WCR This Week

From the category archives: News

News

Francis urges Council of Europe to walk 'royal road of peace'

December 15, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

STRASBOURG, FRANCE – The project of European unity and cooperation, and ensuring peace on the continent, requires a commitment to dialogue and respect for others, Pope Francis said. The pope told council members that a "great toll of suffering and death is still being enacted on this continent." Visiting in Strasbourg Nov. 25, the pope marked the 65th anniversary of the 47-member Council of Europe. The council was formed to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe after the Second World War.

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Pope wants to open doors for divorced

December 15, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must find new ways to integrate divorced and civilly remarried people into the life of the Church and to make it easier for Catholic families to accept their homosexual members. In an interview with an Argentine newspaper, the pope answered several questions about the October 2014 Synod of Bishops on the family, which considered a controversial proposal to allow some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages. By Church law, such Catholics may not receive Communion unless they abstain from sexual relations, living as "brother and sister" with their new partners.

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Grandma Europe is weary and losing its soul, pope says

Pope Francis

December 15, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The European Parliament should value the continent's faiths to rejuvenate Europe's social, political and economic life, Pope Francis told the body Nov. 25. "In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a 'grandmother,' no longer fertile and vibrant," the pope said. In too many cases, he said, the Judeo-Christian values and the humanist ideals that inspired the continental drive toward unity seem to have been replaced by "the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions."

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N.B. gov't plans to loosen abortion restrictions

December 15, 2014
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

New Brunswick's Liberal government is removing restrictions to make access to abortion easier in the Maritime province. "As one newspaper headline said today, it is a monumental shift in public policy on abortion here in New Brunswick," said Peter Ryan, executive director of Right to Life New Brunswick. "For many years New Brunswick and (Prince Edward Island) have stood apart from the rest of Canada in that we have not had a policy on tax-funded abortion on demand. Now that has changed."

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Turkish leader, pope denounce religious persecution, prejudice

Istanbul's grand mufti Rahmi Yaran

December 15, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ISTANBUL – A day after hearing Turkish leaders demand the West show more respect for Islam, Pope Francis prayed alongside a Muslim cleric inside Istanbul's most famous mosque. At the Blue Mosque, Istanbul's grand mufti Rahmi Yaran led Pope Francis to the mosque's "mihrab," a niche indicating the direction to the holy city Mecca. Then, as the grand mufti continued speaking, the pope fell silent and remained so for several minutes, with head bowed, eyes closed and hands clasped in front of him.

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Pope Francis pushes for unity

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

December 15, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

In reaching full unity with Orthodox Christians, "the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith," Pope Francis said Nov. 30. In a liturgy in Istanbul, Turkey, attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the pope assured Orthodox Christians they would not lose their distinctive forms of worship, spirituality and governance in a reunion with Rome. Full communion between the churches "means neither submission of one to the other nor absorption, but rather welcoming of all the gifts that God has given to each to show the whole world the great mystery of salvation realized by Christ the Lord through the Holy Spirit," the pope said.

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Canadian synod delegates to be chosen in spring

December 15, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – By the end of March, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will choose four delegates and two alternates to attend the ordinary synod on the family in Rome in October 2015. The names of delegates, two from the English sector and two from the French sector, and one alternate from each, will not be revealed until after Pope Francis approves them, said Archbishop Paul-André Durocher. The United States bishops' conference chose its delegates at its recent plenary this fall, but the next CCCB plenary won't take place until next September. Usually, Canada's delegates for synods are chosen at the bishops' annual plenary assembly in the fall.

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Church needs images that show beauty of its teaching

Archbishop Paul-André Durocher

December 15, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Catholic Church needs to find images and metaphors that will better communicate "the rich heritage which is ours" on marriage and family issues, said Archbishop Paul-André Durocher. Durocher told Catholic communicators that the Church tends to present its teachings in terms of laws and structures, but it should be making clear that faithfulness, fruitfulness and the indissolubility of marriage are "gifts that God gives to humanity." Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said there is "a disconnect" between the contemporary view of the family, at least in the Western world, and the Christian understanding of family.

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Autistic parishioners should be seen as valued contributors

Alessia Mussol

December 15, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

If every Catholic is supposed to go to Mass on Sunday, Pope Francis wants every one of them to be well and truly welcomed when they get there – including the ones who randomly shout, rock back and forth in the pew, moan or unexpectedly laugh. Every family with an autistic child needs to feel at home in church, Pope Francis told 700 participants at a three-day conference Nov. 21-23 on autism organized by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry in Rome. "Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope," said the pope.

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Nuncio urges growth in religious vocations

December 15, 2014
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – As Pope Francis inaugurated the Year of Consecrated Life Nov. 30, Canada's apostolic nuncio exhorted Canadian religious to build a culture of vocations. Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi urged Canada's religious men and women to not be afraid to make a courageous and direct call to young people. "Go among the youth," he wrote in a document entitled Take Care of Vocations. "Go personally to them and call."

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