Quebec Holy Door opened with ceremony for Year of Mercy

February 8, 2016
JULIAN HNATIW
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

QUEBEC - On Dec. 12, Notre Dame Cathedral in Quebec City re-opened its Holy Door, the only permanent holy door in the Americas. These symbolic doors grace only seven important cathedrals in the world. The most famous is in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican while the other six are in Rome, France, Spain and Quebec.

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Let Holy Spirit speak in Alta. Schools' gender discussion

February 8, 2016
FR. GLENN MCDONALD, CSB
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

The Catholic community must engage in a constructive dialogue that seeks, not only to respond to Alberta Education's new guidelines accommodating gender-diverse students, but to address them with a Spirit-filled response. We must find a solution faithful to our Catholic identity but which also responds to the presence of transgender students in our schools. I urge you to read the guidelines because we need everyone praying for and discerning the will of the Holy Spirit in how we ought to respond.

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Children should be allowed medical help to commit suicide, says law prof

February 8, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

Physician-assisted death legislation could include competent children under 18, a legal expert told a parliamentary committee. University of Ottawa professor Bernard Pelletier said Jan. 26 that Parliament could broaden the criteria beyond the Supreme Court's Carter decision which permits physician-assisted death for competent adults.

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Bishops continue fight against provincial guidelines

February 8, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Edmonton - Archbishop Richard Smith has joined others in expressing his frustration with the provincial government's new gender identity guidelines. In a Jan. 21 pastoral letter, the archbishop also contends some trustees have betrayed the public trust. Smith says the guidelines contain constructive, and reasonable suggestions for best practices, but others could pose problems for Catholic schools. The Church, he says, opposes guidelines that allow students to self-identify their own gender expression or identity.

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Speak up against attacks on our children

February 8, 2016

It is time to take a stand and speak up for our children. It's time for us to pay attention to what has happened to us in the past 60 years. First, they came for our unborn. Birth control became socially acceptable, abortions were legalized and two generations of children were never born.

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No appetite for story about eating insects

February 8, 2016

The article in the Jan. 25 WCR that appears outside of the paper's mandate, "Insects may play a key role in halting climate change," is disturbing. The examples cited, where humans have consumed insects are portrayed as everyday staples. This is a myth; it was more likely out of desperation.

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La Loche slayings call for a new covenant with First Nations

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February 8, 2016

For too long and too often, tragic events in isolated Aboriginal communities have been front page news and then faded from view. Whether it be gasoline sniffing, a lack of potable water, gang violence or epidemics of youth suicide, these situations briefly grab centre stage and then are forgotten. Now, the nation's attention has been riveted by the murders of four people and shootings of seven others in La Loche, Sask., an Aboriginal community of 3,000.

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Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
February 8, 2016

At the end of every Roman Catholic liturgy, the people are invited to receive a blessing. That invitation is worded this way: Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing. The idea behind that, obviously, is that a blessing can only truly be received in reverence, in humility, with head bowed, with pride and arrogance subjugated and silent.

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Jesus' cross calls us to battle against evil

John Connelly
February 8, 2016
First Sunday of Lent
February 14, 2016

Lent reminds us all that we are on an interior journey that does not end until the day we die. This journey takes us through deserts. It is a journey that brings us into a battle with our ancient and sinister foe. It is a journey that ultimately leads to victory through the cross. I do not enjoy suffering. I do not enjoy the desert days where God's presence seems far away. I do not enjoy the internal battles when the powers of darkness cause temptation, stress and anxiety.

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Daily newspapers formed communities

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February 8, 2016

The latest layoffs in the newsrooms of Postmedia across Canada have spurred much criticism and reflection on the decline of daily newspaper journalism. The falling circulations of the dailies show that the majority of Canadians are not - nor have they for a long time - getting their news from newspapers. When was the heyday of daily newspapers? The 19th century? The 1950s? The 1970s? Whenever it was, it hasn't been for a long time.

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