Features/Features

{mosimage}TORONTO - For 138 years the dogma of papal infallibility has inspired waves of harsh condemnation and deep suspicion from other Christians. The irony is that the church approved this teaching in the name of church unity.

Margaret O’Gara, president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Michael’s College, has been thinking about papal infallibility more than 30 years. She thinks it’s time to rethink what the dogma means, and how Catholics put it into practice.

Virtues should trump values in character education

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 {sidebar id=2}TORONTO - Catholic school programs on character development should focus on virtues instead of values, says a new document by the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The August paper by the OCCB’s Education Commission led by Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Paul Andre Durocher, entitled Character Development and the Virtuous Life, said a focus on virtues “helps us re-acquire a valuable concept in our tradition, compels us to recognize God’s role in the character development of our students and helps us focus on specific habits that foster and protect the freedoms to which we are called.”

The mighty fall... at the poor's expense

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{mosimage}While global capitalism went into convulsions at the Wall Street end of Manhattan Island, Archbishop Celestino Migliore was at the midtown headquarters of the United Nations wondering about the economic fate of 1.4 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.

“How are we able to find funds to save a broken financial system yet remain unable to find the resources necessary to invest in the development of all regions of the world, beginning with the most destitute?” Migliore, the Holy See’s representative at the United Nations, asked delegates to a high level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals Sept. 27.

Alberta boards deny access to HPV vaccine

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{mosimage}CALGARY - Two Catholic school boards in Alberta have refused to allow an in-school vaccination to guard against a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer.

In September Calgary Catholic District School and St. Thomas Aquinas school board, south of Edmonton,voted against making the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination available in its schools.

Catholics schools threatened by hostile secularism, bishop says

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The threat to the existence of publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario is a symptom of an even greater and growing hostility to religion in the public square, warns Bishop Paul-André Durocher.

“If we want to save our Catholic schools, what we have to save is the place of religion in Canadian society,” the bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall diocese said Sept. 28.

Spirituality a key step in addiction recovery

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{mosimage}TORONTO - For many people suffering from addiction, the belief in a higher power, or the belief that such a higher power actually cares for them, is often a difficult concept to grasp, addictions counsellors say.

Feelings of shame and guilt because of the hurtful things they have done or said during their addiction can make it difficult for recovering addicts to forgive themselves. The concept of a Creator who loves them and wants to help them seems very unlikely.

Rehab centre puts Catholicity front and centre

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{mosimage}WOODBRIDGE, Ont. - Vita Nova is one addictions rehabilitation centre that isn’t shy about its Catholic colours. On the staircase wall of the building’s main entrance hangs a large painting of a young woman, head in hands, with a statue of Mary in the background facing away.

Franca Carella, the centre’s founder, explains that the painting, the handiwork of a former client at the Woodbridge centre, expressed the artist’s struggle with faith while battling addiction — in her case, the belief that Mary had turned her back on her.

The spirituality of politics

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Guidance for participation in Canadian political life can be found in the church’s social teachings, but that doesn’t mean there is a simple formula for voting, according to Catholic observers interviewed by The Catholic Register in advance of the Oct. 14 federal election.

“We do not believe people are just individuals. We really are about working for the common good,” explains Ottawa-based Jesuit Father William Ryan. “That’s the basic premise. We’re social beings. . . . We believe that you’re social by nature, and for that reason you’re political.”

More study sought for HPV vaccine

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{mosimage}TORONTO - As several Catholic school boards across Canada prepare to offer the vaccine targeting cervical cancer this year, recent reports suggest a need for more studies.

In a Sept. 1 editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Neal A. Halsley said cases of severe adverse reactions among Australian children to Gardasil — the vaccine targeting the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which can cause cervical cancer — was five to 20 times higher than for other school-based vaccines. Of the 12 suspected cases, eight were confirmed as anaphylactoid reactions. There were 269,680 vaccine doses administered in Australian schools starting in April 2007.

Police presence stepped up for eight Catholic schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Eight police officers will be stationed at Catholic high schools across Toronto starting this October.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board said police officers would be placed at Archbishop Romero, Bishop Marroco/Thomas Merton, Cardinal Newman, Don Bosco, James Cardinal McGuigan, Mary Ward, Michael Power/St. Joseph and St. Patrick Catholic High Schools.

Police presence stepped up for eight Catholic schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Eight police officers will be stationed at Catholic high schools across Toronto starting this October.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board said police officers would be placed at Archbishop Romero, Bishop Marroco/Thomas Merton, Cardinal Newman, Don Bosco, James Cardinal McGuigan, Mary Ward, Michael Power/St. Joseph and St. Patrick Catholic High Schools.