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There comes a point as flames are consuming a house that a homeowner realizes it’s time to drop the fire extinguisher and grab the family jewels in the sad realization that the battle is lost.

It’s a start

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A remarkable statement signed by more than 200 prominent political and religious leaders from the Muslim world has boldly asserted that Islamic persecution of Christians and others is “unconscionable” and must end if the world is to find peace.

Step back for peace

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A historic treaty between the Vatican and Palestine came into effect on Jan. 2 with little fanfare. But it warrants discussion now on the heels of an Israeli land grab that underlines how far removed the Holy Land remains from peace.

A ‘Prairie staple’

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As Canada gets ready for its multi-million-dollar 150th birthday celebration in 2017, party planners would do well to remember the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Pioneers, missionaries, pastors, educators, peacemakers, nation builders — few organizations stand ahead of the Oblates, as they are commonly known, in terms of the quantity and quality of their contributions to Canada.

Price of peace

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Addressing U.S. congress last September, Pope Francis bluntly dissected the multi-billion-dollar international arms industry.

To the point

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At a recent ordination of a bishop, Pope Francis shared his secrets for success. He advised the bishop to be a disciple of mercy and patience — and short homilies.

Lessons learned

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Newspapers typically select a “person of the year” based on noble deeds or towering accomplishments. The world certainly abounds with such people, but rather than acclaim one of these for 2015 we instead commemorate Alan Kurdi.

Christmas wishes

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For centuries pilgrims have arrived in Bethlehem at Christmas to celebrate where Christ was born at the site of the present-day Church of the Nativity. But this will be a December of modest crowds and muted celebrations due to an autumn of violence in the West Bank.

Deception exposed

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Finally, a victory for common sense. Justice Michel Pinsonnault of Quebec Superior Court sounded a rare voice of reason when he ruled that Quebec’s so-called “medical aid in dying” legislation is no more than a euphemism for euthanasia. As they say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

Africa rising

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Pope Francis is the fourth pope in almost 50 years to visit Africa but his recent three-nation trip was the first by a pontiff from the global south, which meant he could speak both from his heart and from shared experience.

Tackle root of problem

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For 12 days starting Nov. 30 several dozen world leaders, joined by 50,000 delegates and lobbyists, will meet in Paris to craft a global treaty to dramatically reduce man-made greenhouse gas emissions. This zeal for an international consensus is certainly commendable but it misses the point.