2009 In Review

  • December 30, 2009


A review of the past year from the pages of The Catholic Register.


Barack Obama takes office as President of the United States , the start of a tumultuous year between the president and Catholics over health care, abortion and more.

Toronto District Catholic School Board trustees are off to a rocky start as infighting derails elections for a board chair, meaning more time under provincial supervision.

Parishes in cities linked to the auto sector open their hearts to the many families hit hard by the recession.


Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X is told by the Pope to recant his views.

More bad news for the Toronto District Catholic School Board as trustee Oliver Carroll is removed from the board after being found guilty on several counts of conflict of interest.

Ottawa city buses won’t be carrying the atheist message that there is no God. OC Transpo refused to run the campaign on its buses.


Pope Benedict XVI is greeted with wild enthusiasm on his first papal trip to Africa , leading up to the fall Synod of Bishops for Africa. The Pope visited Cameroon and Angola.

Trooper Marc Diab , 22, a well-loved member of Toronto’s Our Lady of Lebanon parish, is laid to rest, the 112th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan. The death toll is 134 by December.

LifeSiteNews.com claims the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is funding abortion groups in Mexico .


The swine flu panic officially begins in Mexico , leading to the cancellation of Masses in the capital.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins launches a new, multi-media outreach campaign targetting lapsed Catholics.

Pope Benedict expresses his sorrow to Canadian aboriginals for abuses carried out in church-run residential schools.


Pope Benedict visits the Holy Land and calls for a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side in peace.

Archbishop Thomas Collins leads 1,000 Catholics in showing their faith publicly during the St. Paul in the Square event in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

The March for Life in Ottawa is buoyed by the ringing support of Canada’s bishops, as 12,000 join the annual march.


Pope Benedict inaugurates the Year for Priests , demonstrating the church’s pride in its clergy.

The Dead Sea Scrolls go on display at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, drawing huge crowds over the next six months.

The post-apology era begins between the church and native Canadians as the Moving Forward Together campaign is launched.

The Canadian bishops clear Development and Peace of wrongdoing after accusations it funded abortion providers but say the organization was “imprudent.”


The Pope addresses the global economic crisis with his latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).

Archbishop Collins says that any money from the Toronto archdiocese for Development and Peace projects must first be approved by the local bishop .

Prime Minister Stephen Harper receives an apology from the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal for wrongly accusing him of pocketing the communion host at a funeral Mass.

A parish squabble in Cobourg, Ont. , leads to Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis and 12 parishioners facing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.


Corazon “Cory” Aquino , the staunch Catholic who led the Philippines “People Power” revolution against dictator Ferdinand Marcos, dies from cancer.

A tornado wreaks havoc with homes in Vaughan , a Toronto suburb, but the local parish unites to help the victims recover.

The diocese of Antigonish, N.S., is on the hook for $13 million to settle clergy abuse claims.


In another major papal trip, Pope Benedict reaches out to the Czech Republic , Europe’s least-religious nation.

Toronto parishes get ready for the swine flu , taking measures to prevent its spread.

Antigonish Bishop Raymond Lahey abruptly resigns his post just days before it is announced he has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography.


The Synod of Bishops for Africa takes place, with calls for a fairer global order, spiritual conversion and social reforms on the continent.

The Little World of Fr. Raby makes its return — in book form, as Catholic Register Books releases The Little World of Fr. Raby: 1980-2007.

The Vatican establishes a special canonical structure to bring disgruntled Anglicans into the Catholic Church .

Canada’s Catholic bishops will release funds to Development and Peace while increasing oversight of the development agency.


The Irish church is scandalized by a report on the coverup of clergy sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese from 1975 to 2004.

Two new bishops are chosen for Toronto , Bishop-elect Vincent Nguyen, Canada’s first non-white bishop, and Bishop-elect Bill McGrattan.

Redemptorist Father Michael Brehl of Toronto is elected Superior General of the order, the first Canadian to hold the post in its 277-year history.

Bishop-elect Brian Dunn is chosen to lead the Antigonish diocese out of the fallout from Bishop Lahey’s resignation.


World leaders broker a deal on taking steps to combat global warming in Copenhagen, Denmark , but for many the deal doesn’t go far enough.

A plaque on the Nativity scene at Old City Hall honouring “pro-life hero” Fr. Ted Colleton is removed after complaints reach Mayor David Miller’s desk.

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana is named apostolic nuncio to Canada , succeeding Archbishop Luigi Ventura.

Bishop Paul-André Durocher apologizes to clergy abuse victims in the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.

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