Sr. Donna MarkhamTORONTO - For many religious women in the United States the Vatican-appointed apostolic visitation on American sisters is an open wound, a sore point and something they would rather not talk about.

Sr. Donna Markham is coming to Toronto to talk about it. The Dominican Sister will deliver the annual Dominican Family of Toronto lecture at the University of St. Michael’s College Oct. 15. Markham has titled her talk “Mission, Membership and the Apostolic Visitation” and organizers are promoting it under the banner “Women Religious Under Scrutiny.”  

Toronto Paisleyites agree with papal protest

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Toronto Free Presbyterian ChurchTORONTO - The Toronto Free Presbyterian Church stands behind its Ulster-based brethren in protesting Pope Benedict XVI's visit to England and Scotland.

The tiny Toronto church protested Pope John Paul II's visit in 2002, and would do so again if the Pope were ever to visit Canada, said Toronto Free Presbyterian Church senior pastor Larry Saunders.

"My concern, my opposition to the Pope coming as a representative of the Catholic Church is that he comes not just as a religious leader. He comes as also the head of state," said Saunders.

Jesus is alive in Toronto

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Catholic Charismatic Renewal CouncilTORONTO - Star-chasers and visitors to the city for the Toronto International Film Festival may have been surprised to see a parade travelling down Yonge Street Sept. 11. They were probably even more shocked to learn that the parade was in celebration of Jesus.

The participants in this year’s Jesus in the City Parade, a multi-denominational festival of music, dance and worship, were looking for just that reaction, and to challenge it. Though the downtown core of Toronto may feel secular, they said, the Lord is no stranger to the city.

Fr. de Souza joins Register team

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Fr. de SouzaThe Catholic Register is pleased to welcome Fr. Raymond de Souza to our stable of talented columnists.

Fr. de Souza, whose debut column appears on Page 19 of this issue, has established his credentials as an accomplished journalist while writing for several publications over the past decade. He is a regular contributor to The National Post and a past Rome correspondent for the U.S.-based National Catholic Register.

Finishing touches put to Toronto abuse protocols

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Archdiocese of TorontoTORONTO - Toronto’s new rules for what to do when a priest or Church employee is accused of sexual misconduct will be revealed in early October.

Over the summer a panel of experts, working with the archdiocese’s judicial vicar Fr. Brian Clough, reviewed and revised Toronto’s Church law governing sex abuse cases, bringing it in line with the latest directives from the Vatican.

Canadians among world's most generous in charitable giving

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Bill SteinburgTORONTO - Canadians are a giving people, according to report released by the Charities Aid Foundation America.

In the Alexandria, Va., foundation’s 2010 World Giving Index, Canada ranked third in terms of charitable behaviour.

The report tracks how willing a nation’s people are to help those in need.

Mining companies fight back against accountability bill

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MineAfter the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace flooded Parliament Hill with more than 153,000 postcards last spring calling for Ottawa to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for damage they do to the environment and communities in poor countries, the mining industry is countering with a campaign of its own.

The Prospectors and Developers Association, dominated by junior mining and exploration companies, is urging its members to order up bundles of postcards that mining company employees can mail in opposing Bill C-300.

Missal awaits Vatican approval

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The new English translation of the Mass will be ready for Canadian parishes only when the bishops have Vatican approval for all of the texts and an opportunity to put in place a program to teach people about the changes.

With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announcing the new Mass texts will become standard south of the border beginning in Advent 2011, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has received enquiries about the Canadian timetable.

Prescription drugs must be integrated with medicare, says CHAC

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prescriptionsOTTAWA - The Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC) has welcomed the findings of a new study that calls for universal public pharmacare.

The study, entitled The Economic Case for Universal Pharmacare, says Canada could lop $4.48 billion off the current $25.1 billion spent annually on prescription drugs with moderate revisions on how drugs are priced.

Charitable sector needs better tax breaks

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Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLifeTORONTO - ShareLife executive director Arthur Peters wants the fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto more involved in efforts to encourage charitable giving with tax breaks on donations.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has heard submissions from the charitable sector for years on ways to boost Canadian charitable giving. Peters would like to see lobbying by the charitable sector be more successful.

Linda Gibbons' court challenge hits a roadblock

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Linda Gibbons

TORONTO   - The ongoing legal battles of pro-life activist Linda Gibbons received a setback at a Sept. 2 hearing when a judge ruled the case against her did not breach her Charter rights and that her lawyer was not entitled to view nine-year-old documents held by the crown attorney.

Gibbons’ next court date was set for Sept. 30.

Lawyer Daniel Santoro said he was disappointed with the decisions but withheld further comment until after having a chance to review the judge’s detailed ruling, expected to be released during the week of Sept. 7.