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.

OTTAWA - This year’s National March for Life to Parliament Hill on May 14 will see an unprecedented number of Catholic bishops taking part.

“It’s a wonderful occasion,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who has invited other bishops to attend.

Prendergast attended the March for the first time last spring.

OTTAWA - Despite driving rain and howling winds, the National March for Life May 12 drew more than 12,300 people — the largest crowd in its 11-year history.

Dubbed Exodus 2009, the March marked the 40th anniversary of the Omnibus Bill that decriminalized abortion in Canada, paving the way to abortion on demand.

On the steps to the Peace Tower, Quebec's Cardinal Marc Ouellet called upon Parliamentarians to address the juridical void that leaves abortion permissible right through nine months of pregnancy. He also called on all Canadians to build a culture of life that guards the family and welcomes human life. We are all responsible for the respect for human rights in our land, he said, especially the rights of the most fragile — infants in the womb, the elderly and the handicapped.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Life-affirming groups are mounting an offensive against a Bloc Quebecois’ MP’s third attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Francine Lalonde introduced her private members’ Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia on May 13, the day before 12,300 Canadians came to Ottawa for the National March for Life. Her previous bills died when elections were called.


{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Internationally-renowned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias brought a bold, Christ-centered message to the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast May 28.

To a hotel ballroom filled with Members of Parliament, clergy, and ambassadors, Zacharias said that all our yearnings can be found in Jesus Christ alone.

He recounted a trip to the Middle East with Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, where he met with Sheikh Talal Sider, a founder of Hamas.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Justice Murray Sinclair has been appointed chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into abuses at Indian residential schools.

“It’s a very daunting task,” Manitoba’s first aboriginal judge said. “We have a long road to walk and we don’t have as much time as we could probably use to get there.”

But Sinclair said he is committed to an accurate commission process that will treat all parties fairly, including those who have a positive story to tell.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - On behalf of Canada’s Catholic bishops, Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher brought a message of solidarity and hope with Canada's First Nations to the National Day of Reconciliation June 11.

The day marked the first anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s historic apology from the Canadian government for Indian residential schools.

On Parliament Hill, Durocher spoke of Pope Benedict XVI’s words of deep regret, solidarity and hope spoken to aboriginal leaders in a private audience in late April in Rome.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canada’s bishops are urging Catholics to prepare for the upcoming battle against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“Euthanasia and assisted suicide are the antithesis to what should be at the heart of human civilization — trust, respect, concern and solidarity, based on reverence for all human life,” Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop James Weisgerber wrote in a July 17 letter to fellow bishops across Canada.

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The pending departure of Phil Fontaine will not halt the progress towards reconciliation with First Nations peoples, predicted Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

Fontaine, who served three terms since 1997 as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of July. A race is underway to select his replacement.

{mosimage}SAINT-BONIFACE, Man. — Bishop Albert LeGatt has been appointed the new archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint-Boniface.

LeGatt, who was bishop of Saskatoon when the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI was announced July 2, takes over from Archbishop Emilius Goulet. The Pope also accepted the resignation of Goulet, 76, who had been running the archdiocese for more than one year beyond the mandatory age of retirement for bishops.

{mosimage}ROME  - Did Prime Minister Stephen Harper consume communion at the Catholic funeral of former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc on July 3? Or did he put it in his pocket as anonymous YouTube film of the funeral alleges?

Those were the questions that consumed journalists who followed Harper to the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila while colleagues at home tracked down the story.