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The Supreme Court decision legalizing assisted suicide in Canada is a repeat of the original sin in which men and women believed they can be like gods, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve "surrendered to the lie" that they could be "something other than what they were created to be," Smith said in a Feb. 12 interview. "God is eclipsed and his supremacy and sovereignty is replaced with that of the individual," the archbishop said. That human decision in Eden has been the root of all sin and disharmony in the world ever since, he said.
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Jo-Anne Paquette's three-month journey with Martha Shephard as she died from a brain tumour was both physically draining and a spiritual gift for Paquette. "Martha lived in a house in Ottawa, and I really grew to respect her, thought of her as a mentor," said Paquette. "When I was dropped into the pool of caring for her and journeying with her, it was a sudden thing. It felt like a whole lifetime to me."
The way a married man becomes holy is by making his wife and his children holy, says American evangelist Dan DeMatte. "We have this mission to help our wives and children be saved and enter the promised land of heaven," DeMatte told about 400 Catholic men Feb. 7. "In the process of doing that, we are raising saints." DeMatte, 30, is a youth minister, speaker, evangelist, television personality and father of three from Columbus, Ohio.
Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is held up as a beacon for the poor and oppressed, but scholars who have studied Romero's life say his conversion to the poor was a slow process. It's a common narrative that Romero had a sudden conversion from a quiet, cerebral archbishop to one whose outreach to the poor and disenfranchised led to his death. However, Damian Zynda, a Romero researcher at Jesuit-run Creighton University, argues that transformation happened over many years.
Natalie Rose's husband Todd had been feeling poorly for such a long time, her first prayer was "to finally figure out what was wrong. We knew he was gravelly ill." So when the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer came, "It was not the diagnosis I was looking for but I remember feeling it was answered prayer." The statistical outcome was not good: "Less than 10 per cent survive. And there was no guaranteed complete recovery."
A snowy winter night and Our Lady of Assumption Parish basement is filled with an intriguing ecumenical gathering of 25 Roman Catholics and Mennonites. This is their annual meeting where they discussed the book Compassion, a reflection on the Christian life by Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill and Douglas Morrison. "We are in our fifth year of dialogue," said Julien Hammond, director of the ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Edmonton Archdiocese.
The chapter in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) that focuses on economic and social life is perhaps more notable for what it led to than for what it actually said. This is not to diminish the fact that the chapter underlines and thus strengthens the Catholic social teaching that had been developing since Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novavum. It also links that teaching to the central theme of Gaudium et Spes - the dignity and vocation of the human person created in the image of God.