The opportunity annually extended to Christians worldwide to be unified in prayer comes this year from Brazil, and it is being embraced in Canada from coast to coast.

Published in Canada

You have heard it said that a stitch in time saves nine. I know how to thread a needle and have done so many times. I have even sewn a button on my shirt and on occasion sat at a sewing machine, but a tailor I am not.

Published in Faith

TORONTO - One of Canada’s greatest theologians is still publishing more than two years after she died.

Published in Canada

A few weeks ago, I attended a special prayer service. Led by two bishops (one anglophone, one francophone), it gathered Church dignitaries to celebrate an anniversary. The service was surprisingly moving: a remarkable result at the commemoration of a Church document not so many of us, even within the Church, have ever heard of. The two bishops, and three other Church leaders, reflected on passages from Ephesians and John.

Published in Mary Marrocco

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis deplored the "abuses and inhuman acts" of Islamic State militants, and called on all religious leaders to condemn them "unanimously and unambiguously." He also said he hoped to travel to the Middle East to comfort persecuted Christians there.

Published in Vatican

TORONTO - When Saskatoon’s Bishop Don Bolen worked for Cardinal Walter Kasper in the Vatican, the boss would tell him that all those documents produced at the Second Vatican Council weren’t supposed to sit on shelves gathering dust. 

Published in Canada

TORONTO - Convinced that Church unity can only be the result of devout prayer and serious thinking, Anglicans and Catholics are getting together to do both at St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto Nov. 9. 

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops examine the church's connection with other Christian churches in a document marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism.

Published in Canada
September 13, 2013

Revisit Taizé prayer

One evening this past summer, I walked down a set of dark stairs into a candlelit basement. I was with a group of 20 young adults. Eastern icons of Jesus on the cross were placed around the room, representing for me the sacred history of God’s interactions with His people.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out

Things changed with the Second Vatican Council. No one disputes that the Catholic faith remained what it has always been. The Church still teaches what the Church always taught. But the Council did not assemble 2,860 bishops to recite the catechism. The fact that the bishops commissioned the first authoritative catechism in 350 years was just one of many changes initiated at the Council.

Among the most important changes:

- Liturgy: Vernacular languages were encouraged, especially for Scripture readings at Mass, which became far more extensive with added Old Testament readings and a cycle of three years which focusses on each of the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Luke and Mark). By 1969 the Novus Ordo Mass allowed priests for pastoral reasons to face the assembly, gave the celebrant a variety of eucharistic prayers, restored the sign of peace to the entire congregation, allowed for distribution of both the body and blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine and moved tabernacles off the altars to a noble and prominent location elsewhere in the church or a separate chapel. By 1973 the International Commission for English in the Liturgy produced the first official translation of the New Mass, though various provisional translations had been circulating since the end of the Council.

- Ecumenism: Unitatis Redintegratio declared the ecumenical movement a good thing, encouraged Catholics to be part of it and referred to Eastern, Oriental and Protestant Christians as "separated brethren." In 1928 Pope Pius XI had condemned the ecumenical movement. From the Council of Trent until the Second Vatican Council Protestants were officially referred to as heretics.

- Democracy and religious liberty: In Dignitatis Humanae the Church for the first time recognized the conscience rights of all people to freedom of religion, and declared it was the responsibility of states to protect religious freedom with stable laws. The idea that the state should be neutral in religion, or that liberal democratic states could be entrusted to protect human dignity or even that there was any such thing as a right to religious freedom, had been condemned by Pope Pius IX.

- Relations with Jews: "The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God," said Nostra Aetate. The charge of deicide was unfounded. The New Covenant is not possible without Abraham's stock.

- Relations with other religions: "The Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions," said Nostra Aetate.

- Religious Life: Sisters, brothers and religious order priests were to do two things — rediscover the original purpose of their religious order and adapt it to the modern world, said Perfectae Caritatis.

- Canon Law: The Council fathers ordered a revised and written code of canon law that was finally delivered under Pope John Paul II in 1983.
Published in Vatican II

TORONTO - There’s nothing more Catholic than ecumenism, nothing more Christian than unity, nothing more urgent than the need to heal divisions in the body of Christ, but none of it will happen based on resentments, fears and identity politics, the head of the World Council of Churches told a couple hundred people in Toronto March 14.

On his first official visit to Canada, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit laid out challenges to ecumenism which he said oppose the Christian mandate to fulfill the Lord’s Prayer — “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.”

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - The man charged with bringing unity to the body of Christ by 350 churches world-wide is coming to Toronto to speak about “The unity we seek: Exploring the hopes and challenges of modern ecumenism.”

Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, will talk about the state of ecumenism at St. Andrew’s Church, next to Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto, March 14 at 7 p.m.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
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Comment

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Peter Stockland: Irish should learn lesson from Canada 

It’s the ugly reality that an 83-year-old priest could be taken into custody for democratically and peacefully expressing his right to speak out against abortion, Stockland writes.

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