Columns

Parliament committee’s look at euthanasia is odious, reprehensible

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February 25, 2016

The parliamentary committee on assisted suicide and euthanasia has called for the gates to those ways of being put to sleep to be opened as wide as currently possible in Canadian society. If Parliament accepts the committee recommendations, it will put Canada on a slippery slope to the day when the supposed right to assisted suicide becomes an obligation. Even without the slippery slope, the committee report is a horrible, odious, reprehensible call for slaying human dignity.

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School controversy is one large battle in an ongoing war

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February 22, 2016

Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry drew passionate responses last month with his references to "totalitarianism in Alberta." Many people see this description as way over the top; Alberta is not a totalitarian society in the same way as the classic Soviet model. There, the government controlled virtually every aspect of life, going so far as having ordinary people spy on neighbours and family members. However, Bishop Henry was drawing on the analysis of totalitarianism in St. John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, written in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet empire."

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Scripture holds out difficult passages to contemplate

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
February 22, 2016

A colleague shares this story: Recently, after he presided at a Eucharist, a woman from the congregation came up to him with this comment: "What a horrible Scripture reading today! If that's the kind of God we're worshipping, then I don't want to go to heaven." The reading for that day's liturgy was taken from Chapter 24 of the Second Book of Samuel where, seemingly, God gets upset with King David for counting the number of men he had for military service and then punishes him by sending a pestilence that kills 70,000 people.

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Jesus is the gardener of our souls

Kathleen Giffin
February 22, 2016
Sunday
February 28, 2016

The rhubarb patch in my garden began as a transplant from the one at my previous house; I dug up a piece when I moved and got it started in a part of the yard where I thought it would do well. Rhubarb can be slow to get established, so I was patient the first couple of years, knowing it needed time to spread and strengthen. But then I began to notice it simply wasn't doing what I had expected.

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Life or death: The choice is set before us

Bishop Douglas Crosby
February 22, 2016
My brothers and sisters in Christ,

The readings of the liturgy for the opening days of Lent invite us to focus on some basic questions as we begin our journey through this sacred season. What does it mean to repent and believe the Good News? What difference should faith make to our living and dying? How do we convert hearts and lives? The Old Testament reading for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday has particular significance this year for us as God's people and as a country: "I call heaven and earth to witness . . . that I have set before you life and death. . . . Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live" (Deuteronomy 30.19).

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Assisted suicide: Alberta Bishops voice concerns

Alberta Bishops Logo
February 11, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada's decision in February of 2015 to strike down Canada's existing laws prohibiting assisted suicide has opened a wide debate on the subject. The Catholic Bishops of Alberta make the following statement in order to express our deepest concerns with respect to the impact of the decision upon our fellow citizens of this province. The Catholic Church is committed to protecting and caring for the most vulnerable people in our society; this includes, of course, those who suffer and dying Albertans.

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Prodigal son offers a most selfish apology

Brett Fawcett
February 22, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 6, 2016

The old confessional aides used to have the penitent ask herself questions like, "Have I omitted my daily prayers?" That sort of query has a legalistic ring to it, and it is probably not the right way to approach the subject, as though prayer is an onerous duty we need to clock in and fulfil every day. On the other hand, consider today's Gospel: the story of the prodigal son, which Charles Dickens is said to have called the greatest and most beautiful story ever told. But it has a painful (and realistic) edge.

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Path of legal euthanasia fraught with danger

Senator Betty Unger
February 22, 2016
SENATOR BETTY UNGER
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Criminal Code sections prohibiting physician-assisted suicide violate our charter rights. After declaring those sections to be invalid, the court paved the way for assisted suicide and euthanasia to become available to Canadians on June 6, 2016. This short article does not allow us to list all the concerns raised by the court's decision. But the experience of countries with legalized euthanasia clearly demonstrates that the road is fraught with great danger, including hundreds of cases a year where people are euthanized without their consent.

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Mother Earth offers a garden to be cultivated

Lasha Morningstar
February 22, 2016

Oh, oh. My eyes could hardly believe it. This year's seeds are here. To me, like so many others, it is like showing a hungry bear a beehive laden with honey. So much promise. Images of heavy heirloom tomatoes, green acorn squash, pollen-laden buzzing bees spring to mind. There is also the eminently practical side too. The tumbling loonie, roller coaster stock market, rampaging storms and drought from climate change are sending fresh produce's prices sky high.

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Project Ploughshares strives to build peace

Joe Gunn
February 22, 2016

Are you afraid of the terrorists? If not afraid, according to the most recent polls, most of your neighbours believe that Canada should at least be doing more to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria. In response, this month the Liberal government announced increased measures to combat Islamic State fighters: more humanitarian assistance has been promised, a larger number of Special Forces will be sent to the region on an enlarged training mission, while two reconnaissance aircraft and an aerial refueling plane will remain in theatre.

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