February 19, 2015

Now's the time

In the 33-year life of the Charter of Rights and Freedom the federal government has never invoked the notwithstanding clause to override a court ruling. But Canada has never faced a decision quite like the Feb. 6 edict by the Supreme Court that will usher in assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Published in Editorial

TORONTO - Priests need to preach the Church’s teachings on end-of-life issues more frequently to better spiritually prepare parishioners for the inevitable, Fr. Kevin Belgrave believes.

Published in Canada

My sister and I used to get season’s tickets to the ballet. They brought colour, beauty and music to long winters, and gave us an opportunity to visit. They also took us to performances we wouldn’t normally select, which is how we ended up at a performance of Swan Lake. We had tickets, so we went.

Published in Mary Marrocco

“In the sight of the world, he is now dead.” 

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

ST. LOUIS - Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and "as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest," said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - An Indian cardinal who had been the editor of a Catholic weekly newspaper before coming to Rome to serve as head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches died in Rome at the age of 90.

Published in Vatican

On Christmas day a film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s book Les Miserables made its debut in theatres. Though Hugo had a less than perfectly benign view of the Catholic Church, his masterpiece is, from beginning to end, conditioned by a profoundly Christian worldview. It is most important that, amidst all of the “Les Miz” hoopla, the spiritual heart of Hugo’s narrative not be lost.

Published in Movie News

VATICAN CITY - In the wake of the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three staff members in Libya and the unrest triggered by a U.S.-made amateur film hostile to Islam, the Vatican decried disrespect toward all religions and deplored all violence as unacceptable.

"Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions are an essential precondition for the peaceful co-existence of peoples," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

"The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence," he said Sept. 12 in a written statement that was also translated into Arabic.

He told journalists that Pope Benedict XVI's Sept 14-16 trip to Lebanon would continue despite the fresh wave of unrest in the region because the Pope's journey is a testament of "peace, understanding and dialogue that's completely opposed to this kind of tension that has been and is being created," he told reporters.

"The message of dialogue and respect for all believers of different religions, which the Holy Father is preparing to carry with him on his forthcoming trip to Lebanon, indicates the path that everyone should follow in order to construct shared and peaceful co-existence of religions and peoples," the spokesman wrote.

The Vatican statement comes after the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three staff members were killed during a mob attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Sept. 11. The violence was triggered by angry reaction to the trailer of a film mocking the prophet Mohammed. Though the trailer was released online in July, it was recently dubbed into Arabic and grabbed Arab media attention.
Tensions spread the same day as thousands of unarmed demonstrators gathered outside the United States Embassy in Cairo and some later breached the compound's walls and destroyed a flag found inside.

Libya's interim president, Mohammed Magarief, offered his condolences and apologized for the attack, describing it as "cowardly," according to the Associated Press.

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the killings and praised Stevens' selfless service to the United States and the Libyan people.

"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants," Obama said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Vatican's representative in Libya lamented the violence while pleading for greater respect for religious beliefs. Referring to the officials' deaths, Italian Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, told the Vatican's missionary news agency Fides, "What has happened is terrible, but we need to avoid offending the people's religious sensibility."

"One has to respect the sensitivity of the Muslim population. The Arab countries are already in the throes of momentous upheaval; pouring gasoline on religious outrage is really dangerous," he said in a Sept. 12 interview.

Published in International
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