Canada's bishops like papal statement on family love

April 18, 2016
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops welcomed Pope Francis' post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetita: On Love in the Family April 8, noting in its teachings its rejection of euthanasia. As the Canadian government is in the process of crafting a law that would permit doctor-assisted death, the statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) notes: "Amoris Laetitia reiterates the necessity of protecting human life from beginning to its natural end." The pope also stressed the duty of conscientious objection in health care facilities and the "urgency to assert the right to a natural death without aggressive treatment and euthanasia," the CCCB statement said.

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Respect rights of Aboriginal children, advocate urges

April 18, 2016
ANDRÉA LEDDING
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON - Canadians and First Nations people must exert pressure on governments to respect the rights of Aboriginal children, says native rights activist Cindy Blackstock. "Nobody else has to fight from childhood to be treated equally by the government," said Blackstock told the Think Indigenous Youth Conference in Saskatoon March 18. In January, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in favour of Blackstock's contention that the federal government's longstanding underfunding of child and family services on reserves is a form of racial discrimination.

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Palliative care gave patient, family 2 years of peace

April 18,2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Guided by Jesus' words - "Whatever you did to one the least of my brothers and sisters, you did to me" - Father Eamon McNerney once refused to endorse assisted suicide for the relative of a colleague. He instead recommended the relative receive palliative care, which aims to manage the pain and symptoms of a disease, while neither hastening death nor prolonging the dying process. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is available in faith-based hospitals across Alberta and many other parts of Canada.

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Euthanasia denies God's mercy - Smith

April 18, 2016
LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The federal government's mindset that will form the new legal landscape for physician-assisted death is un-Christian, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. "The message conveyed by the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, together with the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee, is both clear and chilling: There are some lives that are simply not worth saving." Smith made his remarks to the more than 250 people gathered on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, at St. Anthony's Church in Lloydminster.

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Music festival throws open doors of the basilica

April 18, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Roderick Bryce could not have imagined a better start to St. Joseph's Basilica's new springtime Festival of Sacred Music. The first concert on April 2, a program of Ukrainian sacred music featuring 50 mostly professional men's voices, was sold out. The sound was incredible. But what struck Bryce the most was how many people who are engaged in the city's artistic community approached him to say they had never been in the basilica before.

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Former Marian Centre staffer dies at 92 in Ontario

April 18, 2016
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

COMBERMERE, Ont. – Guadalupe (Lupe) Zabaco, staff worker of Madonna House, died peacefully on April 1 in Combermere. Zabaco, 92, was born in Spain and served for many years at Edmonton’s Marian Centre. She attended high school and the University in Madrid, receiving her nursing degree in 1951. After graduation, she nursed in Madrid and later in Managua, Nicaragua.

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Pope ponders trip to apologize to natives

Marie Wilson
April 18, 2016
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

A request to Pope Francis for an apology in Canada for the Catholic Church's role in Indian residential schools has gone to the Vatican, says the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi. "The pope has received this invitation, this request, from the First Nations," Bonazzi said. "He is considering it." The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions' (TRC) call for the pope to apologize for Indian residential schools on Canadian soil within a year of the June 2015 publication of the TRC's 94 Calls to Action is one of two that had a time limit, TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson said March 30 at an Ottawa news conference.

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Policy analyst calls for national plan to tackle poverty

April 18,2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Despite its wealth, Canada still has almost five million people struggling to make ends meet. These are people who struggle to pay their rent, feed their families and address basic needs. To solve this problem, Canada needs a national plan on poverty reduction, says Darlene O'Leary, socio-economic policy analyst for Citizens for Public Justice. CPJ is an Ottawa-based national organization inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy.

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Canada needs ecological conversion

April 18, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Canada needs to be converted on both ecological issues and indigenous rights if it is to meet its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says the head of KAIROS, the national inter-church justice group. Jennifer Henry says Canada needs to consider how best to do that so that it both addresses indigenous rights and contributes to reducing climate change. "Our climate solutions are actually indigenous right solutions as well. And that mostly has to do with resource projects," Henry told the Social Justice Institute at The King's College in Edmonton April 9.

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Priest under investigation after parish refugee funds disappear

April 18, 2016
JEAN KO DIN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

London, Ont. - The Diocese of Hamilton is picking up the pieces after a Chaldean Catholic priest admitted to gambling away $500,000 of donations meant for refugees. Father Amer Saka, priest of St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, Ont., confessed to Chaldean eparchial Bishop Emanuel Shaleta last month that the money for the parish's refugee sponsorship had been gambled away. Saka was immediately suspended and was sent to Southdown Institute, a mental health treatment facility north of Toronto for religious and clergy.

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