Pope Francis says the Church is a mother and must have that loving and tender maternal feeling and human warmth as otherwise all that remains is rigidity and discipline. That was the message at the heart of the Pope’s homily on Tuesday (15th September) at the Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta Residence. Tuesday’s Mass was also attended by the C-9 Cardinals who are meeting in the Vatican this week.

By Michael Kinsalla, Catholic Register Special

A 10-year-old Paraguayan girl is at the centre of an international controversy over “reproductive rights” after she was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather. All cases of child abuse are emotionally contentious and morally outrageous but, as is often the case with vulnerable young women and children, this girl is now a pawn in the wider gambit of the pro-abortion lobby.

By Joy Smith, Catholic Register Special

On New Year’s Day, Pope Francis delivered his annual World Day of Peace message that passionately called for an end to modern-day slavery. The title, “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters,” is taken from St. Paul’s letter to Philemon. Pope Francis noted that “slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person which allows him or her to be treated as an object” and highlighted the many forms of modern-day slavery, including “persons forced into prostitution, many of whom are minors.”

Some ideas for an eco-friendly Christmas:

LED lights
1. Use 90- to 95-per-cent less energy.
2. Last at least seven times longer than ordinary lights.
3. Are more durable and don’t have any breakable filaments or glass bulbs.
4. Produce less heat, thereby reducing the risk of fire.

Christmas trees
1. Why not buy a potted tree this year? You can transplant it outside in the spring or let it grow on your balcony and bring it back inside for use next Christmas.
2. If you buy a real tree, find out if your municipality picks them up after Christmas for mulching.

Decorations
1. Deck your halls with handmade decorations like popcorn and fresh cranberry chains. A biodegradable choice!
2. Buy decorations you can reuse year after year. Instead of throwing out old ornaments, consider repainting them.

Gifts
1. Everyone has items that they don’t use or are as good as new. Give gifts of repaired or refurbished items.
2. Buy environmentally friendly gifts that the receivers will appreciate. Buy products certified EcoLogo or Energy Star, the symbol of high energy efficiency.

Gift wrap
1. Use cloth gift bags instead of paper. You can craft wonderful personalized bags that may be appreciated as much as the gift inside, and can be reused.
2. Or you can use old posters, photos or comics from the newspaper, or magazine pages to wrap presents.
3. To add the finishing touch to your gifts, use pine cones, evergreen branches or other colourful objects from nature instead of store-bought ribbons and bows.
4. Be gentle this year when opening your presents and save the paper and ribbon for next year!
5. Even simpler, put your presents in reusable gift bags!

Heating
1. Cooking and entertaining can really warm up your home. Before the kitchen gets too hot, turn down your thermostat. Don’t open the window.
2. In winter, use fans to circulate warm air through the house.
3. If lots of people are coming and going, make sure you close doors properly and keep the warm air inside for you and your guests.
4. If you heat with a wood stove, make sure your chimney is clean and that your wood stove is EPA-certified. Minimize use of your fireplace.

(Source: greenchurch.ca.)

Catholic Register columnist Robert Brehl teamed up with Hazel McCallion to write the life story of the remarkable woman who served Mississauga as mayor for 36 years. In this excerpt from Hurricane Hazel: A Life with Purpose, Brehl and McCallion delve into the important role faith played in her political life.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on Church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future.

WARSAW, POLAND - Calls for an Olympic boycott because of a Russian law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” have become “highly politicized” and will not draw a response from the Russian Church, said an official of the Russian bishops’ conference.

NEW DELHI - Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, expressed "shock and distress" in accusing the military of storming a Catholic church and firing on residents who had sought refuge there.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' papal motto is based on the Gospel account of "The Call of St. Matthew," the tax collector, in a homily given by St. Bede the Venerable.

VATICAN CITY - The conductor Zubin Mehta performed with an Italian orchestra at the Vatican Feb. 4, in a concert honoring Pope Benedict XVI and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

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