About Sara Lin Wilde

Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.

New Zealand Parliament to Vote on Updating, but Not Eliminating, Daily Prayer

If your local government is considering some changes to its traditions regarding public prayer, it might be worth your time to consider what’s happening in New Zealand’s national Parliament (below) right now. Speaker David Carter has proposed a change to the prayer being used to open each working day and hopes to bring it before his fellows for a vote.

The current prayer, adopted as part of the daily routine in 1962, references “Almighty God” and “Jesus Christ our Lord.” The prayer goes on to ask the aforementioned deity to grant “that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name,” and it calls for “the maintenance of true religion and justice.” It ends with an old-fashioned Biblical “Amen.”

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False Statements Under Oath: One More Sin in the Catholic Church’s Abuse Scandals

During a deposition in April 2014, Archbishop John Nienstedt (below) of Saint Paul and Minneapolis testified to his lack of knowledge concerning a priest’s prior conviction of child abuse, saying he had only discovered that sordid history “during the last six months” and that he had never known much about the abuser’s past.

The evidence suggests otherwise.

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Canada’s Supreme Court Hesitates on Municipal Government Prayer Question

Maybe you remember our previous coverage of the Saguenay prayer case.

To recap quickly: Alain Simoneau, citizen of Saguenay (Quebec), raised a challenge against his municipal government’s practice of opening public meetings with a prayer (containing references to Almighty God and bracketed on both ends by the Sign of the Cross, a particularly Catholic prayer gesture). Quebec’s human rights tribunal ruled that the rights of non-believers were being violated, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision (because tradition!), and now the case is being decided at the level of the national Supreme Court.

But not just yet.

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Instead of Building the First Public High School in Morinville (Alberta), They’ll Build a Fourth Catholic One

The growing community of Morinville (Alberta, Canada) has a burgeoning youth population; fully one-quarter of the area’s citizens are under 18. Schools in the area are feeling the pinch, and it’s stirring up a holy controversy around the touchy subject of religious accommodation… or the lack thereof.

You see, Alberta is one of the Canadian provinces that still retains both public and Catholic school boards, a vestige of historical agreements made to appease a wary French-Canadian population who feared the takeover of their culture by English Protestantism if they joined the Confederation. Now, students in Morinville have two school boards vying to serve them.

Both boards recently applied for government funding to build a new school, given the overcrowding in the area’s existing schools: the Catholic board wanted another elementary school, while the public board hoped to create the city’s first secular high school. But when Premier Jim Prentice unveiled plans for the new building, only one was slated for Morinville.

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A Closer Look at the Vatican Document Guiding the Synod on the Modern Family (Part 4)

This is Part Four in a four-part series about the Vatican document Instrumentum Laboris, meant to be a working guide for the upcoming Synod of Bishops focusing on the challenges of modern family life in Catholicism. You can read the other parts here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Welcome back to Instrumentum Laboris. Today’s selection deals with the theme “An Openness to Life and Parental Responsibility in Upbringing.” Because nothing is more fun than telling parents everything they’re doing wrong, especially if they’re parents we think are sinners. Of course, the discerning reader will have caught that phrase “openness to life” in there, which can only mean one thing: we’ll be talking birth control, too!

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