SPECIAL COLLECTION FOR UKRAINE WITH POPE FRANCIS

To the Rev. Clergy, Religious and Lay-Faithful of the Eparchy of New Westminster 14 April 2016 Christ is Risen! Dear Friends, On Saturday, 5 March of this year, His Beatitude Sviatoslav and members of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church (of which I am a member) had a meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican.  At that meeting we spoke of the horrific situation in Ukraine that has resulted in the two years of war.  The death toll continues to rise, and the number of internally displaced citizens has reached in the millions.  These families have had to flee their homes and cities in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, leaving everything behind them and take refuge in other areas of the country.  This of course is placing tremendous stress on the rest of the country who have opened their homes and communities to try and accommodate their fellow Ukrainian citizens.  You can also imagine the trauma that these people have and are suffering; witnessing the killings, the bombings and the destruction of their homes.   His Holiness promised His Beatitude and the members of the Permanent Synod that he would not only keep our sisters and brothers in Ukraine in his prayers but would encourage the faithful to come to the aid of those in Ukraine.  To this end, His Holiness announced a special collection be taken up in all of the Catholic parishes of Europe for Ukraine to assist in the Humanitarian crisis.   Caritas Ukraine, an organization that our Eparchy has been supporting over the years has taken up the challenge of...

STATEMENT ON BILL C-14 BY THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

Today, the Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying). This proposed legislation, which responds to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in early 2015, will make euthanasia and assisted suicide legal and more accessible in our entire country. The Supreme Court decision and current legislative efforts are in stark contradiction to the endeavours of individuals, families and communities to counteract the dangers and sufferings of suicide – as we have seen this week in Attawapiskat, Ontario.   The teaching of the Catholic Church and the stance of the Catholic Bishops of Canada affirm the sacredness and dignity of human life. Suicide and euthanasia are contrary to the most profound natural inclination of each human being to live and preserve life. Furthermore, they contradict the fundamental responsibility that human beings have to protect one another and to enhance the quality of health and social care which every human life deserves, from conception to natural death.   Bill C-14, no matter how it may be amended, is an affront to human dignity, an erosion of human solidarity, and a danger to all vulnerable persons — particularly the aged, disabled, infirm and sick who so often find themselves isolated and marginalized. Moreover, it is a violation of the sacrosanct duty of healthcare providers to heal, and the responsibility of legislators and citizens to assure and provide protection for all, especially those persons most at risk.   As our country faces this new moral and social threat, the Bishops of Canada renew...