WCR This Week

Coren claims Islam waging war on Christianity

Michael Coren

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In case you haven't noticed, Islam is waging war on Christianity. That's the view of Michael Coren, the controversial Catholic author. In his new book Hatred: Islam's War on Christianity, Coren blasts the West's hypocritical tolerance of the persecution of Christianity, which, he says, is administered by the hand of Islam, not by accident, but by design. However, John Esposito, an expert on Islam, says he understands Coren's concern with the increased tension, discrimination, conflict and violence towards Christians in some parts of the Muslim world. But Esposito, a leading Catholic expert on Islam and a professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., says the attribution of these facts to Islam rather than to some Muslims and Muslim groups is "simplistic and reductionist."

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Marie, Laval receive canonization Mass

Marie de l'Incarnation

October 20, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Missionaries do enormous good for the world and the Church by bringing God's love to the far corners of the earth and by keeping the Church healthy and fruitful, Pope Francis said. Missionaries, who leave their homes and even risk their lives, "have done immense good for the Church," the pope said during an Oct. 12 canonization Mass for two Canadian saints. "Once the Church stops moving and becomes closed up inside herself, she gets ill, she can be corrupted, either by sin or that false knowledge separated from God that is worldly secularism," the pope said in his homily The pope presided over a thanksgiving Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the canonizations of Sts. Marie de l'Incarnation and Francois de Laval, two 17th-century pioneers of the Church in Canada.

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Family Synod midterm report stirs controversy

Synod of Bishops on the family – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly’s views. The report, delivered Oct. 13 by Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions. Following Erdo’s nearly hour-long speech, 41 of the 184 synod fathers present took the floor to comment the same morning, the Vatican said.

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Durocher: Gospel is really good news, not a set of rules

Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher

October 20, 2014
CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – The Church needs to find better ways to show how the Gospel message is a way of life meant to bring great joy to couples and families, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said during the synod on the family. The Gospel is not a burdensome set of rules aimed at exclusion, said Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec. "Church teaching has to be rediscovered not as a set of rules, but as a true good news, a good news that frees people," Durocher told Catholic News Service Oct. 8. "God's plan for marriage is not a structure in which people have to bind themselves in order to somehow gain God's love. God's plan for marriage is a gift of God's love for us," he said.

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Pope Francis: ‘We must listen to the rhythm of our time’

Synod of Bishops on the family – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Hours before opening the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis prayed the bishops would express themselves and listen to each other openly, trusting in God to reconcile their differences. "Let us invoke openness to a sincere, open and fraternal exchange of views, that it might lead us to take pastoral responsibility for the questions that this changing time brings with it," the pope said. "Let them fill our heart, without ever losing peace, but with serene trust that in his time the Lord will not fail to lead us back to unity."

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Ukrainian: Priests' families witness to Gospel

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk

October 20, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – By tapping into its Eastern theological and spiritual traditions, the Catholic Church could find an appropriate way to minister to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said. "According to the tradition of the Byzantine Church, a priest or a bishop is not a judge. His task is not to justify or to condemn somebody, especially in such a delicate area as marriage and family," Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk told reporters Oct. 11. The Church has to deal with many wounded people, he said. "We have to realize how many different possibilities, how many instruments Jesus Christ gave us."

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Sisters train pro-lifers to battle abortion

Sisters of Life

October 20, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

How can I be sure I'm pregnant? How should I tell my family? Can I keep my job? What about my finances? These are just a few questions that run through the mind of a woman with an unplanned pregnancy. Sister Magdalene, with the Sisters of Life, said that by understanding the fears of a pregnant woman, one may better understand and sympathize with her predicament. The woman might feel all alone, and no one is supporting her. This is one of the most poignant hurts that a pregnant woman faces, she said. The Sisters of Life is a contemplative religious community founded in 1991 by Cardinal John O'Connor of New York for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.

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Search for jobs another source of separation, says Filipino

Synod of Bishops on the family – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – The separation of married couples is a huge issue in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. Such separations often occur, not because of divorce, but because poverty pushes couples to separate in search of jobs abroad, Tagle said in an Oct. 4 interview. The cardinal said he hopes members of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops give appropriate consideration to the impact of poverty and migration on families and to a host of other issues that help or hinder family life.

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This is NOT your parents' folk mass

Darkness Divided

October 20, 2014
RUANE REMY
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Under blue skies, dressed in black, stand the members of Christian band Darkness Divided. In the serenity of a forest clearing, the band members' hands are stretched straight up, revealing streams of thick, dark blood pouring from wounds artificially created on their open palms. In the background, lyrics suggestive of Christ's crucifixion are belted out supported by the severe guitar and drum sounds typical of a metalcore band. This is a scene from The Hands that Bled, a single off the band's newly released album, Written in Blood. Three of the four members of Darkness Divided are Catholic, but on tour the entire band attends Mass, said guitarist Christopher Mora.

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Violent 'doctrine of discovery' repudiated centuries ago

October 20, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

A 30-year effort to get the pope to take back the words of two 15th century popes got another boost this summer when Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing about 80 per cent of American sisters, passed a resolution calling on Pope Francis to repudiate the doctrine of discovery. The resolution, approved in August, called on Pope Francis to formally repudiate the events of Christian history when religion was used "to justify political and personal violence against indigenous nations and peoples and their cultural, religious and territorial identities."

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