WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Quebec Holy Door opened with ceremony for Year of Mercy

February 8, 2016
JULIAN HNATIW
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

QUEBEC - On Dec. 12, Notre Dame Cathedral in Quebec City re-opened its Holy Door, the only permanent holy door in the Americas. These symbolic doors grace only seven important cathedrals in the world. The most famous is in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican while the other six are in Rome, France, Spain and Quebec.

Let Holy Spirit speak in Alta. Schools' gender discussion

February 8, 2016
FR. GLENN MCDONALD, CSB
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

The Catholic community must engage in a constructive dialogue that seeks, not only to respond to Alberta Education's new guidelines accommodating gender-diverse students, but to address them with a Spirit-filled response. We must find a solution faithful to our Catholic identity but which also responds to the presence of transgender students in our schools. I urge you to read the guidelines because we need everyone praying for and discerning the will of the Holy Spirit in how we ought to respond.

Children should be allowed medical help to commit suicide, says law prof

February 8, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Physician-assisted death legislation could include competent children under 18, a legal expert told a parliamentary committee. University of Ottawa professor Bernard Pelletier said Jan. 26 that Parliament could broaden the criteria beyond the Supreme Court's Carter decision which permits physician-assisted death for competent adults.

Bishops continue fight against provincial guidelines

February 8, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Edmonton - Archbishop Richard Smith has joined others in expressing his frustration with the provincial government's new gender identity guidelines. In a Jan. 21 pastoral letter, the archbishop also contends some trustees have betrayed the public trust. Smith says the guidelines contain constructive, and reasonable suggestions for best practices, but others could pose problems for Catholic schools. The Church, he says, opposes guidelines that allow students to self-identify their own gender expression or identity.

Archbishop's statement regarding Guidelines for Best Practices:

January 21, 2016

The Guidelines for Best Practices document issued by the Minister of Education on January 13, 2016, contain many constructive, thoughtful and reasonable suggestions for Best Practices. Many of these are already being followed or could easily be adopted by Catholic schools without concern for adversely affecting the Catholicity of the schools. For example, the Guidelines state that “Requests for supports are addressed on a case-by-case basis and solutions are evidence-informed and individualized to best meet the needs of the student making the request.”

School board, bishop at odds over transgender guidelines

January 15, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

While the chair of the board of Edmonton Catholic Schools is pleased with new provincial guidelines to develop policies on LGBTQ students, the bishop of Calgary is calling on Catholic school boards to reject them. In a pastoral letter released Jan. 13, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry said the guidelines "breathe pure secularism." They would impose a narrow-minded, anti-Catholic agenda, he said.

Supreme Court gives limited go-ahead to euthanasia

Alex Schadeberg

January 25, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - Euthanasia opponents are disappointed with the Jan. 15 Supreme Court of Canada decision giving Ottawa only four of the six extra months it had sought to craft an assisted dying law. Groups expressed particular concern over the court's granting Quebec an exemption from the Criminal Code provisions against euthanasia and assisted suicide so it can proceed with its euthanasia law. Those provisions remain in effect elsewhere in the country until the deadline, now set at June 6.

Pope Francis welcomes migrants, refugees to Year of Mercy

January 25, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY - Welcoming thousands of migrants and refugees to the Vatican for a Year of Mercy celebration, Pope Francis urged them to resist everything that would rob them of hope and joy. "Each of you is the bearer of a history, culture and precious values and, unfortunately, also often of experiences of poverty, oppression and fear," he said. But the Jan. 17 gathering in St. Peter's Square "is a sign of hope in God. Don't allow yourselves to be robbed of hope and the joy of living, which spring from the experience of divine mercy."

Archdiocesan collection raises more than $2M

Connie Lunde

January 25, 2016
LORRAINE TURCHANSKY
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

There's no question - 2015 was a tough year, and the cries for help were many. But despite economic hardship, people in the Edmonton Archdiocese responded generously. When a massive earthquake devastated Nepal in April, they contributed more than $336,000 to Development and Peace's relief efforts.

Sign of Hope finds new kind of success

Stephen Carattini

January 25, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The 2015 Sign of Hope campaign ended Jan. 5 after raising $2.6 million, about $800,000 less than the previous year. While it is the first time in its 32-year history that the annual Catholic Social Services' fundraising campaign failed to exceed the previous year's results, the organization's officials appear satisfied. After all, they never set a financial goal for the campaign. Instead, they asked for prayers, volunteers and donations, and they got them all.