Policy analyst calls for national plan to tackle poverty

April 18,2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Despite its wealth, Canada still has almost five million people struggling to make ends meet. These are people who struggle to pay their rent, feed their families and address basic needs. To solve this problem, Canada needs a national plan on poverty reduction, says Darlene O'Leary, socio-economic policy analyst for Citizens for Public Justice. CPJ is an Ottawa-based national organization inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy.

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Canada needs ecological conversion

April 18, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Canada needs to be converted on both ecological issues and indigenous rights if it is to meet its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says the head of KAIROS, the national inter-church justice group. Jennifer Henry says Canada needs to consider how best to do that so that it both addresses indigenous rights and contributes to reducing climate change. "Our climate solutions are actually indigenous right solutions as well. And that mostly has to do with resource projects," Henry told the Social Justice Institute at The King's College in Edmonton April 9.

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Priest under investigation after parish refugee funds disappear

April 18, 2016
JEAN KO DIN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

London, Ont. - The Diocese of Hamilton is picking up the pieces after a Chaldean Catholic priest admitted to gambling away $500,000 of donations meant for refugees. Father Amer Saka, priest of St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, Ont., confessed to Chaldean eparchial Bishop Emanuel Shaleta last month that the money for the parish's refugee sponsorship had been gambled away. Saka was immediately suspended and was sent to Southdown Institute, a mental health treatment facility north of Toronto for religious and clergy.

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PEI gov't moves to bring abortion to island holdout

April 18, 2016
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Pro-lifers are heartbroken that the only province that didn't provide abortion services has succumbed to pressure from the abortion lobby. When the premier of Prince Edward Island announced that abortions will soon be legal on the island, it brought despair to the national pro-life movement. "It is a heartbreaking situation," said Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition's national co-ordinator. "I am very sad about it and a little surprised.

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Bishop-elect recalls wandering path

April 18, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Bishop-elect Scott McCaig, named by Pope Francis April 8 to head the Military Ordinariate of Canada, traces the beginning of his priestly vocation to a glimpse of a road sign. McCaig, who has served since 2006 as the superior general of the Companions of the Cross, was then 13 years old and traveling by car on vacation with his parents. He doesn't remember the location, possibly northwest Ontario, but he glanced up to see the sign showing a picture of the crucified Christ with the caption "Dare to be a priest like me."

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Canada reticent to label ISIS slaughter as genocide

April 18, 2016
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Widespread slaughter, expulsion, kidnapping and rape of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities in territory controlled by the Islamic State may well constitute a genocide. However, the Canadian government will not join a growing international movement and formally call it a genocide before there is a proper, third party investigation. "Canada is appalled by the atrocities," Global Affairs Canada told The Catholic Register. "We believe some of these show the hallmarks of genocide."

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Church should help love to grow

April 18, 2016
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The same mercy and patience essential for building a strong family must be shown to those whose families are in trouble or have broken up, Pope Francis said in his highly anticipated document on the family. The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on Love in the Family, released April 8, contains no new rules or norms. However, it encourages careful review of everything related to family ministry and, particularly, much greater attention to the language and attitude used when explaining Church teaching and ministering to those who do not fully live that teaching.

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Pecks, passion, prayer can strengthen marriage

April 18, 2016
JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY - Simple gestures such as a kind look or a morning kiss and family prayer can strengthen couples in living out their vocation to marriage, Pope Francis said in his apostolic exhortation. Released April 8, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on Love in the Family, not only addresses major themes discussed during the 2014 and 2015 meetings of the Synod of Bishops, but also delves deeper into the Church's teachings on true love and the family. It also highlights the importance of sexuality and passion as a manifestation of true love as a gift.

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Dreams inspire Catholic artist

April 18, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Kiki Smith grew up in a Catholic home dominated by art because her father Tony Smith was an acclaimed American minimalist sculptor who worked in large geometric sculptures. In a public conversation March 31 at the National Art Gallery, Smith said she and her sisters would help her father make the geometric scale models or "maquettes" of his work out of cardboard. "All he did was art," she said. They had no television and little exposure to other information outside of the art world. Her mother was an opera singer and actress.

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Selfish desire for money is the enemy of true harmony, pope says

April 18, 2016
JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY - True harmony within a Christian community ensures that none of its members are left wanting and places the needs of others before the selfish desire for money, Pope Francis said. "The true 'harmony' of the Holy Spirit has a strong relationship with money. Money is the enemy of harmony, money is selfish," the pope said April 5 during his morning Mass. The pope reflected on the day's First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4.32-37), which said the first Christian communities were "of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common."

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