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Intramural debate behind Vatican document responses

{mosimage}On July 10, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document reaffirming Catholic ecclesiology entitled “Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church.” The succinct, three-page document, in essence, simply reaffirms the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the theology of the church (ecclesiology), as well as modern encyclicals and magisterial documents.

We must offer social, spiritual support for the sick

{mosimage}The prayers of the Holy Father for the 15th World Day of the Sick in 2007 were expressed in his message written on Dec. 8, 2006. He reminded us that, “Despite the advances of science, a cure cannot be found for every illness, and thus in hospitals, hospices and homes throughout the world we encounter the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are incurably and often terminally ill.”

Find real solutions to fight against crime

{mosimage}It is disappointing to see church groups responding to the political debate in Canada by seriously debating whether minimum sentences for gun crime are too long or not.  They will never win. Debating in the arbitrary ether about what is a fair penalty will always lead to increases in punishment — to the cost of taxpayers and little benefit to our safety.

Denis Leary provides gritty portrayal of angry Catholic

{mosimage}Gone are the days when Catholic themes on either a network or specialty channel, television drama or sitcom series would have garnered a measure of respectful fascination, bemused interest or benign mystification.

Seeking mutual understanding

Editor’s note: Below is an excerpt from a speech by Fr. Bill Ryan, S.J., founder of the Center of Concern in Washington, a former general secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and longtime social justice advocate. It was presented to a gathering of Canadian Muslims at the Congress Centre in Ottawa on May 20.

Once more into the breach for Hitchens

{mosimage}There’s a joke about Christopher Hitchens circulating around the Internet: “What’s the difference between Christopher Hitchens and God? God doesn’t think He is Christopher Hitchens.”

Amnesty International responds

Editor’s note: The following article is a response by Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, to the June 3 Catholic Register editorial, The wrong road, in which we criticized the adoption by Amnesty International of a policy of defending a woman’s access to abortion as a right.


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Let parents make religious decision for kids

Editor’s note: In September 2008 the Quebec government will replace the options in religious and moral education in public schools by the imposition of a single multi-religious course of ethics and religious culture along with the forbiddance, in public but not private schools, of all confessional religious education. This commentary on the issue is written by Jean Morse-Chevrier, president of the Catholic Parents Association of Quebec and first published in Le Devoir on June 4 in French. The author provided this English translation to The Catholic Register.
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We must do more to share the wealth

Forget not the widow, the orphan, and slave
O God please remember the helpless today
Call on Your children repairing the breach
There is no place too far that Your mercy can’t reach.

                           - Charlie Hall , recording artist

This week’s mail brought the annual status report on the child we support through Christian Child Care International (CCCI) . She lives in Haiti, the poorest and most densely populated country in the Western Hemisphere.

Another sacrament for today’s youth?

Having taken the current set of Grade 8 students from my parish through Confirmation some insights on the process came to light. I suppose this could be considered a good news/bad news account.

Let’s try to get it right

It seems increasingly odd that we should have difficulty getting informed news reports and commentary on religion in the mainstream media. After all, as virtually everyone concedes, religion is news, although largely bad news it would seem.