Self-righteousness hides sin of social injustice

May 2, 2016

I am discouraged that many Catholics, including our bishops, are only now expressing their concerns regarding two important moral issues - gender identity and euthanasia. What concerns me is that the bishops, Christian communities and the provincial government are fixated on these two issues in isolation. What concerns me is that the bishops, Christian communities and the provincial government are fixated on these two issues in isolation. These issues do not exist in a vacuum; they exist precisely because we as Christians and as citizens refuse to acknowledge the larger issue of social justice.

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New parishes formed by people helping people

May 2, 2016

The miracle stories of the Gospels tell about what the risen Jesus does for those who believe in him. What happened recently in the parish communities of St. Theresa and Corpus Christi is a continuation of the missions left with us by Christ's death and resurrection. Fathers Bill Irwin and Don MacDonald were compliant missionaries - teaching, catechizing in community halls and school gymnasiums in Mill Woods, a new part of Edmonton.

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Law takes back seat to justice, mercy, faith

May 2, 2016
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jesus opposed a severe interpretation of the Law. He healed people on the Sabbath even when they were not in immediate danger of death. He allowed his disciples to pick and eat corn while walking through a cornfield on the Sabbath. Jesus associated with sinners and others considered impure. He told people to follow him instead of burying their parents. All of this (and more) would have scandalized the Jews of his time, especially their leaders.

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Elderly coming to fear hospitals, Smith tells Every Life Matters

April 18, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The spectre of assisted suicide is leading aging people to "fear an institution that should be the last thing they should ever fear - a hospital," says Archbishop Richard Smith. "But the strong feeling is, 'If I can't speak for myself, if I'm alone with no family members, are they going to kill me?'" he said during the second of the Every Life Matters series April 5 at Edmonton's Corpus Christi Church. It is a question that "flows naturally" from the Supreme Court decision, the archbishop said.

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Art heals at-risk youth's addiction

April 18, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

It is not surprising Brooke sometimes speaks in treatment terms like "shame messages" when she tries to tell her story. They are negative things about herself that her brain tells her. She has been through a lot. At just 19, Brooke has lived on the street and been to four treatment centres, after spiraling into mental illness and addiction at the tender age of 12. It was also at age 12 that she discovered what would be her saving grace: art and writing.

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Canada's bishops like papal statement on family love

April 18, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops welcomed Pope Francis' post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetita: On Love in the Family April 8, noting in its teachings its rejection of euthanasia. As the Canadian government is in the process of crafting a law that would permit doctor-assisted death, the statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) notes: "Amoris Laetitia reiterates the necessity of protecting human life from beginning to its natural end." The pope also stressed the duty of conscientious objection in health care facilities and the "urgency to assert the right to a natural death without aggressive treatment and euthanasia," the CCCB statement said.

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Respect rights of Aboriginal children, advocate urges

April 18, 2016
ANDRÉA LEDDING
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON - Canadians and First Nations people must exert pressure on governments to respect the rights of Aboriginal children, says native rights activist Cindy Blackstock. "Nobody else has to fight from childhood to be treated equally by the government," said Blackstock told the Think Indigenous Youth Conference in Saskatoon March 18. In January, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in favour of Blackstock's contention that the federal government's longstanding underfunding of child and family services on reserves is a form of racial discrimination.

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Palliative care gave patient, family 2 years of peace

April 18,2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Guided by Jesus' words - "Whatever you did to one the least of my brothers and sisters, you did to me" - Father Eamon McNerney once refused to endorse assisted suicide for the relative of a colleague. He instead recommended the relative receive palliative care, which aims to manage the pain and symptoms of a disease, while neither hastening death nor prolonging the dying process. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is available in faith-based hospitals across Alberta and many other parts of Canada.

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Euthanasia denies God's mercy - Smith

April 18, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The federal government's mindset that will form the new legal landscape for physician-assisted death is un-Christian, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. "The message conveyed by the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, together with the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee, is both clear and chilling: There are some lives that are simply not worth saving." Smith made his remarks to the more than 250 people gathered on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, at St. Anthony's Church in Lloydminster.

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Music festival throws open doors of the basilica

April 18, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Roderick Bryce could not have imagined a better start to St. Joseph's Basilica's new springtime Festival of Sacred Music. The first concert on April 2, a program of Ukrainian sacred music featuring 50 mostly professional men's voices, was sold out. The sound was incredible. But what struck Bryce the most was how many people who are engaged in the city's artistic community approached him to say they had never been in the basilica before.

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