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Is history repeating itself?

Pope Francis

November 3, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Even before the start of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, observers were likening it to the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. In both cases, an innovative and charismatic pope called an assembly in the first months of his pontificate, seeking to preach the Gospel in terms of contemporary culture and apply Catholic teaching with what St. John XXIII called the "medicine of mercy." As it turned out, history also repeated itself in the institutional dynamics of this year's event, as bishops from around the world asserted their collective authority, leading the assembly's organizers in Rome to revise some of their best-laid plans.

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Francis lauds synod's frank exchanges

Synod Logo

November 3, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. Yet the assembly failed to reach consensus on especially controversial questions of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the pastoral care of homosexuals. The synod's last working session, Oct. 18, also featured a speech by Pope Francis, in which he celebrated the members' frank exchanges while warning against extremism in the defence of tradition or the pursuit of progress.

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Catholic leaders say Church contributes by fostering values

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar

November 3, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

KYIV, UKRAINE – The task of the Catholic Church is not only to teach people how to pray, but how to live authentically Christian lives, two leaders of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said. The Church's ministers also have an obligation to support and minister to their followers in the midst of strife and even danger, said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, and 81-year-old Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the retired head of the Church. That belief led the two leaders and fellow priests to Kiev's Independence Square – the Maidan – from November 2013 to February 2014 in long-term protest against the government of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Ukraine has changed forever

Ukraine demonstrations

November 3, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Although they disagree about how unstoppable the process is and they have a varying degree of fear about what Russia might do, religious and political leaders in Ukraine say their society underwent a fundamental shift in February. Ukrainians now realize they have both dignity and responsibilities for their country's future, the leaders said in interviews prior to the Oct. 26 parliamentary elections.

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TRC discriminated against Catholic entities – lawyer

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November 3, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

The Catholic entities involved in Indian residential schools have been unfairly targeted by the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), says lawyer Pierre Baribeau. "We have a feeling that we have been discriminated against by the TRC, compared to the way they have treated the other churches," said Baribeau. "That's a strong feeling, and it's very unfortunate." "We have had some very difficult times," he said. "We have felt targeted by the TRC and by other parties."

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'Be not afraid,' Prendergast says in wake of Ottawa shootings

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November 3, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - Recalling the words of Pope St. John Paul II, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast called upon Canadians not to be afraid in the wake of the Oct. 22 shooting that left a Canadian soldier dead. In an email interview a day after the incident, Prendergast noted that the violence occurred on the feast of St. John Paul and recalled the saint's first words when he was elected pope in 1978 were, "Don't be afraid! Open your hearts wide to Christ."

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Supreme Court ponders whether there's a right to kill

November 3, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

An orthopedic surgeon who observed the Supreme Court of Canada hearing on assisted suicide Oct. 15 described the experience as "surrealistic." A lawyer called it an exercise in "creating bylaws for the culture of death." Another lawyer warned of a "body count" if the ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia is removed. Some interventions were "extreme," said Dr. Marc Beauchamp, who practises medicine in Montreal and is a member of the Quebec-based Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia, one of the interveners in the Carter case.

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Covenant Health serves 150 years

Dean Rook

November 3, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Alberta's health care story began 150 years ago in November 1863. The Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns) of Montreal cared for their first patient in St. Albert where they founded the first hospital, 42 years before Alberta became a province. The foundations of quality, compassionate care Albertans expect of their health system were laid by those risk-taking sisters. They responded to the needs of their times, founding hospitals and health services across the province.

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Two Newman College graduates of 2014

Newman College Logo

November 3, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

His brother led his way. Thomas Saretsky came from Saskatoon to visit his brother at Newman Theological College while his brother was discerning the priesthood at the college.

One wonders why Angela Veters would chose such a challenging career as prison chaplain. But the choice came gradually. She volunteered at Matsqui prison in Abbotsford, B.C.

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Newman grads urged to bring wisdom of the Holy Spirit into the world

November 3, 2014
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sunshine and joy spilled over Newman Theological College Oct.18 as 37 students graduated during Newman College's 45th convocation ceremony. Friends and family filled the gorgeous chapel at St. Joseph Seminary. Babies gurgled. Little ones chattered. And adults sat waiting, most with smiles, twitching their programs. In the previous Mass they heard the homily delivered by St. Paul Bishop Paul Terrio (a former president of the college).

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