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.

The 49th International Eucharistic Congress underway in Quebec City is a monumental feat of organization. About 11,000 pilgrims have registered for the event. The main venue is the Expo Cité grounds, a vast conglomeration of buildings and grounds that are geared for big events like the annual agricultural exhibition. It is vast enough to accommodate the huge traffic in buses, taxis and crowds on foot.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - With an apology from the Government of Canada to former students of Indian residential schools, the nation has opened itself up to forging a new relationship with its First Nations people, said Archbishop Gerard Pettipas.

“This is saying we want a new relationship with our First Nations people,” said the Grouard-McLennan archbishop, who represented the 50 Catholic entities — dioceses and religious orders — involved in the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, a $2.2 billion package that has dispensed “common experience payments” averaging $25,000 to every student. The Catholic entities are expected to contribute $80 million of the $120 million the churches agreed to pay, both  in cash and in counselling, rehabilitation and reconciliation services.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Ethicist Margaret Somerville challenged Catholic media to become “word warriors” and ethics agents to give people “the words they need to protect human dignity.”

{mosimage}OTTAWA - More than 50 organizations, labour unions and groups have lined up against the Unborn Victims of Crime Act that passed second reading in the House of Commons March 5.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - A scientific poll commissioned by Campaign Life Coalition shows a majority of Canadians do not think abortionist Henry Morgentaler should have been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Coalition President Jim Hughes said the poll’s results challenge the pervasive “lie” that Canada has “social peace” over the issue of abortion.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Healing and reconciliation formed the agenda for a meeting of Catholic bishops with Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine in Quebec City July 16.

“I recognize that thousands of Catholic men and women religious worked during the Indian residential schools era in what they sincerely believed to be in the best interest of Indian residential school students,” Fontaine said, according to an AFN news release. “However, it is important for these religious entities to both openly acknowledge their role in Indian residential schools and to hear directly from First Nations regarding their experiences.”

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has released a 22-page booklet blaming the roots of the current worldwide food crisis on the rise of for-profit agribusiness.

Entitled Food System in Crisis: Hunger and the Pursuit of Profit, the booklet calls for a return of decision-making power to the people who grow and consume food, promoting “food sovereignty.”

{mosimage}OTTAWA (CCN)—Members of the lay apostolate Madonna House returned the Order of Canada award their foundress received in 1976 to protest the appointment of abortionist Henry Morgentaler.

“The awarding of the Order of Canada to Dr. Morgentaler compels us to protest in the most forceful, peaceful way available to us,” said Mark Schlingerman in a prepared statement to media gathered at Princess Gate, the main entrance to the Governor General’s residence July 8. “Not only do we find his medical practice at the dark side of the medical profession but his inclusion in the awards diminishes them.”

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed an anti-homosexual hate speech complaint against Catholic Insight magazine.

“We are of course very cautious,” said Catholic Insight editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, whose small-circulation magazine already faces more than $20,000 in legal bills. “A judicial review is still possible. We’re not out of the woods yet.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Abortion remains a heated subject, despite the attempts of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to keep it out of the federal election.

“The Canadian public does not have any viable political option to advance its grave and serious concern to promote and protect human life in the womb,” said St. Catharine’s Bishop James Wingle.