Features/Features

WINDSOR, Ont. - A professor at Assumption University here was among those leading opposition to a controversial lecture series at Windsor's Campbell Baptist Church which depicted Islam as a religion of evil and a threat to Canadian values.

Church mustn't forget its complicity in slave trade

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TORONTO - The past matters to Ursuline Sister Hazel Campayne. It matters for all the ways it has shaped our world and our church — for what it reveals about who we are now.

Province to blame for education chaos, trustees complain

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TORONTO - Timmins Catholic school trustee Colleen Landers fully expects to be laying off teachers in April and then hoping to rehire them over the summer. She and her colleagues on the Northeastern Catholic District School Board have sent out a sheaf of just-in-case pink slips before, and it's become part of the normal and chaotic budgeting routine for many school boards.

Rich-poor gap widens

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The rich are getting richer, and you're not. The median net worth of the top fifth of Canadian families grew by 19 per cent between 1999 and 2005, according to a Statistics Canada report released in December. Over the same period, the net worth of households in the bottom 20 per cent fell under 43 per cent.

Church goods retailers wary of items manufactured in China

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CrucifixTORONTO - The thought of a chalice or paten made in a sweatshop, of chasubles sewn by child labour or religious statues that come out of a factory that dumps heavy metal in a river, killing the fish, would be distinctly uncomfortable for most Catholics.

The church in Canada helps fund the Maquiladora Solidarity Network and KAIROS, organizations that have demanded that major clothing retailers and manufacturers disclose their supply chains so anyone can find out whether a shirt or a pair of athletic shoes was made in a sweatshop. The church has spoken out against abusive working conditions since Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891.

School boards on different paths

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TORONTO - The 416 and 905 area codes rounded off 2006 by continuing on separate paths over the financing of Catholic  education.

New source for stem cells would sidestep moral issues for Catholics

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute welcomed news that a source of stem cells has been found in amniotic fluid that bypasses the ethical problems of using embryonic stem cells.

Church needs to show its caring side

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Fr. DrouinOTTAWA - Fr. André Drouin rushes from his Ottawa office and returns with a woven white and black rug. He holds up a side where black dominates the weave; when he turns it over, white dominates. He explains that just like the rug, the church is one, but it has two different faces: a celebratory face reflecting the love towards God, and a face of service to others, reflecting love of our neighbours.

More budget woes forecast for school boards

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TORONTO - The Catholic school board in the rich and growing suburbs squeezed in between Toronto and Hamilton is worried.

Union officials take over at College of Teachers'

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OCTTORONTO - One of the most hated of the Mike Harris Conservative's education reforms in the eyes of teachers' unions is now in the hands of one of the unions' very own.

The Human Person, the Heart of Peace

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Editor's note: The following is excerpted from the message of Pope Benedict XVI issued for the World Day of Peace, Jan. 1. The statement is called The Human Person, the Heart of Peace.

1. At the beginning of the new year, I wish to extend prayerful good wishes for peace to governments, leaders of nations and all men and women of good will. In a special way, I invoke peace upon all those experiencing pain and suffering, those living under the threat of violence and armed aggression, and those who await their human and social emancipation, having had their dignity trampled upon. I invoke peace upon children, who by their innocence enrich humanity with goodness and hope, and by their sufferings compel us all to work for justice and peace. Out of concern for children, especially those whose future is compromised by exploitation and the malice of unscrupulous adults, I wish on this World Day of Peace to encourage everyone to reflect on the theme: The Human Person, the Heart of Peace. . . .