Five years ago, on Jan. 25, 2009, St. Paul Bishop Luc Bouchard issued perhaps the most controversial pastoral letter in the history of the Catholic Church in Alberta. Bouchard criticized the rapid development of the Athabasca oilsands in his diocese as sacrificing the integrity of God's creation for the sake of economic gain.
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The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity serves as an annual reminder that we ought to listen more than we speak. As Catholics, we trust that our Church is the guarantor of revealed religious truth.
If non-believers took the time to discover what Christians celebrate at Christmas, not only would they refuse to take part in the party, they would rise up and riot against what they would see as the most offensive example of religious exclusivism in history.
Nelson Mandela is rightly being eulogized as a great world leader who endured imprisonment and brought about a peaceful end to South Africa’s apartheid regime. Mandela’s greatness should be seen in contrast with the corruption of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. Their early lives and political situations were similar; the fruits of their political stewardship could not be more different.
In Advent, the Church moves through pain to joy. The pain of Advent is the pain of waiting for the Messiah who, when he comes, is expected to take away pain and make everything right. Pain is thus a problem; when the irritant that causes pain is removed, then we experience satisfaction, which we call joy.
The first real intimation of mortality was when my grandparents died. That was in the 1980s. In 2005, Mom died and, four years later, it was Dad. Then, a couple of months ago, quite unexpectedly, it was my younger sister.
The documentary film Two Sided Story tells of Parents Circle Families Forum, an organization in which bereaved family members of Palestinian and Israeli victims of violence meet to tell each other of the suffering they’ve experienced. The 18-year-old organization now has hundreds of members who are achieving reconciliation amidst the seemingly never-ending violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
We congratulate local ecumenist Julien Hammond on his appointment to the international dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Disciples of Christ (WCR, Nov. 4). This may well be the only time this dialogue makes news - the Disciples of Christ is a small Church and such dialogues rarely catch the public eye.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI sought to draw attention to what he called an "educational emergency" – a reduction of education from the formation of the human person in light of his or her transcendent vocation to the mere passing on of skills that make the modern economy hum.
Pope Francis raised eyebrows when he recently labelled proselytism as "solemn foolishness." One might ask whether this means the Church is abandoning its mission of proclaiming the Gospel and opting for a philosophy of "live and let live"?