WCR This Week

Romero High School gears up for patron's beautification

April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ<
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Students and staff at Edmonton's Archbishop Oscar Romero High School are rejoicing at the upcoming beatification of their school's patron, who gave his life for the poor and the oppressed. They say Romero is their role model and are happy that the Vatican is fast-tracking his cause. Romero was archbishop of San Salvador during the bloody and tension-filled time leading up to El Salvador's 1979-1992 civil war. Shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980, the archbishop has long been considered a saint by many in Latin America, but the official Vatican process of canonization had lingered for years.

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New Book details Romero's life, death, journey to sainthood

April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Few among the poor and oppressed of El Salvador have had to wonder about the sainthood of Archbishop Oscar Romero. For them, he has been viewed as a saint for years. For the powerful, however, it has been hard to accept. In his book Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out, author Kevin Clarke says powerful people both in El Salvador and in Rome have quietly campaigned against Romero's sainthood for years. They have maintained, among other things, that the slain archbishop did not die for his faith or for the poor but as a "combatant" in a political struggle.

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Paschal mystery is God's gift to us

April 6, 2015

The paschal mystery, for Father Robbie McDougall, is a love story. "It's a gift from God to us in regards to the ups and downs of everyday life. It is the personal presence of Christ who is with us always in our suffering and our joys. "This is the incarnated attitude that God is with us always in the personal level for personal growth."

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Jesus shows us the way to confront an era of fear

Scott Bader-Sayer
April 6, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians must respond to fear the way Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, says Texas ethicist and author Scott Bader-Saye. Despite his fear of being tortured and dying on the cross, Jesus did not fight the soldiers who came to pick him up but chose a less confrontational path, Bader-Sayer said at the ecumenical Social Justice Institute at Newman Theological College. The ethicist said Jesus' example can be used to confront all sources of fear, individual and collective, including school shootings and racial tension, both seemingly rampant in the United States.

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Ont. doctors go to court to defend their consciences

Deacon Larry Worthen
April 6, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

After seven months of refusing to meet face-to-face with the affected doctors, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario will now face them in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, supported by the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians' Societies, has filed an application to the court seeking a permanent injunction against the college's new human rights policy. That policy would force doctors to refer for abortion, contraception and legal euthanasia even if doing so violates their sincerely held religious beliefs and their conscience.

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Quebec school wins court battle to teach the Catholic faith

April 6, 2015
PHILIPPE VAILLANCOURT
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

A Jesuit-run high school in Montreal won an eight-year legal battle against the Quebec government when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it should be allowed to teach the mandatory ethics and religious culture course from a Catholic perspective. In a 7-0 decision, the court ruled March 19 that Loyola High School can favour Catholicism in teaching the course, which is required by the Quebec Ministry of Education. "The minister's decision requiring that all aspects of Loyola's proposed program be taught from a neutral perspective, including the teaching of Catholicism, limited freedom of religion more than was necessary given the statutory objectives," the court wrote in its opinion.

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Papal encyclical will challenge throwaway culture

April 6, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The Catholic Church supports the efforts of scientists to study the causes and effects of climate change and insists governments and businesses must get serious about specific commitments for protecting the environment. But Pope Francis, like his predecessors, does not pretend to have a technical solution to the problem. However, he does feel a responsibility to remind Christians of their religious obligation to safeguard creation.

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Pope will use holy year to spread the mercy of God

Pope Francis
April 6, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis' decision to convoke a special Holy Year of Mercy has its roots in the event that led a teenage Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the priesthood. Pope Francis has recounted the story several times in the past two years. On one occasion early in his pontificate, he told members of Catholic lay movements about his faith journey, particularly the importance of growing up Catholic and the influence of his grandmother. Then he said: "One day in particular, though, was very important to me: Sept. 21, 1953. I was almost 17. It was 'Students' Day,' for us the first day of spring – for you the first day of autumn.

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Martyr's blood liquefies during papal visit

April 6, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

At the end of Pope Francis' spontaneity-filled meeting with priests, seminarians and religious in the cathedral of Naples, the vial of dried blood of the city's patron saint appeared to miraculously liquefy. After Pope Francis blessed the congregation with the reliquary holding the vial, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples announced, "As a sign that St. Januarius loves the pope, who is Neapolitan like us, the blood is already half liquefied." The thousands of people present in the cathedral applauded, but the pope insisted on taking the microphone.

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Canadian mining companies under scrutiny

April 6, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Catholic bishops and religious orders from the high Arctic to the southern tip of Patagonia are demanding that Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America become more accountable for their actions. That accountability, they say, should go as far as allowing villagers and farmers the right to sue the companies in Canadian courts in the event of environmental disasters and human rights abuses. Both the Canadian and United States conferences of bishops sent representatives to a March 19 hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.

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