As someone who can smell the incense from the last pew of the church, it was no challenge for me to sniff the billows of the beer coming off Ralph Klein.

Let the communication begin

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VATICAN CITY - As Pope Francis leads the Church through his first Holy Week, there is great interest in what he does, how he does it and what the new Pope has to say. The communications apparatus of the Holy See is essential to addressing that interest.

A pontificate begins

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VATICAN CITY - Perhaps St. Francis — who wrote poetically of Brother Sun praising God — provided the weather for Pope Francis on the day of his inaugural Mass. After two weeks in Rome where the weather was wet, overcast and dreary, the sun shone brightly on St. Peter’s Square as the Holy Father began his Petrine ministry on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, patron and protector of the universal Church.

Humility, humour and simple kindness in Francis

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Like most everyone, I’ve been fascinated and delighted with the election of Pope Francis. His simple, gracious acts during his first days on the job bode well for the Church.

Christ’s good news is for all

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The great mission’s name is Jesus

Montreal ruling strikes blow for religious freedom

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With all eyes fixed on Rome, it’s not surprising that Paula Celani’s moment of victory in a Montreal courtroom has gone almost unheralded.

Whatcott case leaves troubling concerns

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The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in the case of anti-gay advocate Bill Whatcott provided troubling answers to some questions concerning free speech but improved the language of a provincial human rights code and slightly raised the bar for future cases.

Benedict brought back biblical theology

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Before we receive a new pope, it is worthwhile to consider the impact of the pontificate itself.

A Lenten message from a mother

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March, always a special month, is set to be one to remember this year. Forever a part of Lent and leading up to the holiest days of the year, March can also be a tease for Canadians: warm spring sunshine on the face one day followed by snow and sleet the next.

Quebec’s angels of mercy

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The battle over legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Quebec just shifted to the side of the angels. On Feb. 19, a group of more than 300 courageous and very determined doctors took out attention-grabbing newspaper advertisements declaring bluntly that their role will never be to “kill” their patients. Calling themselves the Physicians’ Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia, they issued a manifesto rejecting the whole ideology under which doctors would be complicit in administering lethal doses of drugs to patients.

Papal office is forever changed

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Last week, we looked here at the complete novelty of Pope Benedict’s abdication, clarifying that such a thing has never been done in the entire history of the Church.