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Canadian couple works to improve marriages with ‘tuneups’

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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Phil and Mary Wrubleski are eager to bring practical marriage enrichment opportunities to couples in the Diocese of Saskatoon.

The couple, who chair the diocesan marriage task force, are examining marriage mentoring, in which a younger couple is invited to meet monthly with a more-established couple in the parish who is trained to engage in helpful conversations about marriage, life and children. Read more »

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Religious, political leaders condemn fatal shooting of six at Quebec mosque

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Catholic News Service

QUEBEC CITY — Faith and political leaders condemned a shooting at Quebec’s main mosque that left at least six people dead.

Vigils were scheduled Jan. 30 in Quebec City and Montreal, the evening after two men entered the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center and opened fire, killing at least six men who were praying and injuring 19 more. Police later arrested two suspects, two men aged between 20 and 30. The motive behind the attack remained unclear.

Pope Francis embraces Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec after celebrating morning Mass in the chapel of his residence at the Vatican Jan. 30. A Vatican statement said the pope assured Cardinal Lacroix of his prayers for the victims of a shooting in a mosque in Quebec City. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano,)

Pope Francis embraces Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec after celebrating morning Mass in the chapel of his residence at the Vatican Jan. 30. A Vatican statement said the pope assured Cardinal Lacroix of his prayers for the victims of a shooting in a mosque in Quebec City. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano,)

Pope Francis met with Quebec Archbishop Cardinal Gerald Lacroix in Rome Jan. 30 and assured him of his prayers for the victims of the attack on the mosque. A Vatican statement said the pope highlighted the importance of Christians and Muslims remaining united in prayer in these moments.

Afterward, the cardinal immediately departed for Canada.

Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal said: “Nothing can justify such murderous acts aimed at innocent people. We are called to say again that, whatever our beliefs are, as human beings we are all brothers and sisters, all equal in dignity.”

The Anglican bishops of Quebec City and Montreal were in Canterbury, England, when the attack occurred.

In a joint statement on the shooting, Coadjutor Bishop Bruce Myers of Quebec and Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson of Montreal said: “Along with our grief and prayers we are called as disciples of Jesus to express our solidarity with our neighbors who are Muslim.”

“We wish to express directly to our Muslim neighbors in Quebec our grief and repugnance at this brutal act of violence against another community of faith, and one in the midst of prayer. When one is attacked, we are all attacked, and our whole society is diminished,” they insisted.

Over the years, the mosque had been targeted by hate crimes. A few months ago, a pig’s head was left at the front door, sparking indignation throughout the city.

Quebec City is the capital of the province and its second-biggest city, with more than 500,000 people. It has 6,100 Muslims.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to be in Quebec City Jan. 30.

“It was with tremendous shock, sadness and anger that I heard of this (Jan. 29) evening’s tragic and fatal shooting,” he said. “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge.”

Quebec Mayor Regis Labeaume stayed up all night to assess the situation.

“My first thoughts go to the victims and their families hit while they were gathered to pray. Quebec is an open city where all must be allowed to live together in security and respect,” he said.

“I invite the population to come together and stand united. Quebec is strong, Quebec is proud, Quebec is opened to the world,” he added.

 

Vaillancourt is editor on Montreal-based Presence info.

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Canada’s House sends assisted suicide bill to Senate for approval

June 2nd, 2016 Posted in Featured, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian government’s assisted suicide legislation, which the nation’s bishops describe as “fundamentally unjust” and an “affront to human dignity,” easily passed third and final reading in the House of Commons May 31 and was sent to the Senate for final approval.
By a vote of 186-137, the House passed Bill C-14, which would legalize medically assisted death for mentally competent adults who, while not necessarily terminally ill, have a serious and incurable illness and are “suffering intolerably” and whose death is “reasonably foreseeable.” Read more »

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Canadian archbishop suggests synod’s bishops discuss female diaconate, domestic violence

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.

Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, arrives for the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 4. On Oct. 6, he suggested the synod fathers discuss expanding ministry opportunities to women to the diaconate. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, arrives for the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 4. On Oct. 6, he suggested the synod fathers discuss expanding ministry opportunities to women to the diaconate. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new opportunities in ministry, he told Catholic News Service Oct. 6.

Discussing a number of proposals he offered the synod fathers to think about, he said, “I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the church’s tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry.”

Currently, the Catholic Church permits only men to be ordained as deacons. Deacons can preach and preside at baptisms, funerals and weddings, but may not celebrate Mass or hear confessions.

Speaking to participants at the Synod of Bishops on the family Oct. 6, Archbishop Durocher said he dedicated his three-minute intervention to the role of women in the church, one of the many themes highlighted in the synod’s working document.

The working document, which is guiding the first three weeks of the synod’s discussions, proposed giving women greater responsibility in the church, particularly through involving them in “the decision-making process, their participation, not simply in a formal way, in the governing of some institutions; and their involvement in the formation of ordained ministers.”

Archbishop Durocher, who recently ended his term as president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that much of his brief talk was focused on the lingering problem of violence against women, including domestic violence. He said the World Health Organization estimates that 30 percent of women worldwide experience violence by their partner.

He reminded the synod fathers that in the apostolic exhortation “Familiaris Consortio” in 1981, St. John Paul II basically told the church that “we have to make a concerted and clear effort to make sure that there is no more degradation of women in our world, particularly in marriage. And I said, ‘Well, here we are 30 years later and we’re still facing these kinds of numbers.’”

He said he recommended one thing they could do to address this problem was, “as a synod, clearly state that you cannot justify the domination of men over women, certainly not violence, through biblical interpretation,” particularly incorrect interpretations of St. Paul’s call for women to be submissive to their husbands.

In his presentation the archbishop also noted that Pope Benedict XVI had talked about the question of new ministries for women in the church. “It’s a just question to ask. Shouldn’t we be opening up new venues for ministry of women in the church?” he said.

In addition to the possibility of allowing for women deacons, he said he also proposed that women be hired for “decision-making jobs” that could be opened to women in the Roman Curia, diocesan chanceries and large-scale church initiatives and events.

Another thing, he said, “would be to look at the possibility of allowing married couples, men and women, who have been properly trained and accompanied, to speak during Sunday homilies so that they can testify, give witness to the relationship between God’s word and their own marriage life and their own life as families.”

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