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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.

Stick to the plan

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The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have sparked inevitable security worries and calls to slow down the plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end. That would be a mistake. The murder of at least 129 innocents in Paris underlines precisely why a massive refugee airlift is commendable and so urgent.

Let’s get at it

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Justin Trudeau’s promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year end is implausible. Totally ridiculous. Absurd. So let’s roll up our sleeves and make it happen.

Care, not killing

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Most of Canada’s incoming parliamentarians were on the campaign trail in September and probably missed the inspiring address Pope Francis gave to U.S. Congress. If so, that’s a shame. His speech was made for America but a perfect fit for Canada.

Synod success

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In his closing address at the Synod of Bishops on the Family, Pope Francis said the meeting of Church leaders was never intended to solve all the problems that afflict modern families. The Synod, he said, was a forum to study the family and assess its many challenges “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.”