anymore," the Saskatoon couple said at the annual celebration of World Marriage Day at St. Albert's Holy Family Church Feb. 23.
In Sisters in Crisis Revisited, Ann Carey offers the best-documented study of the collapse of Catholic women's religious orders to date. The documentation is taken from original sources such as essays, journals and firsthand accounts that illustrate that the demise of traditional religious communities was not a result of happenstance or the "spirit of change" during the 1960s.
VATICAN CITY – The responses to the Vatican questionnaire about Catholics' family life reflect a great amount of suffering around the world, said the general secretary of the synod. As of Feb. 19, about 80 per cent of the world's bishops' conferences and 60 per cent of the Vatican congregations and councils had turned in formal responses to a questionnaire distributed by the synod office in October.
EDMONTON – The annual World Day of Prayer, sponsored in Canada by the Women's Inter-Church Council, will be celebrated in 17 Edmonton-area churches on Friday, March 7. The World Day of Prayer was started in 1922 as an international ecumenical movement of prayer and action. Every year, Christian women from a different country write the prayer service which reflects justice concerns in their homeland through a biblical lens.
The disharmony and bitterness of the 1964 session of the Second Vatican Council did not end with the so-called "black week" at the end of the session. Pope Paul VI had felt snubbed by the rejection of the Decree on the Missions that he had gone out of his way to promote and the failure of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity to send him the Decree on Ecumenism until after the council had approved the text. Now, he asserted his authority with greater vigour.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced, on Feb. 11, 2013, that he would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, speculation was as varied as it was excited about the long-term consequences of his historic act. But one common line of thought held that, for better or worse, his decision might leave the papacy a less exalted and powerful office, bringing the supreme pontiff closer to the level of other bishops, clergy and faithful.
EDMONTON – Redemptorist Father John (Jack) Spicer wore many hats but likely will be remembered as a great educator of the Catholic faithful. As director of the archdiocesan Adult Learning Commission for more than 30 years, Spicer quietly educated thousands of Catholics on the Scriptures and on the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council.