WCR This Week

Shakespeare closet Catholic amidst persecution

November 17, 2014
JONATHAN LUXMOORE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Inside the recently refurbished Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, a massed audience, banked on three floors, gazes attentively out over a wide, brightly lit stage. "Necessity will make us all forsworn. Three thousand times within this three years' space; for every man with his affects is born, not by might master'd, but by special grace," recited the actor playing Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost.

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Nigeria must halt Islamic militants, says archbishop

November 17, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – The president of the Nigerian bishops' conference said his country's government could defeat the Boko Haram Islamist militant group if it could muster the same political will it found to fight Ebola. In a Nov. 6 talk at the Church of Holy Name in Manchester, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, suggested the government could end the group's attacks on Christians and civilians if it wanted to. "Since the Nigerian government is successfully fighting the Ebola disease, it can equally, fight the religious fundamentalism which threatens the very soul of Nigeria," he said.

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Prince of Wales denounces religious persecution

November 17, 2014
SIMON CALDWELL
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The heir to the British throne has spoken out against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as well as in Great Britain. Prince Charles said in a video message released Nov. 4 that it was an "indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East," especially as the Christians and Muslims had lived together peaceably for centuries. The message coincided with the presentation in the British Parliament of the 2014 Religious Freedom Report by the United Kingdom branch of Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity helping persecuted Christians around the world.

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Monk unites painting and theology

November 17, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

If you get up close, within centimetres of Brother Emmaus O'Herlihy's monumental painting of Christ the King, you may see a tear descending from Jesus' left eye. Or you might not. O'Herlihy didn't paint a tear; it's just that some people see one. In early October only a few had seen the completed painting, which will hang eventually at King's University College at Western University in London, Ont. Even before he was finished, one of the other artists sharing the studio space noticed the tear.

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Canadian bishops celebrate ecumenical landmark

Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras

November 17, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, Canada's bishops have issued A Church in Dialogue: Towards the restoration of unity among Christians. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue prepared the 28-page document available at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' website. The Decree on Ecumenism was approved at Vatican II on Nov.21, 1964.

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Smart as a fox?

Pope Francis

November 17, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Since the end of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a "setback" or "loss" for Pope Francis – even a "rebuke" to him. Journalists have pointed to the absence, in the synod's final report, of an earlier version's strikingly conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, including those in same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships. Commentators have also noted the relatively low support, as measured by bishops' votes on the final document's relevant sections, for continued discussion of whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

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Tagle: Family poverty remains central concern for synod fathers

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

November 17, 2014
SIMONE ORENDAIN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The impact of poverty on families, especially in Asia, was a major concern of participants at the recent world Synod of Bishops, says Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. "Poverty is really affecting the Filipino family in a dramatic way," Tagle told reporters at an Oct. 30 news conference. Despite heavy emphasis on divorce and gay unions in media coverage of the event, the synod was more than a series of discussions on those issues, the cardinal said.

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Quebec Catholic schools died from loss of identity

Spencer Boudreau

November 17, 2014
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Ontario supporters of Catholic education should heed the lesson of Quebec before it's too late, said a former education professor and ombudsman at McGill University in Montreal. Spencer Boudreau said one reason for the collapse of Quebec's publicly funded Catholic education system in the 1990s was that Catholic schools "lost their identity." Speaking to about 150 Catholic educators at an Oct. 20 event at Msgr. Percy Johnson High School in Toronto, Boudreau said the loss of identity was due to the advent of an increasingly secularized society coupled with a push by Catholic schools to become overly accommodating.

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Aboriginal elders discuss indigenous Church

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November 17, 2014
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON – A group of about 40 Catholic elders recently gathered at Queen's House of Retreats for a dialogue to explore avenues leading to a more indigenous church. This dialogue was held under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs of the Western Bishops. It is an initiative of the bishops' Building Bridges Project headed by Sister Eva Solomon, an Anishinabe from Winnipeg.

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Survivors need consolation

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November 17, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Someone dies. What do we say when we meet their relative, their friend, their family? Too painful, right? Maybe we will blurt out something inane or insensitive. Yet this is the very time the grieving person needs words and/or actions of comfort. Father Leo Hofmann is sensitive to what not to say when someone has died, such as "God only takes the good ones." Or if a child dies, one shouldn't tell the parents, "'Oh, you are young. You can have another.' That is the most unfortunate thing. It's not like a litter of puppies.

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