WCR This Week

From the category archives: LeftColumn

Stories for the Left Column of the WCR This Week Page

Homeless Iraqi Christians face uncertain future

Abu and Um Sabah

November 17, 2014
DALE GAVLAK
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The last thing Abu Sabah ever pictured in his life was being homeless and living in a tent in a park somewhere. But that is exactly what he and his family are experiencing in Ainkawa, a Christian enclave outside of Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq. Sabah, a Syriac Catholic from the predominately Christian town of Qaraqosh, a 45-minute drive away, had a good job, a big house, a car and was surrounded by a strong family community until Islamic State militants swept through the town Aug. 6, turning their world upside down.

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Natural environment honours the divine mystery, says cleric

Archdeacon John Chryssagis

November 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

We must stop polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink, and restore a sense of awe and delight in our relationship to the world, says Father John Chryssaygis. Speaking about the environment, Chryssaygis said people must respond to nature with the same delicacy, the same sensitivity and the same tenderness with which they respond to another human being. "Do we honestly believe that our endless and mindless manipulation of our planet and the earth's resources somehow will come without consequences?" asked the archdeacon, who is a theological advisor on environmental issues to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

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Historian takes hard look at Budka's accomplishments

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November 17, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Bishop Nykyta Budka dedicated much of his life to preserving the faith of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. But because of his personal failings, he was often seen as a negative force in Canadian history. However, Vatican-based author and researcher Rev. Dr. Athanasius McVay sees him as an important figure in Ukrainian, Canadian and Catholic history. In fact, he says, Budka's story can be described as a life of obedience, work, and love of the Lord and God's pilgrim people. McVay is the author of the new biography God's Martyr, History's Witness: Blessed Nykyta Budka the First Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Bishop of Canada. It is the most complete book on Budka and was commissioned by Canada's Ukrainian bishops in commemoration of Budka's arrival in Canada in December 1912. After Budka was beatified in 2001, the bishops realized they needed a complete biography of the man.

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Christians beaten to death in Pakistan

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November 17, 2014
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Catholic leaders in Pakistan have protested the Nov. 4 beatings and burning of a young Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran. "The government has absolutely failed to protect its citizens' right to life," said the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan in a statement Nov. 5. Condemning the brutal killing of Shahzad Masih, 28, and his pregnant wife, Shama Bibi, 24, the NCJP said the killing of the couple at the hands of a mob was based on a "false accusation of blasphemy."

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Prince of Wales denounces religious persecution

November 17, 2014
SIMON CALDWELL
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The heir to the British throne has spoken out against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as well as in Great Britain. Prince Charles said in a video message released Nov. 4 that it was an "indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East," especially as the Christians and Muslims had lived together peaceably for centuries. The message coincided with the presentation in the British Parliament of the 2014 Religious Freedom Report by the United Kingdom branch of Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity helping persecuted Christians around the world.

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Smart as a fox?

Pope Francis

November 17, 2014
FRANCIS ROCCA
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Since the end of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a "setback" or "loss" for Pope Francis – even a "rebuke" to him. Journalists have pointed to the absence, in the synod's final report, of an earlier version's strikingly conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, including those in same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships. Commentators have also noted the relatively low support, as measured by bishops' votes on the final document's relevant sections, for continued discussion of whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

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Aboriginal elders discuss indigenous Church

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November 17, 2014
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

SASKATOON – A group of about 40 Catholic elders recently gathered at Queen's House of Retreats for a dialogue to explore avenues leading to a more indigenous church. This dialogue was held under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs of the Western Bishops. It is an initiative of the bishops' Building Bridges Project headed by Sister Eva Solomon, an Anishinabe from Winnipeg.

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