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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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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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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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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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Christian views diverge on bombing ISIS

US Navy F-18E Super Hornets

October 20, 2014
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Debate over the usefulness and wisdom of a bombing campaign against the Islamic State has Christians re-examining the criteria for a just war – and coming up with different answers. An air campaign against terrorists in control of parts of Syria and Iraq won't result in peace or justice in the region, said Catholic commentator Michael Coren. But conscience pricks us to action. "Most of us know what Christian conscience is and when we look at what is going on there we viscerally realize, and intellectually, we have to do something about it, particularly as we helped to make this happen," said Coren.

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Teachers have crucial role in sharing faith – musician

Steve Angrisano

October 20, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Teachers and principals are often privy to more information about their students than are the children's parents, a leading Catholic musician told the staff of Evergreen Catholic Schools. Teachers and principals often forget the impact that they have on young people, Steve Angrisano told the school district's faith development day Oct. 10. For those reasons, he said, "Just because you're not teaching religion doesn't mean you're not called to share your faith." Angrisano recalled his Grade 7 teacher who asked him why he failed a history test. After some coaxing, he revealed that his parents made him move to a new town where he didn't know anyone and to a new school where he had no friends. The test was not a priority.

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Two young priests replace Mireau as schools' chaplains

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Two young Edmonton priests have been appointed chaplains of the Edmonton Catholic School District to replace the late Father Michael Mireau. Father Dean Dowle, adjunct judicial vicar of the Alberta Interdiocesan Tribunal, and Father Julian Bilyj, a Ukrainian Catholic priest and school teacher, were appointed to their new positions Oct. 9. They will begin their duties as chaplains Oct. 27. Dowle, 32, was born in Edmonton, raised in Fort Saskatchewan and ordained to the priesthood in 2010. He served in parish ministry at St. Theresa's Parish and St. Joseph's Basilica before beginning graduate studies at St. Paul University in Ottawa.

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Many parishes in need of ‘divine renovation’ – priest

Fr. James Mallon

October 20, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Imagine being a pastor who walks into a parish and quickly realizes not only are there too many empty pews but the parishioners who are there are not present. Yes, their physical beings are there but their spiritual reason – coming to be with Jesus – is sadly absent. Church is just a habit. They know they are expected to be there. So they are. They go through the service by rote, half listen (maybe) to the homily and readings, and duck out after receiving Jesus's blood from the chalice. Why wait to sing the closing hymn? If they time it right, they can be among the first out of the parking lot and in time for the football game on TV. That's the scenario – among others – that hit Father James Mallon when he was assigned from 2004 to 2010 to a Maritime parish where "nothing new had really taken place for 30 years."

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Yoga is prelude to prayer – Ryan

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

SHERWOOD PARK – Christians need help in coming to a higher appreciation of the role of their bodies in their spiritual lives, says Father Thomas Ryan. One practice that can help is yoga. Ryan said contrary to common opinion, yoga is not a religion but a science, philosophy and spiritual practice. "Yoga for me is just one possible way for Christians to come to feel more comfortable in their body and learn how to go to God through their bodies."

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Mission has brought churches together for 25 years

Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission – Logo – Small

October 20, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

SHERWOOD PARK – The Strathcona County Ecumenical Mission has been the high point of church life in the county for the past 25 years. Christians look forward to it and attend in droves. Attendance keeps growing. About 1,500 people from participating churches have been taking part in the mission events in recent years. Ten churches from four denominations were represented this year, including Catholic, Anglican, United and Lutheran. Worshipping together, learning together and growing together in Christ are important aims of the ecumenical mission held at churches in and around Sherwood Park.

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