WCR This Week

Wording of pope patriarch pact upsets Ukrainian Catholics

Archbishop Svlatoslav Shevchuk
March 7, 2016
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said he was consoled by Pope Francis' words of understanding and tenderness after he expressed the disappointment of Ukrainians with a joint declaration signed by the pope and the Russian Orthodox patriarch. The pope's remarks were "truly the opening of the doors of mercy," said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych. Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow signed a joint declaration in Cuba Feb. 12.

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Walk through Mercy Door brings surprising grace

March 7, 2016
SHARON RYAN
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

When Pope Francis declared this Jubilee Year of Mercy, I never expected it to have a transformational effect on my own life. On Jan. 30, I was a sleepy attendee at the CWL conference. One of the ladies gave us the goods on the Holy Door of Mercy at St. Joseph's Basilica. "Ladies, if you walk through the Door of Mercy, pray for the pope's intentions, go to Confession and receive the Eucharist within a week, you may receive a plenary indulgence if you are in a state of grace." My half-awake mind took in her words with a stunned silence.

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Whitehorse people of faith sponsor refugee family of 11

March 7, 2016
AGNIESZKA KRAWCZYNSKI
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

WHITEHORSE - A family of 11 Syrian Muslim refugees were greeted by 100 people when they arrived in January. "It was a very happy moment," said Raquel de Queiroz, head of the interfaith group Yukon Cares, who greeted them at the airport. "We mobilized the whole community to make this happen." Yukon Cares sponsored the family of Hussein and Fatima Aarafat and their nine children, aged 21 to 16 months, with the help of the Diocese of Whitehorse and the Vancouver Archdiocese.

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Assisted suicide threatens the vulnerable, bishops say

February 22, 2016
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Alberta government should consult widely to find ways to protect some of the province's most vulnerable people when assisted suicide is legalized, say the bishops of Alberta. The February 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing assisted suicide will come into effect June 6, and the Alberta bishops say they are "gravely concerned that [legalization] will place certain members of our common home at serious risk."

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Russian patriarch, pope embrace in Cuba

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Krill of Moscow
February 22, 2016
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

At long last, Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow embraced, kissing each other three times. "Finally," the pope told the patriarch Feb. 12 as they met in a lounge at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport. "We are brothers," he told the patriarch. Amid the clicking of cameras and multiple flashes, Patriarch Kirill was overheard telling the pope, "Things are easier now."

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Pope delivers stinging rebuke to Mexican bishops

February 22, 2016
DAVID AGREN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MEXICO CITY - Pope Francis has urged Mexico's bishops to show "prophetic courage" in denouncing drug violence and avoid "the seductive illusion of underhanded agreements" which some say bishops make with corrupt officials and criminals. "The magnitude of this phenomenon . . . and the gravity of the violence . . . do not allow us as pastors of the Church to hide behind anodyne denunciations," the pope told an audience of bishops Feb. 13. More than 100,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence over the past 10 years and another 25,000 Mexicans are missing.

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Francis pays homage to wisdom of indigenous Mexicans

February 22, 2016
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Paying homage to the ancient wisdom of Mexico's indigenous peoples, Pope Francis urged them to hold on to hope and condemned those who exploit them and their land. "Some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. Others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them," the pope said at a Mass Feb. 15.

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Catechumens become the elect

February 22, 2016
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Jodie Bjornstad was all smiles when she shook Archbishop Richard Smith's hand during the Rite of Election at St. Joseph's Basilica. "It was awesome," the 27-year-old teacher said after the event. Bjornstad was one of 165 catechumens, including 63 child catechumens, from across the archdiocese who affirmed their desire to become members of the Catholic Church in two separate ceremonies at St. Joseph's Basilica Feb. 13-14. The archbishop welcomed each catechumen personally.

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Immigrants play key role in keeping Church vibrant in Vancouver

February 22, 2016
AGNIESZKA KRAWCZYNSKI
THE B. C. CATHOLIC

VANCOUVER - Multitudes of immigrants settling in British Columbia are the biggest reason the Vancouver Archdiocese is steadily growing, said its archbishop. "The Archdiocese of Vancouver, it's a Church of immigration," Archbishop Michael Miller told The B.C. Catholic. Without these people, he believes, the local Church would be shrinking.

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Laudato Si' calls us to walk the talk with joy, simplicity

Bob McKeon
February 22, 2016
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Living simply, according to Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', does not mean giving up candy for 40 days or using Lent as a good time to lose a few pounds. Stopping to give thanks to God before and after meals; admiring nature on a walk through the river valley; using less heating and wearing warmer clothes even if you could afford to consume more; or spending time with people, and really encountering them as people, are all practical ways of living out the principles of the encyclical.

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