VATICAN CITY - Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet was third on every ballot during the five rounds of voting that ended with then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becoming Pope Francis, according to a new book.

Published in Canada

MANILA, Philippines – Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's win in May 9 national elections was "a strong reminder that people want change," said Fr. Anton Pascual, president of Radio Veritas, the country's largest Catholic radio network.

Published in International

Salim Jaffer moved to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. His family, along with the rest of the Indian community, had been expelled from Uganda in 1972 under the violent dictator Idi Amin and sought a respite in America.

But he said he’s never felt in danger until this year.

Published in International
October 15, 2015

Make votes count

The newspaper business has a long tradition of endorsing candidates on the eve of an election.

Published in Editorial

Pope Francis’ unprecedented encyclical on climate change was forceful. Many Catholics, myself included, were pleased to see the Pope address this complex but increasingly important issue.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out

MANILA, Philippines - The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.

Published in International

The immediate repercussions from the Irish referendum where voters overwhelmingly supported same-sex marriage were obvious, but the long-term impact on the Church may come beginning this October.

Published in Robert Brehl

DUBLIN - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said the Church needs a "reality check" after Irish voters overwhelmingly supported same-sex marriage.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - With international observers reporting largely free and fair parliamentary elections in Ukraine, hopes increased that promised reforms would follow, including an end to high levels of government corruption.

Published in International

They say all politics is local and that municipal politics is closer to our everyday lives than any level of government. It’s about water, sewage and garbage pickup. It’s about street-light repairs, safe pedestrian crosswalks and parks where our children can play. 

Published in Robert Brehl

MANCHESTER, England - The Catholic bishops of Scotland said they accept the results of referendum in which Scot voters rejected independence.

Published in International

TORONTO - There’s no democracy like local democracy, and no reason for your parish to ignore it. As Toronto and the rest of Ontario gears up for local elections Oct. 27, Cardinal Thomas Collins has reminded Greater Toronto Area parishes they have a role to play.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Before marking an X on a ballot Catholic voters should pencil in a grade on a report card for candidates in the Ontario provincial election.

Published in Canada

TORONTO - Once a Liberal bastion thanks to immigrants, ethnic voters in Toronto have given Conservatives the majority they sought.

"The Conservative ethnic ground game paid off in the end," said Jonathan Luk, the graduating president of the University of Toronto Chinese Catholic Community.

Chinese voters in both the 416 and 905 regions responded to values the Conservative Party championed, Luk said. The party took 30 of 44 Greater Toronto Area seats, a key component in gaining a majority government after Stephen Harper presided over two consecutive minority governments.

"When we talk about basic issues — the safety of our society, being tough on crime, respect for tradition and respect for hard work — these are values that Chinese people value," Luk said. "I also see Catholic voters are no different when it comes to those things."

For Tamils, who found themselves featured in an early Conservative attack ad, the community is hoping the new NDP official opposition and the first-ever Tamil Member of Parliament can hold the Conservatives to account for its immigration policies, said Jessica Devi Chandrashekar.

"Those who came out and voted were people who have bared the brunt of the recession and have been unable to reunite with their families because of the Conservative immigration policies," said Chandrashekar. "In Scarborough-Rouge River, a riding comprised mostly of the ethnic vote, (voters) made history in electing Rathika Sitsaiebasan for the NDP. Rathika is the first Sri Lankan Tamil MP elected outside of Sri Lanka. This has enormous significance for Tamil Canadians."

Chandrashekar is one of a new generation of voters, some of whom responded in this election in ways never seen before. Vote mobs organized on Twitter and Facebook swept university campuses, demanding young people seize the power of the ballot.

"I am 27 years old and born in Canada. This was my first time voting," said Chandrashekar. "I am looking forward to becoming more involved in the political process in Canada and the continued changes that the election in 2015 will bring."

The peace vote in Toronto was not overjoyed with the Conservative majority.

"A Conservative majority would be a bad thing for the cause of peace," wrote Deacon Steve Barringer of Pax Christi Toronto in an e-mail as results came in on election night. "They have a poor record of listening to interest groups of any kind."

Pax Christi plans to ramp up its protests in response to Conservative military and foreign policy.

"We will be looking at more aggressive programs, up to and including demonstrations and even civil disobedience against what we believe may be immoral policies," Barringer said.

Barringer puts his hope in a strong opposition from the New Democrats.

"We believe that Mr. Layton will listen," he said.

Catholic eco-theologian and University of Toronto religious studies professor Stephen Bede Sharper is also putting his hope in the NDP opposition, bolstered by the first-ever Green Party seat in Parliament.

"With the NDP's emergence, we now have a solid shot at a party that constitutes a real opposition to the Harper government, with the issues of social justice, workers' rights and the widening gap between rich and poor constituting central, rather than ancillary, political concerns," Sharper wrote in an e-mail to The Catholic Register.

Published in Canada