{mosimage}OTTAWA  - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Members of Parliament to choose good palliative care instead of assisted suicide or euthanasia.

As debate approaches for Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde’s private member’s Bill C-384, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (right to die with dignity), Archbishop James Weisgerber took aim at the “misleading and unclear” terms framing the debate.

40 Days for Life campaign kicks off in Canada

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The 40 Days for Life campaign of prayer, fasting and vigils outside abortion facilities kicked off in cities across the country on the eve of the Sept. 23 start to the campaign.

The movement, which originated in the United States, is gaining momentum and has spread to five provinces, with eight sites in seven cities: Fredericton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kitchener, Ont., Winnipeg and two sites in Toronto.

Women Religious Project home gift extends to Kenya

{mosimage}TORONTO - In 1999, when the nuns and religious sisters of Toronto decided to build some affordable housing in their city to celebrate the millennium Jubilee along with Pope John Paul II they thought they were addressing an urgent local problem.

Ten years on, as people finally move into their homes in Scarborough, Mughtar Yarow has news for them. (See photos of project homes here .)

Canadian fertility rates up, but not high enough

{mosimage}More women are having more babies, but still not enough to sustain Canada's population, reports Statistics Canada.

The latest numbers are from 2007 and show a 3.7-per-cent increase in births over 2006. It's the fastest increase in the birth rate since 1989.

The question for some observers is whether the uptick in births has anything to do with public, government policy.

Faiths unite in support of organ donation

{mosimage}TORONTO - In an age when medicine and religion seem to frequently collide, the three Abrahamic faiths and medical science have found common ground on organ donations.

On Sept. 20, the archdiocese of Toronto will distribute 200,000 brochures to parishes explaining the theology, science and morality of organ donation. But they won't be alone.

Toronto archdiocese cautious about swine flu

{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto's archbishop is cautioning parishes to remain vigilant about swine flu.

In a Sept. 16 letter to parishes, Archbishop Thomas Collins said the archdiocese is continuing to monitor the spread of the H1N1 virus which causes swine flu.

“Good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of all flu viruses,” according to the letter.

Community is St. Gregory's strength for 50 years

{mosimage}TORONTO - The first Mass in St. Gregory’s history was a far cry from the lavish affair that marked the central Etobicoke parish’s 50th anniversary Sept. 13.

For two years before their church at the corner of Kipling Avenue and Rathburn Road was finished in 1959, parishioners trudged to the local public school and sat cramped in hard-backed chairs while Fr. Henry Clarkson stood in front of a makeshift altar on the auditorium stage.

Justin Trudeau to speak at Toronto Peace Garden anniversary

{mosimage}TORONTO - Twenty-five years after Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau turned the sod to launch the Peace Garden at Nathan Phillips Square, his son Justin Trudeau will deliver a keynote address on Sept. 29 to more than 6,000 Catholic students as part of silver anniversary celebrations.

Trudeau’s presentation —  “Peace and Harmony in our Communities and the World” — will highlight a day dedicated to peace, race relations and multiculturalism that has been organized by the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Archbishop Thomas Collins, Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor David Miller will also speak. A special address will be given by Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow.

Tamil refugee boy in immigration limbo

{mosimage}TORONTO - Since July 31 Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been unable to decide whether a 14-year-old refugee abandoned and alone in an African city of three million is an urgent case.

The Tamil boy is a refugee from Sri Lanka’s bitter ethnic war. He doesn’t know whether his family is alive in Sri Lanka’s monsoon-soaked camps or dead. Nobody has heard from them since April and a Red Cross search has so far turned up nothing. Alone in Accra, Ghana, the boy can’t speak English, is frequently bullied and depressed.

Catholic support for Liberals fading

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Could the Catholic vote play a key role in the next federal election?

It did in the 2000 election when it helped Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien win his third majority.

But Catholic support has plummeted by “a massive 24 per cent,” a study by McGill political scientists shows. Catholic voters, who have traditionally voted Liberal, contributed to the Conservative minority government victories in 2006 and 2008.

LifeSite accused of fuelling web war on Salt+Light


TORONTO - Salt+Light Television CEO Fr. Tom Rosica has reacted to daily threats against his life, reputation and ministry, blaming LifeSiteNews for stirring up “division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

Since controversy erupted over Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral in Boston, e-mails and blog postings directed at Rosica have included: “Your grave is dug”; “We will bring down your network”; “We will force you to resign”; and  “We will get the Vatican to rescind your appointment.”