Stories for the Middle Column of the WCR This Week Page
Trustees at Edmonton Catholic Schools are gearing up to vote for a new policy to protect transgender and other students at their schools. The new policy, which is modeled after the Edmonton Public Schools' policy, will be ready for first reading at the board's Oct. 13 meeting. "Our gender expression and identity policy will be modelled after the Edmonton's Public School's policy and is the kind of policy the Minister of Education wants to see," board chair Debbie Engel told the WCR Oct. 4.
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Hours before celebrating a huge downtown Mass with nearly a million people in Philadelphia, Pope Francis set aside some time to be with his brothers. Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, one of the bishops taking part in the Vatican sponsored World Meeting of Families Congress, said Pope Francis' meeting with the bishops, on the final day of his visit to the United States, felt very much like being with a brother among brothers.
The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to "God who always surprises us." Opening the first working session of the synod Oct. 5, the pope said the synod's 270 voting members need courage, "pastoral and doctrinal zeal, wisdom, frankness and to keep always before our eyes the good of the Church and of families and the supreme law - the salvation of souls."
A popular American psychologist and author said he hopes the bishops attending the Synod on the Family in Rome will address the importance of strong fathers in the family. "I think they need to emphasize dads taking a much more faithful leadership role," said clinical psychologist Ray Guarendi in a recent interview. "We guys have a tendency to leave it up to the women and the research concludes that a strong male figure is something much needed for the development of boys and girls."
Pray for the Pope. It's the one thing he wants. For six days in America, he asked school children, the president, congressmen, senators, UN diplomats, bishops, a million Mass-goers, the homeless and prisoners all to pray for him. As he visited Washington, New York and Philadelphia Sept. 22 to 27, Pope Francis' insistence on that one request - to pray for the Pope - wormed its way into the heart of his message for America and a worldwide audience.