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 - A coalition of anti-poverty groups joined MPs from the opposition parties Nov. 21 in demanding a comprehensive national child poverty strategy.

At a Parliament Hill news conference, Campaign 2000 released its annual report card, showing 760,000 Canadian children — one out of nine — live below the poverty line. The report card coincided with ongoing debate on the Speech from the Throne where the minority Conservative government laid out its agenda for the 40th Parliament.
{mosimage}OTTAWA - As Ottawa contemplates how to respond to the economic crisis, Catholic social teaching offers some guidance, but not enough to shape a consensus even among Catholic thinkers.

“The issue of how much fiscal stimulus the Canadian economy requires right now is very much a matter of prudential judgment,” said Richard Bastien, Catholic Civil Rights League National Capital director, who spent 31 years as an economist advising the Department of Finance.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Catholic Health Association of Canada (CHAC) is strengthening its team to address looming ethical and policy challenges.

The CHAC has appointed medical ethics educator Sr. Nuala Kenny as an ethics and policy advisor for 2009.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Two nuns, the founder of the Reform Party and the first Reform Party MP were inducted into the Order of Canada at a Rideau Hall ceremony Dec. 12.

They chose to receive Canada’s highest civilian honour, despite the controversy over abortionist Henry Morgentaler’s appointment last July 1 that has led about a dozen Canadians, including Montreal Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte , to return their awards. Earlier this month  the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate — Assumption Province returned the Order of Canada honouring two of its deceased members.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The biggest challenge the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace faces is “growing the movement,” says its new national council chair.

Demographics are changing and the Catholic population is “aging and diminishing,” said Pat Hogan, who was elected in December.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Halifax Auxiliary Bishop Claude Champagne, 61, has had a life-long passion for the Catholic Church’s mission and the New Evangelization — words Pope John Paul II used to describe evangelization equipped to meet the challenges of the modern world.

Champagne’s passion may be a reason why Pope Benedict XVI appointed him bishop of Edmundston, N.B. , Jan. 5 after accepting the resignation of Bishop Francois Thibodeau, 69, for health reasons.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canada’s law against polygamy may soon face a religious freedom challenge now that British Columbia has charged members of a breakaway Mormon sect.

Winston Blackmore, one of two men charged with polygamy under Canada’s Criminal Code, has told news media his religious freedom is under attack.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The federal budget proved disappointing for social justice organizations hoping for more direct help for the poor and more focus on renewable energy.“There were tax cuts that help a number of Canadians,” said Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) executive director Joe Gunn after the government introduced its budget Jan. 27. “But for the poorest and most vulnerable, those too poor to pay taxes, there’s not much for them. These are the people the Christian community serves and hold dearest in our hearts,” he said, noting that “at time of recession they will suffer the most.”

Laurel Rothman, national co-ordinator for Campaign 2000, a national anti-poverty campaign aimed at eliminating child poverty said the budget contained “virtually nothing for low-income families,” especially 760,000 children living in poverty and their mothers.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Three Catholic MPs from the New Democratic Party have written Pope Benedict XVI to express their “deep concern” over the “reinstatement” of Society of St Pius X Bishop Richard Williamson, who is a Holocaust denier.

“We respectfully question the wisdom of welcoming back into the College of Bishops a man who has both systematically denied and maliciously minimalized the atrocities committed by Hitler’s Germany against the Jewish inhabitants of Central and Eastern Europe between the late 1930s and 1945,” wrote MPs Charlie Angus, Tony Martin and Joe Comartin in an e-mail to the Pope Feb. 5, followed up by a hard copy sent via the apostolic nunciature.

{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.