Stories for the Middle Column of the WCR This Week Page
On Friday, February 6th, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a landmark decision granting legal permission for physician-assisted death in our country. In so doing it agreed with claims that a human person faced with suffering has the right to determine when and how to end one's life, and that the legal prohibition against assisted suicide impeded the exercise of this right and infringed upon their liberty. In its ruling, the Supreme Court outlines the conditions within which the provision or administration of lethal medication to a patient who has requested it would be permissible.
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God wants those working in Catholic schools to experience shalom so they can be ministers of shalom to Catholic students, an Oregon theologian told staff of Edmonton Catholic Schools. "It's God's will that we are in shalom relationships with one another," Father Raymond Carey told about 3,200 employees of the Edmonton Catholic School District. "Let's be ministers of shalom one to another." The priest said shalom refers not only to peace but to wholeness, perfection in Christ and balance with God in one's personal life and in the many roles one may have in Catholic education.
ST. ALBERT – Divorce statistics aside, Christians still see marriage as a tremendous gift in their lives. Ed and Mary Kieftenbeld from Riviere Qui Barre, one of several couples marking World Marriage Day Feb. 8, said they are delighted with their marriage. They have been married for 25 years and have four children. According to Mary, marriage is two imperfect people making a choice to never give up.
Saying the history of the subjugation of women continues to have a negative impact on how women are treated, Pope Francis called for greater roles for women in the Church. Women also need greater workplace flexibility to ensure they can make the best choices for themselves and their families, Pope Francis told the Pontifical Council for Culture Feb. 7. The pope said the council's study of women's cultures was a topic "close to my heart."
Cardinals meeting at the Vatican discussed better ways to balance the responsibilities of local bishops and of the Roman Curia, said the Vatican spokesman. A recurring theme in the cardinals' Feb. 12-13 meeting was "what is it that is done best where," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told journalists Feb. 13 during a pause in College of Cardinals' discussions. About 40 of the 164 cardinals present in the Vatican's synod hall spoke Feb. 12 about the proposal to reform the Roman Curia, he said.
Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is held up as a beacon for the poor and oppressed, but scholars who have studied Romero's life say his conversion to the poor was a slow process. It's a common narrative that Romero had a sudden conversion from a quiet, cerebral archbishop to one whose outreach to the poor and disenfranchised led to his death. However, Damian Zynda, a Romero researcher at Jesuit-run Creighton University, argues that transformation happened over many years.
Natalie Rose's husband Todd had been feeling poorly for such a long time, her first prayer was "to finally figure out what was wrong. We knew he was gravelly ill." So when the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer came, "It was not the diagnosis I was looking for but I remember feeling it was answered prayer." The statistical outcome was not good: "Less than 10 per cent survive. And there was no guaranteed complete recovery."
Prayer is a constant companion with Dr. Randall Abele. A deacon and Edmonton urologist, Abele says, "Prayer is essential. You're walking with God and you always want to be walking where he wants you to be walking. "You pray to have contentment in your heart, peace in your heart about your life." Prayer, he said, is something that comes out of faith.
Consecrated men and women played a significant role in shaping Canada, says the president of the country's bishops' conference. "Our first teachers, health care givers and social workers were men and women who dedicated their lives through poverty, chastity and obedience, in order to serve the community of faith and all men and women, no matter their faith or ethnicity," Archbishop Paul-André Durocher said in a Jan. 29 letter.
In December, Pope Francis made headlines around the world when he used his Christmas speech to members of the Roman Curia to describe 15 spiritual diseases which he hoped would spur an examination of conscience in order to prepare their hearts for the holy feast of Christmas. However, as the pope said, the Curia is "a small-scale model of the Church." If spiritual diseases are present in the Curia, they are most likely present throughout the people of God.