Pope John Paul II meets with a gathering of cheering youths in St. Louis in 1999. CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec

April 2 to be Pope John Paul II Day in Canada

By 
  • December 18, 2014
OTTAWA - The bill to establish Pope John Paul II Day passed the Senate Dec. 16 and has received royal assent.

Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon introduced private member’s Bill C-266, an Act to establish Pope John Paul II Day, in 2011. The bill designates April 2 as Pope John Paul II Day, though does not make it a legal holiday or non-juridical day.

In a statement, Lizon described the passage of the bill as a “proud but very emotional moment.”

Lizon’s bill passed the House of Commons in the spring of 2013 with support from members of all three major political parties. But it faced some snags in the Senate due to concerns the bill was honouring a religious figure.

Lizon had argued Pope John Paul II’s legacy was far more than religious.

“Pope John Paul II’s work transcended so many boundaries,” said Lizon. “He promoted the values of peace and tolerance along with his strong stand against human rights violations. These are values that resonate deeply in our country and with Canadians. This was the motivation of this legislation.”

The Polish-born MP had spoken in the House of Commons of the role Pope John Paul II played in bringing down Communism in Eastern Europe.

“Pope John Paul II presented a valuable message of courage, a defense of freedom and profound statements of hope and commitment to all people,” said Lizon. “His work to help others continues to touch the lives of people throughout the world.”

Last May, Pope Francis canonized Pope John Paul II.

Comments (12)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Having a day to celebrate a man who hid pedophiles from prosecution makes my skin crawl. These acts go directly in the face of the argument to establish the day to begin with not to mention the religion the Pope professes to uphold. To quote...

Having a day to celebrate a man who hid pedophiles from prosecution makes my skin crawl. These acts go directly in the face of the argument to establish the day to begin with not to mention the religion the Pope professes to uphold. To quote Lindy Ruff, "That's the definition of a joke."

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James C.
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AKA Child Molestation and Coverup Celebration Day.

Jake
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

this had me in for awhile. Until I realised it was just a posting from the satirical news "The Onion".

Clive
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

To have a day established by which a religious dignitary is recognized by the entirety of this country flies absolutely in the face of every letter of the freedoms established in the Bill of Rights and the constitution of this country.

JC Vincent
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

or the systemic subjugation of women and girls, disregards in every way that freedom by giving primacy to one version of one religion. Worse, it seems the establishment of this day has occurred with no consultation of the electorate.

JC Vincent
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Canadians have the right to freedom of and FROM religion; establishing a day to recognize a deceased catholic dignitary - who did precisely nothing to shift discriminatory acts against LGTB people, or to end the wide-spread child abuse existing...

Canadians have the right to freedom of and FROM religion; establishing a day to recognize a deceased catholic dignitary - who did precisely nothing to shift discriminatory acts against LGTB people, or to end the wide-spread child abuse existing in that organisation...

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JC Vincent
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Pandering to religion and to the religious cannot end well. If you're unsure of what a theocracy looks like, and the effect such a thing has on humans, human rights, and freedoms, please consider the Saudi kingdom, Iran, Iraq and various other...

Pandering to religion and to the religious cannot end well. If you're unsure of what a theocracy looks like, and the effect such a thing has on humans, human rights, and freedoms, please consider the Saudi kingdom, Iran, Iraq and various other such cultures.

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JC Vincent
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.who ignored those issues been established?

I cannot stress strongly enough my and many people's disgust at this move by the conservative government of this country. The government is elected by Canadians. Not catholic Canadians, not christian...

.who ignored those issues been established?

I cannot stress strongly enough my and many people's disgust at this move by the conservative government of this country. The government is elected by Canadians. Not catholic Canadians, not christian Canadians: Canadians.

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JC Vincent
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the long, long history - suppressed by papal letter, no less - of assaults and sexual abuse against children, and the conscious acts of suppression of facts, where it concerns the guilty and those who aided and abetted the guilty, on what grounds...

the long, long history - suppressed by papal letter, no less - of assaults and sexual abuse against children, and the conscious acts of suppression of facts, where it concerns the guilty and those who aided and abetted the guilty, on what grounds has recognition of a dignitary...

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JC Vincent
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The establishment of a day to recognize a deceased catholic dignitary is a slap in the face of freedom, and democracy.
Considering the repressive and bigoted standards of the catholic church where women, children and LGBT people are concerned,...

The establishment of a day to recognize a deceased catholic dignitary is a slap in the face of freedom, and democracy.
Considering the repressive and bigoted standards of the catholic church where women, children and LGBT people are concerned, and considering ...

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JC Vincent
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