Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

Deborah Waters Gyapong has been a journalist and novelist for more than 20 years. She has worked in print, radio and television, including 12 years as a producer for CBC TV's news and current affairs programming. She currently covers religion and politics primarily for Catholic and Evangelical newspapers.

Archbishop CollinsOTTAWA - Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins has invited Anglican groups interested in joining the Catholic Church through the formation of a Canadian Ordinariate to attend a conference in Mississauga March 24-26.

“To help move our dialogue and planning forward, I would like to extend an invitation to all those interested in Anglicanorum coetibus to join me for a conference dedicated to this topic,” Collins said in an open letter posted Jan. 18 on the Toronto archdiocese’s web site.

“I look forward to meeting with clergy and laity from across the country this March to engage in prayer, fellowship and dialogue as we move forward with this important initiative.”

Selected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Collins is the episcopal delegate for Canada charged with liaising with Anglican groups interested in an ordinariate, the congregation and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Collins has invited Fr. Christopher Phillips, who founded the first Anglican Use parish in the United States in 1983 under Pope John Paul II’s Pastoral Provision, to attend the conference.
QuebecOTTAWA - A new Quebec policy that prohibits religious instruction, prayer, singing or ritual in state-funded daycares is imposing the state’s ideological approach to religion on religious education, warns a Catholic parents’ group.

Catholic-run daycares will no longer be allowed to have “specific Catholic teachings, which in itself is a great deprivation to the children,” said Jean Morse-Chevrier, chair of the Association of the Catholic Parents of Quebec (APCQ).

Children who believe in Jesus love to say prayers or sing songs to Jesus, she said. “They won’t be allowed to do that. They can’t say grace together.”

“Children spend a lot of time in daycare, but they can’t sing little Christmas songs. At Easter they can’t talk about Jesus rising from the dead, nothing, even if the parents want that,” she said.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.OTTAWA - Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., came with “attentive ears and discerning heart” as he conducted the first phase of an Apostolic Visitation to the Tuam archdiocese in Ireland Dec. 13-19.

Prendergast was one of four foreign cardinals and archbishops appointed by Pope Benedict XVI last spring as Apostolic Visitor to address the Irish clergy abuse scandal and its impact on the Church in Ireland. Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley visited the Dublin archdiocese in late November, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins is expected to visit Ireland’s Cashel and Emily archdiocese in late January or early February and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster’s archbishop emeritus, is scheduled to visit the Armagh archdiocese in mid-January.
Conservative MP Rod BruinoogeOTTAWA - Roxanne’s Law may have gone down to defeat, but Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge sees signs a version of his anti-abortion coercion bill might succeed some day.

“I was not too disappointed,” said Bruinooge, who chairs the Parliamentary Pro-life Caucus, after the 178-97 defeat Dec. 15 of Bill C-510.

Roxanne’s Law would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion. It was named for a constituent in Bruinooge's Winnipeg riding who was beaten with a hockey stick by three men and left to die in a snow bank because she refused to have an abortion. Bruinooge said he “learned a lot about Canada” in telling her story, which also attracted international interest.
Michael IgnatieffOTTAWA - Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff stunned many pro-family Catholics when he threw his support behind the so-called transgender “bathroom” bill now before the House of Commons.

Party leaders do not generally vote for private members’ business, but Ignatieff rose to vote “Yea” for  Bill C-389, which passed report stage 143-136 on Dec. 8.

“Well, you know, we’re the party of the charter,” Ignatieff told journalists afterwards.
Dr. Keith MartinOTTAWA - When Dr. Keith Martin recalls all that he has accomplished, he can't help but thank the priests who taught him at Toronto's Neil McNeil High School.

The retiring MP credits his Catholic education and the challenges created by some tough but caring priests with shaping the values of charity, compassion and kindness that have guided his life ever since.

“They taught us to look outside ourselves,” he said.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason KenneyOTTAWA - Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has fired back at Canada’s bishops for a public letter criticizing his anti human-smuggling bill.

The letter reflects a “long tradition of ideological bureaucrats who work for the bishops’ conference producing political letters signed by pastors who may not have specialized knowledge in certain areas of policy,” Kenney said in an interview.
landolt hughsOTTAWA - Pro-family groups are raising alarms about a bill before Parliament that would give expanded rights to transgendered and transsexuals.

They argue it could expose businesses, schools and religious groups to a host of new human rights complaints that trample on their religious freedom and freedom of expression.

“Our government has come one step closer to passing the ultra-radical, private members’ Bill C-389,” warned Campaign Life Coalition Nov. 5 shortly after NDP MP Bill Siksay’s bill passed through the Justice Committee by a 9-2 vote. “If passed, it would add ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ as a protected class within the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.”

Development and PeaceOTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has announced changes to its funding protocols to ensure that no money goes to organizations that support abortion.

The changes come in the wake of year-old allegations that funds from CCODP had in many cases been funnelled to partners who were not adhering to Catholic teaching on life issues.

Rod BruinoogeOTTAWA - A bill that would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion faces a rough ride in the House of Commons.

During its first hour of debate Nov. 1, Rod Bruinooge’s private members’ Bill C-510 faced challenges from women MPs from the Bloc, Liberals and NDP who argued the bill would interfere with a woman’s “right to choose” abortion.

But Bruinooge, who chairs the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, argued his bill protects women from being threatened and coerced into ending pregnancies they choose to keep.