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.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops will support the National March for Life , taking place May 14 on Parliament Hill.

“We want to support it because it is a good thing,” said Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

Campaign Life Coalition president Jim Hughes welcomed the news.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The federal government should consider the damage done to unjustly accused innocent parties by complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, says the editor of Catholic Insight magazine .

Basilian Father Alphonse de Valk wrote to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson in a Feb. 2 open letter, responding to the Moon Report’s recommendation to repeal the controversial subsection of the Canadian Human Rights Act that allows the rights commission to investigate hate speech. The CHRC commissioned the report from University of Windsor Professor Richard Moon last year.

truthCommission.jpgOTTAWA - The Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into Indian residential schools, stalled by the resignation last October of its chairman, is now looking for new members.

On Jan. 30, Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl announced that all parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement have agreed on a process to choose a new chair and new commissioners.

“A selection committee chaired by Justice Frank Iacobucci will work closely to find the best candidates in the most efficient manner,” Strahl said in a statement. “It is expected this process will move forward quickly.”

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition — Canada executive director Alex Schadenberg says euthanasia advocates see momentum on their side.

Washington State legalized assisted suicide in a plebiscite held during the last U.S. presidential election. Schadenberg pointed out this was the first referendum to pass of the many attempts in the 10 years since Oregon passed its assisted suicide law.  

{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Five Canadian cities kicked off 40 Days for Life vigils of fasting and prayer to end abortion to coincide with Lent.

Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton have joined more than 175 American cities in maintaining prayer vigils outside abortion clinics and hospitals. The 40 Days campaigns began in the United States four years ago.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Groups on opposing sides of the same-sex marriage debate have joined forces to oppose the legalization of polygamy.

“We feel (polygamy) would be a very backward step for our nation,” said Institute for Canadian Values founder Charles McVety, who joined Canadian Family Action Coalition president Brian Rushfeldt and Muslim Canadian Congress president Farzana Hassan at a news conference March 3 on Parliament Hill.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada to intervene in a case that challenges whether Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act will apply to all provinces.

The bishops want to ensure the act will protect human dignity surrounding procreation and related genetic research for the sake of the common good.

The act prohibits or limits such activities as human cloning, surrogacy, sex selection, the sale of human eggs or sperm, animal-human hybrids and in vitro fertilization while promoting health, safety and human dignity.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Canadian Religious Conference and the Catholic Women’s League are supporting MP Joy Smith’s anti-human trafficking private member’s bill.

Bill C-268 would change the Criminal Code so those convicted of trafficking children under 18 would receive a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

 

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Liberal MP John McKay is reaching out to Catholic and Christian voters on behalf of the federal party.

He hopes to “redress” the relationship with faith communities — a relationship that has been hurt by Liberal tactics that have at times demonized Christian voters as “scary” or “anti-charter.”

“I am hoping that this initiative will free up some political space for faith leaders to speak into the marketplace of ideas and not feel that they will end up battered and bruised and run out of town on a rail,” said McKay.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - When Canada’s aboriginal leaders meet with the Pope April 29 they hope to turn the page on the tragic legacy of Indian residential schools.

“This meeting has the potential to be a historic and momentous occasion for First Nations, survivors, Canadian Catholics and indeed all Canadians,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine at an April 15 news conference. “I am both honoured and excited to have this opportunity to meet with the Pope to discuss this important matter and to move forward to work towards real reconciliation.”