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November 17, 2017
Archive of September 12, 2017

Knights of Columbus raise $1.3 million for storm victims

, Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - As Knights of Columbus members volunteer to aid the victims of recent storms, the organization has also raised over $1.3 million to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

“We have seen incredible generosity from our members, and we invite others to join us in providing aid that is urgently needed,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a Sept. 8 statement.

“The funds we raise will make a real difference in the lives of those already affected and those who are bracing for the worst.”

Hurricane Harvey has either damaged or destroyed over 93,000 Texas homes, and state authorities say the death toll has climbed to 70 people. While damage reports are still being conducted, Gov. Greg Abbott estimated that the cost to rebuild will be between $150-180 billion.

Hitting the Florida Keys on Sunday, Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday after passing through Malibu towards southern Georgia. So far the hurricane has killed seven people in the U.S., adding to the 38 lives taken in the Caribbean.

Last week, members of the non-profit global fraternity volunteered to assist in Florida's disaster plan, and Texas Knights have continued to bring aid to victims affected by the Hurricane Harvey.

Already providing shelter for the displaced victims of Texas, the Knights have started to remove debris in order to help people back into their homes. The organization has also provided thousands of meals to Texas residents, including 5,000 in Beaumont and 8,000 in Ingleside.

With the money fundraised from the Knights throughout the U.S., the fraternity has now opened its doors to receive donations from the general public.

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This baker's Supreme Court case could set tone of religious liberty in US

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - A Colorado baker’s fight to maintain his freedom of expression could be the most influential religious freedom decisions of the US Supreme Court in years, as the court considers the case this term.

“There is far more at stake in this case than simply whether Jack Phillips must bake a cake,” the US bishops' conference and other Catholic groups stated in an amicus brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. “It is about the freedom to live according to one’s religious beliefs in daily life and, in so doing, advance the common good.”

The Masterpiece Cakeshop case, to be decided by the Supreme Court in the next term, dates back to 2012. In July of that year, Jack Phillips went to work one July day at Masterpiece Cakeshop, his Lakewood, Colo. bakery in the suburbs of Denver.

Phillips had started his business in 1993 as a way to integrate his two loves -- baking and art – into his daily work. Philipps named his shop “Masterpiece” because of the artistic focus of his work, but also because of his Christian beliefs. He drew from Christ's Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, specifically the commands “no man can serve two masters” and “you cannot serve both God and mammon.”

“I didn’t open this so I could make a lot of money,” Phillips said of his business. “I opened it up so that it would be a way that I could create my art, do the baking that I love, and serve the God that I love.” Phillips spoke last Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation at a panel event on his upcoming Supreme Court case.

One day in July of 2012, two men walked in to Masterpiece Cakeshop and began looking at pictures of wedding cakes. Phillips approached them and quickly ascertained that they were planning their own wedding and had wanted him to bake them a cake for their same-sex wedding.

“Right away, I’m thinking ‘how can I tell them politely that I can’t take care of this wedding for them, because I don’t do same-sex weddings’,” he recalled.

Phillips explained to the couple that he could not serve same-sex weddings – to do so would have been a violation of his Christian beliefs. He said has declined to make a number of types of cakes, including cakes for Halloween, bachelor parties, and a divorce, cakes with alcohol in the ingredients, and cakes with atheist messages.  

Once they heard they would not be able to buy a cake from Masterpiece, the couple stormed out of the store angrily. During the ensuing hour, Phillips said his store received about a half-dozen threatening phone calls. Days later, he received a death threat where he had to call his sister, who was at the store with her four year-old daughter, and tell her to hide in the back of the store until police arrived on the scene.

The couple, meanwhile, filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for discrimination.

The commission ordered Phillips to serve same-sex weddings and to undergo anti-discrimination training. In a hearing in 2014, the civil rights commissioner Diann Rice compared his declining to serve same-sex weddings to justifications for the Holocaust and slavery.

“Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust,” Commissioner Rice said.

Alliance Defending Freedom took up Phillips’ case in court. He lost before an administrative judge in 2013, who ruled that the state could determine when his rights to free speech unlawfully infringed upon others’ rights.

Phillips then appealed his case to the state’s human rights commission, which ruled against him. He appealed again to the state’s court of appeals, which also ruled against him. The Colorado Supreme Court did not take up Phillips’ case.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court. It was re-listed repeatedly throughout the winter and spring of 2017, before the Court finally decided to take the case in June, at the end of its term.

Once the case is decided at the Supreme Court, the ruling is expected to cap one of the most decisive religious freedom cases of this century.

“It has been said, and I think accurately so, that this could be one of the most important First Amendment cases in terms of free speech and the free exercise of religion in a century or more, and it could be a landmark, seismic kind of case of First Amendment jurisprudence,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) stated at a Thursday press conference at the U.S. Capitol.

As state amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman were declared unconstitutional by the court in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2013, states have also begun enforcing laws against discrimination on basis of sexual identity. The conscientious refusal of certain business owners, like florists and bakers, to serve same-sex weddings has been ruled unlawful in several states, including Colorado.

In Phillips’ case, he has a right to freedom of expression as an artist, Alliance Defending Freedom has argued, and this right has been recognized as protected by the First Amendment. If the Supreme Court rules in Phillips’ favor in this case, it could have ramifications in other cases where business owners face discrimination lawsuits.

“The Supreme Court has said that things like that [art] are covered under the protection of the First Amendment,” Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of the U.S. legal division for ADF, stated at the Heritage Foundation panel event.

Throughout the ordeal, Phillips has paid a heavy price for his stand. He has lost 40 percent of his family’s income and more than half his employees, he said.

The initial briefs have been filed with the Supreme Court. Amicus briefs are currently being filed, the opposing briefs will come in October, and the reply of ADF to those briefs the following month. The case will likely be decided late next spring.

ADF has argued in its brief before the Supreme Court that the rulings by the state’s court of appeals and human rights commission that the state can determine which free artistic expression is protected under the First Amendment stands in flagrant opposition to the original meaning of the Constitution.

“But just as the Commission cannot compel Phillips’s art, neither may the government suppress it,” ADF stated.

Instead, the conflict between Phillips’ freedom as an artist and the wishes of his customers should be solved by the citizens themselves, and not by the government, ADF said.

“There is a better way – one that allows the Commission to ensure that businesses do not refuse to serve people simply because of who they are, but protects individuals like Phillips from being forced to create expression about marriage that violates their core convictions,” ADF’s brief stated.

“The path to civility, progress, and freedom does not crush those who hold unpopular views, pushing them from the public square,” ADF said. “It allows free citizens to determine for themselves ‘the ideas and beliefs deserving of expression, consideration, and adherence’.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with the Colorado Catholic Conference, the Catholic Medical Association, and other Catholic non-profits have also weighed in on the case, submitting an amici curiae brief on behalf of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Religious freedom must never mean just the freedom to worship or the freedom to practice one’s religion in private, the brief said. The First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause “guarantees every individual the right to seek the truth in religious matters and then adhere to that truth through private and public action.”

In an apostolic exhortation on the proclamation of the Gospel, Pope Francis recently insisted that “no one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life, without concerns for the soundness of civil institutions, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society.”

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Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been released, is headed to India

Vatican City, Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - After more than 18 months of questions and uncertainty regarding the fate of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil following his abduction by militants in Yemen, the priest has finally been set free and is on his way home to India.

The news was officially announced by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in a Sept. 12 tweet that read: “I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.”

 

I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.pic.twitter.com/FwAYoTkbj2

— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 12, 2017


 

Fr. Tom, a Salesian missionary, first garnered the world's attention when he was kidnapped March 4, 2016, during an attack on a Missionaries of Charity home in Aden, Yemen, that left 16 people dead, including four Sisters.

His international profile grew when rumors spread that he was to be crucified on Good Friday, which were later discredited. Since then, numerous photos and videos have been released picturing Fr. Tom, thin and with an overgrown beard, pleading for help and for his release.

The Salesian Information Agency, which has been keeping tabs on the status of Fr. Tom's case, also reported the news of his release.

According to the state-run Oman News Agency, Fr. Tom's release was secured by Oman, and he has already arrived in the Omani capital of Muscat. The priest is expected to return to his home in Kerala, India shortly.

In a statement from Oman News Agency, which was published in the Oman Observer, Fr. Tom had “expressed thanks to God Almighty” following his release.

“In compliance with the His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman in coordination with the Yemeni parties have managed find a Vatican priest,” the statement read.

It relayed that Fr. Tom “has been transferred to Muscat from where he will return to his home in Kerala.”

A statement from the Holy See said Fr. Tom “will remain for a few days in a Salesian community in Rome before going home to India.”

In addition to offering thanks to God, the priest also voiced gratitude to Sultan Qabbos as well as “his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends who called on God for safety and release.”

Pope Francis was among those who advocated on behalf of Fr. Tom, calling for the priest’s release April 10, 2016, after his Sunday Regina Coeli address in St. Peter’s Square.

A post shared by Catholic News Agency (@catholicnewsagency) on Sep 13, 2017 at 8:12am PDT

“I renew my appeal for the freeing of all kidnapped persons in armed conflict zones,” the Pope said. “In particular, I wish to remember Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Aden, Yemen last March 4.”

Since his kidnapping, tireless efforts had been made on the part of the government and the Indian bishops to secure his release, and numerous prayer vigils and novenas were organized by the Salesians in Bangalore praying for his safety.

It is still unclear exactly which group is responsible for Fr. Tom's abduction. Many reports claim that ISIS was responsible, however, the rumors remain unconfirmed.

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war since March 2015, when Shia rebels attempted to oust Yemen’s Sunni-led government. Saudi Arabia has led a pro-government coalition. Both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have set up strongholds in the country amid the power vacuum. More than 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to the United Nations.

The Catholic bishops of India voiced their “immense joy on getting the news of the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil.”

“As we thank God for this unique grace bestowed on Fr. Tom and his family and the Salesian Congregation (The Society of Don Bosco) and the Catholic Church in India, we pray for his continued good health and complete recovery to resume active Salesian ministry for God and His people in his Congregation and the Church.”

In a statement, the Indian Bishops’ Conference thanked everyone who had prayed for Fr. Tom’s release.

The statement was signed by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the conference.

Offering “profound gratitude to God,” the bishops also thanked Indian government officials – especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs Srimati Sushma Swaraj – for working to obtain Fr. Tom’s safety.

They further thanked Pope Francis, who “took personal interest in Fr. Tom’s release efforts,” as well as Bishop Paul Hinder of Southern Arabia (whose apostolic vicariate serves Catholics in Yemen) and the Sultan of Oman for their efforts, and the leaders of the priest’s community for their perseverance.

“Fr. Tom’s release gives immense joy to the Catholic Church in India and the Salesian Family and all the people of India and we place on record our gratitude to all for their immense faith in God and persevering prayers that God in his goodness and mercy has heard and answered,” the bishops’ conference said.

 

You probably remember seeing the face of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil in social media posts begging for prayers for his safety and release. The priest was kidnapped in Yemen 18 months ago, and his release was announced just yesterday. Today, he was able to meet with #PopeFrancis at the Vatican. In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, the priest said he wasn't able to celebrate Mass in captivity, but every day he offered the words in his heart. He is now recovering with his Salesian community in Rome. #FrTom #Catholic #prayers

A post shared by Catholic News Agency (@catholicnewsagency) on Sep 13, 2017 at 11:01am PDT

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Defying Vatican, Belgian religious brothers will continue to offer euthanasia

Brussels, Belgium, Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - The board of the Belgian Brothers of Charity announced Tuesday it will continue offering euthanasia to patients in their psychiatric centres, despite being ordered by the Vatican to stop doing so.

The “Broeders van Liefde” board had been given until the end of August to comply with the Vatican order, which was seen and approved by Pope Francis. Brothers of the order were also asked to sign a joint letter to their general superior, Brother René Stockman, confirming their adherence to Church teaching.

In a Sept. 12 statement the organization defied the Vatican request and said it “continues to stand by its vision statement on euthanasia for mental suffering in a non-terminal situation.”

Furthermore, it claims that in adhering to this vision, the organization “is still consistent with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. We emphatically believe so.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 2277, states that: “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.”

The Brothers of Charity in Belgium run 15 psychiatric hospitals with 5,000 patients. The board controlling these institutions, which consists of a few Brothers but primarily of lay members, announced in the spring that they would permit euthanasia in their facilities.

The board argued in their recent statement that their position “always takes into account the shifts and evolutions within society”, while also considering “recognition of the exceptional, proportional view of ethics, deontological view and ideologization, and choice of conscience.”

This view is not shared by the general superior of the order, Br. Rene Stockman, who initially went to the Vatican for help in the spring when the board announced that it would start permitting euthanasia within the order’s facilities.

Previously, since the year 2000, the group had maintained a firm policy against euthanasia and how to cope with requests for it. Br. Stockman explained to CNA in August that the group would take requests for euthanasia seriously, and try to help the patient regain their desire for life, “knowing of course that someone who is very depressive can have the tendency to ask for euthanasia.”

After doing everything possible to help alleviate any depression present in a patient, if the individual still requests euthanasia – which is legal in Belgium – the brothers would transfer them elsewhere.

Br. Stockman added at the time that Belgium is a country in which secularization is very strong and euthanasia is legal and widely accepted, even among children, making the fight against it all the more difficult.

It is expected that the Vatican will respond to the order’s latest statement. As to the potential punitive measures Pope Francis might ponder, Professor Kurt Martens, a Belgian Catholic who teaches canon law at the Catholic University of America, told CNA Deutsch in an email interview Aug 14: “the Brothers who are members of the board face dismissal from their institute - thus will no longer be brothers and members of the institute - and the health care institutions would forfeit their right to call themselves Catholic”.

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Archbishop Chaput on the enduring legacy of Veritatis splendor

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - This week, First Things published “The Splendor of Truth in 2017”, an essay by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia on St. John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical on fundamental questions regarding the Church’s moral teaching, Veritatis splendor.

 

In an interview with Catholic News Agency’s editor in chief JD Flynn, Archbishop Chaput discussed the enduring importance of Veritatis splendor:
 

You've written that "the wisdom of Veritatis splendor is more urgently needed than ever." Why? What problems have compounded since its release?

We live in a liquid time. That’s how the late philosopher Zygmunt Bauman described it: “liquid modernity.” Changes in technology, science and culture now happen very rapidly. It’s hard to find firm ground where we can stand and make sense of things. The resulting confusion can undermine our beliefs about the meaning of our lives. It becomes easy to think that the basic character of the world, the nature of good and evil, the moral standards for human behavior, have somehow changed and become more ambiguous, more dependent on circumstances. But they haven’t.

Permanent truths about right and wrong govern our lives. The genius of Veritatis splendor is how persuasively it reminds us of that fact, and calls us back to what Augustine called the “tranquility of order” in our souls.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Reformation lately because we mark its 500th anniversary next month. It’s striking how closely the moods of then and now resemble each other – not in the specific details, but the general spirit of unrest and anticipation. Something’s coming. People can feel it, some sort of “second Reformation” or deep realignment in the way we engage each other and the world. That’s a great opportunity for Christian hope and witness. Of course it also comes with some perils. This makes a strong grasp of truth all the more vital.

Nearly 25 years later, how has Veritatis splendor been received in the Church in the United States?

People have a natural thirst for solid ground and clarity. Among faithful young Catholic scholars, it’s been received very well. Actually, like water in a desert.

Has it had its intended effect? What fruit has it borne in the Church and in the world?

There’s been a long civil war in the Church over the meaning of Vatican II. It’s still with us. It probably won’t end until my generation – the boomers – moves on, because persons who actually lived through the council years tend to have a deep investment in their particular version of what the council did and meant.

Veritatis splendor is very much a fruit of the [Second Vatican] Council. Its immense value is its reaffirmation of the existence of permanent truths, its rejection of moral ambiguity, and the beauty of its presentation of truth as a source of Christian freedom and joy. So I don’t have any doubt that it will be remembered as one of the great papal contributions to Catholic life and thought.

Pope Francis has often warned against “moral pharisaism.” Is he criticizing the kind of moralistic legalism that John Paul II addressed in Veritatis splendor and elsewhere?

Pope Francis is exactly right that a religion which exhausts itself in moral rules and intellectual doctrines is dead and deadening. The heart of our faith is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then living out Christ’s love in the way we treat others. If we don’t do that, then our faith is really just an empty shell.

But Jesus also clearly said that he didn’t come to abolish the commandments or absolve anyone from the obligations of God’s law. That’s because God’s law is an expression of God’s love, even when it makes us uncomfortable. The laws of right and wrong are guide-rails meant to lead us to self-mastery, freedom and joy.

How should ordinary Catholics understand the relationship between truth, freedom, and happiness? How should this impact the way the Church "accompanies" those impacted by moral relativism?

Jesus said it himself: The truth will make us free. He also said that he himself is the way, the truth and the life – the source of lasting happiness. If we don’t know and walk with Jesus, everything else in our religious life is just noise. But note that Jesus accompanies us with a specific purpose: to love us, teach us and lead us home to heaven. Likewise, that’s our privilege and task with others. We need to listen to and understand the burdens of others, and treat them with prudence and respect. But there’s no real love, no authentic mercy, in remaining silent with those we accompany when they need to hear the truth.

What does Veritatis splendor have to say to the most visible moral issues of our time: especially abortion, the redefinition of marriage, and confusion about gender identity?

Issues like the redefinition of marriage and turmoil over gender identity were much less prominent 25 years ago. John Paul did speak frequently against abortion and eloquently in defense of the sanctity of life, especially in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae. Veritatis splendor is really about the framework, the basic architecture, of Catholic moral reasoning rather than specific issues. So it serves as a foundation for those other crucial matters, and it’s doubly important for that reason.

You write about totalitarianism caused by "casuistry, poisonous political thought, and systematic intellectual deceit" in other parts of the world. Can the United States stave that off? How do Catholics undertake their political responsibilities in a dramatically changing political and cultural landscape?

Democracy has a built-in capacity for tyranny. Tocqueville saw that clearly and said so in Democracy in America. In the United States, that natural drift toward tyranny has always been checked by the widespread practice of religious faith. As faith declines, the totalitarian current in democracy grows. Progressive political thought -- or more accurately, thought that styles itself as “progressive” – can have a deeply intolerant streak. And that’s what we’re seeing now in the public discourse around sexual behavior and identity, marriage and the family, and religious liberty.

When a nation loses a firm sense of truth and its obligations, what remains, all that remains, is power and the struggle to get it. That’s reality, and democracies have no magic immunity to reality.

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She wanted to be euthanized – but changed her mind after meeting Pope Francis

Bogotá, Colombia, Sep 12, 2017 (CNA) - Consuelo del Socorro Córdoba is a Colombian woman who had made up her mind to be euthanized because of the serious illnesses caused by an acid attack she suffered in 2001.

But after meeting Pope Francis on Sept. 9 during his trip to the Colombia, she gave up her intention to end her life.

The woman, who suffers from toxoplasmosis – a very serious infection that affects the brain – has undergone 87 surgeries. Speaking to CNN en Español she told how she met Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nuntiature in Bogota.

Lo que le dijo el papa Francisco a esta víctima de ataque con ácido le cambió la vida https://t.co/0wyeh1jOeZ @patriciajaniot pic.twitter.com/g7wVmeWIcT

— CNN en Español (@CNNEE) September 10, 2017

“I was the first in line and the first one he greeted was me. He gave me a hug,” she said. “I'm happy, I told him I was going to get euthanized, to help me, and he told me no, that I was not going to do that. He told me I was very brave and very pretty.”

Since the attack this woman has undergone 87 operations, but there are still six more to go since she cannot consume solid food.

This encounter with Pope Francis, she said “completely changed” her. “Now I do want to live and I need the whole world to know.”

“Thanks be to God this miracle could take place, that I could be here,” the woman shared, who still needs several thousand dollars for her treatment.

“I decided to get euthanized Sept. 29. I have the letter here. Here in Teusaquillo, Dr. Gustavo Quiñones was going to give me the injection, but I'm not going to get it anymore,” she said.

Pope Francis' Sept. 6-11 trip to Colombia follows apostolic visits by two of his predecessors, Bl. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. During his visit, he met with the country’s civil leaders, addressed Latin American bishops, spoke to men and women religious, and made a plea for an end to violence and human trafficking in the region.

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Bishop Mark Hagemoen transferred to Saskatoon diocese

Saskatoon, Canada, Sep 12, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News) - Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Mackenzie-Fort Smith was on Tuesday named as Bishop of Saskatoon, which covers a large portion of south-central Saskatchewan, one of Canada's prairie provinces.

“Of course, I respond with obedience and enthusiasm to this new appointment, and I look forward to serving the People of God of the Diocese of Saskatoon as their new bishop. They have waited a year for this appointment, and I will strive to serve them to the best of my ability, with great help from Almighty God,” Bishop Hagemoen wrote in a Sept. 12 letter to the people of the Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese.

He added that he regrets having to leave the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, and that “the news comes at a time when we are in the midst of many developments and projects,” which will continue.

Bishop Hagemoen was born in Vancouver in 1961, and obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia in 1983. After completing his undergraduate, he travelled for a year throughout southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, before entering seminary.

He attended seminary at St. Peter's in London, Ontario, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver in 1990. He served for 10 years as director of youth ministry, and as a parish pastor, vicar general, episcopal vicar, and head of two Catholic schools.

In 2007 he was named a monsignor.

He also studied youth ministry in the US, and earned a doctorate from Trinity Western University in 2007.

In 2013 he was appointed Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, and was consecrated a bishop. The Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese is centered in the Northwest Territories, and also includes parts of Nunavut and Saskatchewan.

His ministry has focused on Canada's indigenous peoples, the new evangelization, youth ministry, and Catholic schools.

Bishop Hagemoen told the Saskatoon diocese's publication that most Catholics in the Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese are indigenous, and that “In my whole way of approaching pastoral ministry, I have been shaped by walking with our Aboriginal people here. In terms of how I pastor, and how I approach things, that has been a real gift.”

He said that “The diocese of Saskatoon seems to be a very dynamic diocese, with a rich history, a strong Catholic legacy and culture, and I am looking forward to contributing to that legacy with all my might and energy, as well as I can, with the help of almighty God.”

Bishop Hagemoen was among the six bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories who issued guidelines in September 2016 directing “authentic and effective pastoral accompaniment” of the divorced-and-remarried.

A response to Pope Francis' summons in Amoris laetitia for guidelines about pastoral accompaniment, the document clarified that the belief “that there has been a change in practice by the Church, such that now the reception of Holy Communion at Mass by persons who are divorced and civilly remarried is possible if they simply have a conversation with a priest” is “erroneous”.

Saskatoon's last bishop, Donald Bolen, was transferred to the Archdiocese of Regina in July 2016.

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