WCR This Week

Jay's WCR This Week Articles

Archbishop's statement on charges against Fr. Laisnez

May 26, 2014
Statement by Archbishop Richard Smith pertaining to charges against Father Albert Laisnez:

Today, May 17, local media reported that charges of sexual assault were laid earlier this year against Father Albert Laisnez, a priest of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. These alleged offences date back to the 1980s. Father Laisnez has not been involved in public ministry here since 1996. The Archdiocese of Edmonton takes all allegations of abuse seriously and stands ready to cooperate fully with the RCMP investigation into these complaints.

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Patriarch Bartholomew: 'Tremendous strides' taken in ecumenism

May 26, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meets Pope Francis in Jerusalem May 25, one of their main discussion topics will be the "diminishing Christian minorities in the Middle East," the patriarch told Catholic News Service. Patriarch Bartholomew, first among equals by Orthodox bishops, also expressed concern over Ukraine's "fragile democracy that has barely emerged from the crushing atheistic Soviet era."

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Pope, Patriarch to build unity in Holy Land

Patriarch Athenagoras

May 26, 2014
CARL HETU
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

The principal purpose of the visit of Pope Francis to the Holy Land May 24 to 26 will not be a conventional pilgrimage. It is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. The commemoration will be observed –indeed celebrated –by Francis meeting with Bartholomew, the successor of Athenagoras as ecumenical patriarch. This is a very different type of pilgrimage.

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Regina coming to grips with forgotten native cemetery

The two deceased children of the school's principal have the only headstone in the cemetery.

May 26, 2014
FRANK FLEGEL
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

It's a small plot of land sitting on the northwest edge of Regina. Overgrown with grass with a single tree in one corner and a couple of bushes in the other, the site is enclosed by a faded and falling down white board fence. It's a cemetery, one in which an unknown number of First Nations children are buried, their identities unknown. They were students at the Regina Indian Industrial School, which was near this site from 1891 until its closure in 1910. Most, it is believed, died of tuberculosis or complications of it.

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Ben Calf Robe's powwow honours the Creator

May 26, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

With 600 to 700 dancers, 21 drum groups and roughly 2,500 people in total, the event spilled out of the recreation centre into the surrounding area. What makes Ben Calf Robe's powwow traditional? There are no competitions and no prizes; people dance simply to give glory to the Creator, said Gagnon. Even the drum groups come purely because they love to sing.

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Catholics pray for a miracle for Mireau

May 26, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Father Mike Mireau has suffered a relapse in his cancer and says prayer is the only thing that can help him get better. And that's exactly what the beloved priest is getting from Edmonton Catholic Schools and the Edmonton Archdiocese. Edmonton Catholic Schools has printed 11,200 prayer cards asking Venerable Anthony Kowalczyk to intercede on behalf of Mireau. Seven thousand cards were distributed in parishes across the Edmonton Archdiocese and 4,200 went to staff of the school district.

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Murphy put freedom second when Jesus asked for his love

Jim Murphy

May 26, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Growing up, Jim Murphy dabbled in Christianity. He attended church, said his prayers, did no harm to others and lived a good, decent life. However, he would not commit his life fully to Jesus because he feared losing his personal freedom. Today, Murphy's proudest claim is that of being a slave to God. "All of us have a journey, and it's good for us to recount our stories because it reminds us of how faithful God has been," he said. "I'm sure every one of us from time to time says, 'Oh God, where are you?' It's a natural human tendency. It's good to recall how far God has already brought us."

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Albertans descend on Legislature to support human life

May 26, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Donna Zuiker pushed her son Michael in a wheelchair through the streets of Edmonton May 8 to proclaim her belief in the sanctity of life. "We are here because we believe in life and we live that," she said as marchers prepared to leave the Alberta Legislature toward downtown. "We want to demonstrate in person that everyone has a right to life." Zuiker, a mother of five, adopted Michael when he was 18 months old knowing he had Down syndrome. He is now 29. "We are still grateful to his parents for allowing him to live."

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Catholics face barriers to political involvement – Smith

May 26, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – The stances of Canada's three main federal parties on abortion raises "serious obstacles" to Catholic involvement in the political process, says Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. The Church encourages its members to be involved in politics by voting and expressing their views, Smith said in an interview. But with the Liberals and NDP saying they will not accept pro-life candidates and the Conservative government barring its MPs from reopening the abortion debate, Smith said the parties are excluding people of informed conscience who could be of great service to the country.

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Archbishop supports MP's motion on Palliative care

May 26, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Archbishop Richard Smith has supported a federal NDP member of Parliament's motion calling for a national palliative care strategy while also denouncing "sustained pressure" for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The motion by MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) "is worthy of our support and I am pleased to add my voice and that of the Archdiocese of Edmonton to those of others who endorse it," Smith said in a May 8 statement.

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