New bill threatens vulnerable women, children, refugees

Joe Gunn

March 12, 2012

On Feb.16, the federal government announced new legislation that will change Canada's refugee determination system – and according to Church people who work directly with refugees – not for the better.

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When are blessings appropriate and who should give them?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

March 12, 2012

I found your article on blessings informative and timely (WCR, Feb. 6). I am trying to educate myself on the correct way of doing things. I see the priest blessing the children before they go to the children's liturgy. I see no mention of this in the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM).

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Slaughtering newborn babies is still murder

Mark Pickup

March 12, 2012

In a recent column, I addressed the idea of Christian perinatal hospice (WCR, Feb. 27). It is a concept whereby parents facing a pregnancy involving a terminally ill unborn child are supported to carry their baby to term and prepare for their child's death.

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Pope grateful for story of light at end of tunnel

March 12, 2012

When life feels like a dark and silent tunnel, faith gives a Christian light and music, Pope Benedict said at the end of his weeklong Lenten retreat.

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Vatican Secret Archives marks 400th anniversary

March 12, 2012

Working with the city of Rome, the Vatican Secret Archives is celebrating its 400th anniversary with an exhibit designed to shed light not only on its holdings, but on some of the myth and mystery surrounding its collection of millions of documents.

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Researcher: Pastors should focus on church suppers

March 12, 2012

Harvard public policy professor Robert Putnam has a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for pastors: “Spend less time on the sermons, and more time arranging the church suppers.”

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Vatican seeks help for Christians in Holy Land

March 12, 2012

Tension, hostility and even violence are the “daily bread” of many of the Christian communities living in the biblical lands of the Middle East, said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

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Armed men storm desert monastery in Syria

March 12, 2012

Masked gunmen stormed the Syrian desert monastery of Deir Mar Musa, about 80 kms southwest of Homs, destroying property and briefly holding its inhabitants captive.

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Building democracy tough job, Tunisian leader says

March 12, 2012

Muslims and Christians throughout North Africa and the Middle East recognize that “building a democracy is more difficult than destroying a dictatorship,” said one of the leaders of change in Tunisia.

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Court nixes midwives’ conscience rights

March 12, 2012

A Scottish court ruled that two senior Catholic midwives have no right to conscientiously object to overseeing staff involved in late-term abortions in a state-run hospital.

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