WCR This Week

Jay's Articles

Pope calls all to a mission of peace

January 12, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Peace is a gift that comes through prayer and through small daily efforts to sow harmony in one's family, parish and community, Pope Francis said. "At the beginning of this new year, we are all called to reignite in our hearts a spark of hope, which must be translated into concrete works of peace: You don't get along with that person? Make peace. In your home? Make peace.

Mother's concern is for her children

Hanadi Shehadeh

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

RAMTHA, JORDAN – Samira has spent much of the past several years living in fear. When the crisis in her home province of Dara'a, Syria, began in 2011, she was "afraid for my kids to go to school." When the bombing in her village began, she hid in a shelter. When she emerged, "We saw big tanks, I didn't even try to reach my house."

Syrian grandmother longs to see family reunited

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ZARQA, JORDAN – More than anything else, Faten Bohlak would like to go to Austria. The 52-year-old refugee from Syria would like to join her two sons, aged 34 and 19, who have been resettled in Austria. The youngest son, she added, is "the heart of my heart." For now, she lives in a sparsely furnished apartment above a small shop in Zarqa, Jordan's second-largest city.

Middle East upheaval leaves millions suffering

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The story of the Middle East in 2014 is one of war and displacement, broken families, tireless aid workers, and the rise of a new group one scholar referred to as "al-Qaida on steroids." It's a story of populations stretched to the limit, but still welcoming more refugees as neighbours. And it's a tale of religious leaders calling for prayer, meeting for dialogue and urging an end to the violence.

Family spends long days waiting for resettlement in a safe place

Almaseeh family members

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

AMMAN, JORDAN – Nafee Abd Almaseeh and his wife, Trazia Marzina, spend their days hoping for resettlement. They want help to get to "a place that's safe," Almaseeh said. In June, he and his family left Qaraqosh, Iraq, with just their clothes and passports. Before the Islamic State group bombed their home, the militants cut water and electricity for 15 days.

Iraqi mother faces anger of her children

Lahab Hannna

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

AMMAN, Jordan – Every night, in the church hall that Lahab Hanna shares with her husband, three children and 47 other people, her middle daughter makes a scene. Hanna, 32, said her children do not understand why they had to move from the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Qaraqosh and Ainkawa to their small space in a church hall in Amman. The children do not know the details of when her husband was kidnapped for eight days.

Electrician's family disappeared; he witnessed murders

Bassam Zaarwoor

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ZARQA, JORDAN – Before the bombing started in Syria, Bassam Zaarwoor owned an electric shop in Homs. "I was a wealthy man," he said. "I had my own car, my own shop." But as the war worsened, some of his friends were killed in front of him, and "some of my family members, they just disappeared."

Church leaders defend Amazon region, people

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Latin American Church leaders have apologized for historical complicity with colonial atrocities in the Amazon and called for a Church with an "Amazonian face" in a pastoral letter. "The exploitation of the Amazon through mining, the expansion of farming and ranching, road construction, hydroelectric dams and timber companies demand that the Church take a more prophetic stance," they wrote.

Ont. doctors confront need for end-of-life decisions

January 12, 2015
MICHAEL SWAN
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Doctors may be men and women of action, but before a patient dies they should be open and available for lots of talk, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is advising its members. A new draft policy on providing care at the end of life clearly warns doctors that both euthanasia and assisted suicide are against the law.

Kasper honoured by WCR as Church 'mustard seed'

Cardinal Walter Kasper

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

For more than 30 years, Cardinal Walter Kasper has been an outspoken proponent of a more welcoming attitude to those divorced and remarried Catholics not permitted to receive the Eucharist. More recently, his theology of mercy, outlined in his popular book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, has had a major influence on Pope Francis and is provoking new directions in the Catholic Church. One of the world's leading theologians, Kasper served from 1999 to 2011 as secretary and then president of the Vatican's Council for Promoting Christian Unity.