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{mosimage}In August Bishop Raymond Lahey was applauded for finalizing a multi-million-dollar settlement that would bring some measure of justice to men who were victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Nova Scotia clergy. Last week, having resigned as bishop of Antigonish, Lahey surrendered to police to face charges of possessing and importing child pornography.

How is a faithful Catholic to reconcile these two events. How do we respond to yet another sexual-misconduct scandal involving clergy and children? What are we to make of a bishop who is a champion of abuse victims one day and an alleged abuser the next?

Progressive step

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{mosimage}The most recent casualty of the global financial crisis is the economic organization widely blamed for causing the near-collapse of the world economy. The G8 has been retired from its role as caretaker of world finances, giving way to the G20, a younger, more inclusive organization that comprises nations from every region in the world.

This historic transfer of power, which occurred Sept. 25 at a G20 summit in Pittsburgh, marks  a significant — and welcomed — evolution in world relations. The G8, forged during the Cold War as an economic alliance of mostly rich, Western nations, had become an anachronism in a world in which emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America have been playing a greater role in global affairs.

As American President Barack Obama put it in his closing remarks in Pittsburgh: “We can no longer meet the challenges of the 21st century economy with 20th-century approaches.” That meant finding a place at the table for the likes of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and South Korea.

No need for Canadian election this year

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{mosimage}There are times when it is proper for a minority government to fall and for the country to go to the polls to settle a matter of public urgency.

Absent some pressing issue, however, the electorate has a right to expect politicians in a minority Parliament to set aside partisan differences and work collaboratively to provide good and productive government. A willingness to co-operate should be even more profound during tough times.

Care for our dying

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{mosimage}It is a sad reflection on society when Parliament is ready to consider euthanizing the terminally ill or chronically suffering rather than working to find ways to care for them.

But that’s exactly what is happening in Ottawa as Bill C-384, a private-member’s bill that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, makes its way on to the Parliamentary docket. This is the third time Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde has introduced legislation that would amend the Canadian Criminal Code on this subject and, even if a fall election thwarts this attempt, there will almost certainly be a fourth try when Parliament eventually reconvenes.

The right decision

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{mosimage}The Canadian Human Rights Commission does important work in battling discrimination and ensuring work place equality. But it has no place as the nation’s censor and should be stripped of its power to police and prosecute matters pertaining to hate speech.

That is the position of several civic groups, Catholic organizations and media outlets that have asked Parliament to lop some tentacles from the CHRC. The Catholic Women’s League is the most recent group to join the debate, passing a resolution last month that urged Ottawa to diminish the CHRC’s authority.

Save Arrowsmith

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{mosimage}The new supervisor of the dysfunctional Toronto Catholic District School Board will be among the busiest administrators in the province this fall, but we hope Richard Alway finds time to consider the displaced students of the mothballed Arrowsmith program.

Alway was appointed by the Ontario government last month to succeed Norbert Hartmann, who had been appointed a year earlier with a mandate to balance the books of the disgraced TCDSB. Hartmann delivered a balanced budget and then resigned. He leaves behind a board that is in better fiscal health but otherwise remains sickly.

In praise of the Knights of Columbus

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{mosimage}The title of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent encyclical, Charity in Truth, was intended for a broad audience, but Carl Anderson believes it speaks directly to the Knights of Columbus.

Addressing the Knight’s annual convention in Phoenix earlier this month, the Supreme Knight called the title of the encyclical confirmation of the Knights’ first principle — charity — and affirmation that “his priorities are our priorities.”

Ontario Knights top charitable fundraisers

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PHOENIX, Arizona - Led by donations from Canadian councils, the Knights of Columbus bucked the recession this past year to break its own record for fund raising by donating more than $150 million to worldwide charities.

Let's talk real dignity

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{mosimage}With a contentious debate looming on the parliamentary horizon, Archbishop James Weisgerber is urging his fellow bishops to awaken Canadian Catholics to the dangers in proposed legislation that would legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

 The wakeup call was issued by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter addressed to bishops but with words intended for us all.

Supreme Knight optimistic pro-life voice is being heard

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PHOENIX, Arizona - Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus , has called on those who “say they want to reduce the number of abortions” to join with pro-life groups to implement a strategy that has proven results in reducing abortion by up to 90 per cent.

Fix Canada's refugee system

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{mosimage}New federal regulations that require travellers from Mexico and the Czech Republic to obtain visas to enter Canada will not fix the nation’s troubled refugee system. Yet this recently announced initiative of the Conservative government has the overwhelming support of voters, recording 69-per-cent approval in an Angus Reid poll.

Some might interpret that as a general rebuke of Canada’s open-door policy of providing safe haven for those forced to flee their homes due to persecution, war and violence, often ethnic or tribal in nature. But we suspect the opposite is the case.