WCR This Week

Provincial head wants league to speak for justice

CWL crest
June 29, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

YELLOWKNIFE – Being chosen to lead the provincial Catholic Women's League during the time of Pope Francis is a significant coincidence for new president Cathy Bouchard. Bouchard, of Red Deer, is a secular Franciscan. She was named president at the Alberta Mackenzie provincial council convention held here June 5-6. "It's kind of a nice synchronicity for me as a Franciscan," she said. "All of us are very happy that this pope reflects St. Francis of Assisi."

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1. Pope calls us to move beyond superficial ecology

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

People have a growing ecological awareness, but that awareness "has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption," Pope Francis said in the opening chapter of his encyclical Laudato Si', On Care For Our Common Home. Rather than decreasing, those "harmful habits" appear to be all the more on the increase, the pope said.

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2. Ecological duties are essential to Christian faith

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Christians have a responsibility to respect nature and the Creator, a duty that is an essential part of the Christian faith, says Pope Francis. While nature is a system that can be studied and controlled, creation "can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all," the pope wrote in the second chapter of his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home.

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3. Only revolution can overthrow 'logic' of technology

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The growth of technology has led to an "ironclad logic" that diminishes human freedom and the human capacity for making decisions, Pope Francis wrote in the third chapter of his new encyclical Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home. New policies, ways of education, lifestyles and even spirituality are needed to resist the "technological paradigm" for societal decision-making that has become so dominant that it has become "inconceivable" to consider alternatives, the pope says.

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4. Consumerism sending society into ethical, cultural decline.

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Consumerism and individualism have seriously eroded traditional cultures and sent society into "ethical and cultural decline," says Pope Francis. An emphasis on economic growth has led to increased standardization through efforts to cut costs and simplify procedures, the pope said in a chapter on Integral Ecology in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home.

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5. Pope Francis will not settle for halfway measures

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Humanity is engulfed in "a spiral of self-destruction" which can only be halted through dialogue at the international, national and local levels, Pope Francis said in his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home. In his fifth chapter of the encyclical, Lines of Approach and Action, the pope shows greater faith in the ability of public pressure to bring about positive change affecting the natural environment than he does in current political and economic processes.

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6. Solutions come when we discover God in all things

June 29, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Lives lived with "small gestures of mutual care" and rooted in a spirituality that discovers God in all things can bring forth the goodness in others that will lead to better stewardship of our common earthly home, says Pope Francis. In the final chapter of his encyclical Laudato Si', Care for Our Common Home, the pope says better laws alone will not change people's conduct, even when those laws are effectively enforced.

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Pope pushes Putin to work for peace in eastern Ukraine

June 29, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

When Pope Francis met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vatican June 10, the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine was the principal topic of their conversation. Putin arrived at the Vatican more than an hour late, beating the 45-minute tardiness he chalked up in November 2013, the last time he visited the pope.

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Harper brings residential school findings to Pope Francis

Stephen Harper
June 29, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly June 11 with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.

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Vows of consecrated life bring freedom

June 29, 2015
BONNIE KIRK
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

In proclaiming the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis has invited us to stop, pray, reflect, encourage and support. Before I share my reflections, I invite you to pause and think of all the persons, groups and life experiences that you associate with the term consecrated life.

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