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Pro-life vigil has few participants

March 17, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Edmonton Pro-Life is hopeful that the milder spring-like weather will motivate more people to participate in this year's 40 Days for Life. This year's peaceful, prayerful campaign goes from March 5 to April 13. Volunteers pray outside of the Women's Health Options (formerly known as the Morgentaler Clinic) at 12409-109A Ave. during the Lenten campaign.

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Divorced, remarried Catholics need sacraments, says Kasper

Cardinal Walter Kasper

March 17, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The Catholic Church needs to find a way to offer healing, strength and salvation to Catholics whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper told the world's cardinals. Some way is needed to help those couples who are committed to making a new union work and who long to do so within the Church and with the grace of Communion, Kasper said in a Feb. 20 talk.

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Francis leads Curia out of Rome for week-long Lenten Retreat

Pope Francis

March 17, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Less than a week before he was to take top Vatican officials and head out of town for a week-long Lenten retreat, Pope Francis said retreats should renew the faith of participants, transforming their ministry and their relationships with others. "Those who live a retreat in an authentic way," the pope said, "experience the attraction and fascination of God and return renewed and transfigured in their daily lives, their ministry and their relationships."

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Church may tolerate civil unions, pope says in interview

March 17, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the Church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with "much mercy." Pope Francis' words appeared in an interview published March 5 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

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Ottawa archbishop stirs pot with ban on funeral eulogies

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast

March 17, 2014
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast's decree no longer allowing eulogies during Catholic funeral Masses has created a stir, but he says he is happy for the teaching opportunities. Reaction, both positive and negative, began when the decree was announced last fall in Catholic Ottawa, the diocesan newsletter. After the decree was published in January and came into effect in February, however, the subject of eulogies at funerals became national news.

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Crucifix taken from deceased priest consoles pope

March 17, 2014
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Because his cassock doesn't have a breast pocket, Pope Francis said he wears a cloth pouch under his white robes to carry the crucifix he took from a deceased priest. Meeting March 6 with pastors of Rome parishes, Pope Francis said that while he was vicar general of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires he went to pay his last respects to a Blessed Sacrament priest, an extremely popular confessor, who had died in his 90s.

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Work set to begin on Corpus Christi's $14M church

March 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jumping into a backhoe, Archbishop Richard Smith carved the frozen ground at 3307-28A Ave. signalling that construction of the Church of Corpus Christi can now begin. With shiny new shovels, dignitaries and Church officials helped in the symbolic task. It was a festive ground-breaking ceremony complete with an outdoor procession, a large fire, chocolate and pastries.

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Catechumens filled with joy at becoming 'the elect'

Jodie Hill

March 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Shane Davies of Lloydminster was happy to have to opportunity to shake Archbishop Richard Smith's hand and hear his welcoming words. Davies called the moment "special" and said it makes him feel more connected to his newly-found faith. "I feel even more inclined to join the Catholic Church." Davies, 15, was one of almost 160 adult and child catechumens from across the archdiocese who affirmed their desire to become members of the Catholic Church in two separate ceremonies at St. Joseph's Basilica March 8-9.

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Christian education document received no love at council

March 31, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Christian Education should be seen as a provisional document. In fact, then-Father Joseph Ratzinger called it a weak document. "One unfortunately has to say that the text wasn't treated by the council fathers with any specific affection," the future pope wrote in 1966. Ratzinger attributed the weakness of the document to the fact that the bishops were getting worn out as the four-year council drew to its conclusion.

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Church needs to do more to implement Vatican II – scholar

March 31, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church needs to go further in giving authority to lay people, says a leading expert on the council. "The powerlessness of the laity is striking," said Father Joseph Komonchak, the English-language editor of the five-volume History of Vatican II, produced by an international team of theologians in the 1990s and early 21st century.

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