We begin today in Rome with a review of the Pope’s weekly, Sunday Angelus address from St.Peter’s Square.
Addressing the pilgrims who joined him for the recitation of the Marian prayer, the Pope spoke about the liberating actions that Jesus performed for a suffering humanity. He also called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace on Feb. 23 with special prayers for Congo and South Sudan.
After a 5 week, 14-city tour across Canada the famous relic of St. Francis Xavier, that drew more than 80,000 thousand people, is safely back at the Church of the Gesù in Rome.
The in-corrupt forearm relic of the Jesuit Missionary, which has claimed to have baptized over a 100,000 people, was brought to Canada in December by the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the Canadian Jesuits, and, the Catholic Christian Outreach. Over the course of five weeks the relic was brought to various cathedrals, parishes, universities and schools, in an event that allowed Canadians to pray and be close to the saint.
Upon its return to Rome, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated presided by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, where, during his homily, he explained that: “What was most encouraging for us, was the way university students took on the missionary charism, engaging people who came to see the Relic of St. Francis, to speak of their faith, inviting others to share it.
The Archbishop stated that there is much hope for the youth of our country, as they continue to develop lives of prayer, read the Bible, and share it with others. He explained that youth are able to testify to God’s power in their lives, celebrate it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and strive to discern God’s will for their lives.
Moreover, in Canada the Ontario Divisional Court recently released a disappointing ruling, which accepts Religious and Conscientious Infringement upon Doctors in Ontario. Several physicians and groups challenged a mandate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which requires doctors who object to certain procedures on religious or conscientious grounds such as abortions or assisted suicide, to provide referrals to a physician who would be willing to perform the service.
The Ontario court then upheld a policy that requires physicians to act against their religion and conscience. This development then places Ontario doctors in positions of receiving professional complaints if they refuse to make a referral.
According to a recent statement from the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family:
"Seeking to impose on a doctor the duty to perform abortions or euthanasia (or, alternatively, to leave the medical profession or a given hospital), or to impose on him the duty to refer a woman to an abortionist, is gravely sinful and a direct violation of his inalienable human dignity and freedom of conscience."
There is currently no word on whether this ruling will be challenged with an appeal, however, we will continue to keep you up-to-date on this issue, as more details are revealed.
That is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspectives of a Catholic Lens.
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