{mosimage}A position paper by the Quebec College of Physicians has raised significant ethical questions about the obligations of doctors by calling for amendments to the Criminal Code to permit doctors to kill some terminally ill patients.

In becoming Canada’s first regulatory body to openly support legalized euthanasia, the Quebec college has taken the controversial stand that in some situations ending a life should be regarded as a legitimate treatment option for doctors.

“We are saying death can be an appropriate type of care in certain circumstances,” Dr. Yves Robert said at a Nov. 3 press conference. Such circumstances would include cases in which death is imminent and inevitable.

Dr. Tim Lau, president of the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies, said he was anticipating the Quebec report but was shocked by the final wording.

Lahey back in court in December

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The child-pornography case against Bishop Raymond Lahey has been put off until Dec. 16 following a request by Lahey’s lawyer.

Lahey was to appear in court on Nov. 4 but his lawyer asked for additional disclosure of evidence related to charges laid Sept. 25 of possessing and importing child pornography.

The former Antigonish bishop could still face additional charges in Nova Scotia, where RCMP  executed a search warrant Oct. 13, seizing computers and electronic equipment from Lahey’s residences. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Brigdit Leger said the forensic analysis could take several weeks.

Dioceses put pandemic plans into high gear

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{mosimage}TORONTO - As Canadians come to grips with an expected H1N1 flu pandemic, Catholic dioceses across Canada are taking extra precautionary steps to guard against the flu that has so far claimed the lives of 95 Canadians.

Steps were in place in many dioceses to stem the spread of H1N1, also known as swine flu. But they are being ramped up in some dioceses.

DiCarlo's religious supply superstore opens

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{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s a place where priests can shop and feel at home and even get a nice cup of espresso while they discuss their purchases.

DiCarlo Religious Supply Centre Inc. , which recently celebrated the grand opening of an 11,000 square-foot outlet that includes a 5,000 square-foot showroom, is well-known as a friendly place for clergy and the public to find what they need.

More funds for Philippines relief

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With Filipinos still digging their homes out of the mud, and many more with no homes to return to after Typhoon Ketsana swept through the region just north of Manila Sept. 26, Canadians continue to add to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s relief fund.

Following an initial $50,000 contribution, Development and Peace has raised a further $108,000 to help Caritas in the Philippines. That total does not include $70,000 sent in so far by Toronto parishes to ShareLife.

Pennies for life raise $100,000

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{mosimage}TORONTO - What can a penny buy today? More than you think.

Twenty-five ago, when Mary Hughes was a youthful 75-year-old, she heard her grandchildren teasing their father about having a sore back because he couldn’t pass a penny on the sidewalk without bending to pick it up. It got her thinking about all the stray pennies people pass by without notice or exile to their piggy banks. What if all those pennies could be collected and put towards a good cause, she wondered.

Bishops release funds to D&P

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops will release funds to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), at the same time increasing their oversight of the agency.

“Aware that Development and Peace is already engaged in this process of renewal, the bishops decided, in the interval, to support Development and Peace and its 2010 Share Lent collection,” said a statement released Oct. 23, at the close of the five-day Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops annual plenary in  Cornwall, Ont.

Learning about Christianity and sexuality

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Christopher West introduced a thousand adults, young and old, to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body at a weekend conference in Toronto Oct. 16-17.

West, a spokesman for the Theology of the Body Research Institute, a non-profit educational organization based in Philadelphia, delivered a dynamic introduction over the two days on a series of 129 short talks the late pope gave between September of 1979 and November of 1984 on human embodiment and erotic love.

$1.9 million raised for Salt + Light TV

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TORONTO - Close to $2 million has been donated to Salt + Light Television , Canada’s only national Catholic television network.

“To have raised $1.9 million at one event, especially in such difficult economic times, is a vivid sign of God’s providential care for Salt + Light Television,” Fr. Tom Rosica, CEO of Salt + Light, said in an e-mail to The Register.

We are called to be with dying, not to kill them, COLF says

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has written a strongly worded letter to Parliamentarians and Senators opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“Keeping in mind that Canada has rejected the death penalty, it would be a contradiction and an injustice to consider allowing some people to directly and intentionally kill others, especially at a time when they are most vulnerable,” wrote COLF director Michele Boulva in an Oct. 15 open letter.

Catholics applaud move to unite Anglicans with Rome

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{mosimage}CORNWALL, Ont. - The primate of Canada’s Catholic Church has welcomed the groundbreaking news that the Vatican has established a special canonical structure to bring disgruntled Anglicans into the church, but the primate of Canada’s Anglican Church predicted tensions may emerge.

The Vatican surprised Catholics and Anglicans alike on Oct. 20 with a bold announcement of a new apostolic constitution that will open the Catholic Church to Anglicans who are disenchanted by a liberal theology that permits women priests and a growing acceptance of gay marriage and openly gay bishops. Under the historic arrangement, Anglican priests who are married may be ordained Catholic priests, but married Anglican bishops will not be able to function as Catholic bishops. Anglicans will also be able to retain much of the Anglican liturgy that has been developed since Henry VIII split from Rome in 1534.