The Catholic Register has compiled some of the most popular stories of 2016. Graphic by David Chen

List of top stories from 2016 reflect wide interests of Register readers

  • December 31, 2016

One of the more interesting annual exercises for just about any media website is to see which stories gathered the most attention over the last 12 months.

The Catholic Register is not a destination for a lot of "viral" stories of the Kardashian variety, but nevertheless, with its mandate of news for Canadian Catholics, web site numbers provide a look into the kind of stories our readers gravitate to and share on social media.

On the national front, perhaps the most surprising result was that one most viewed stories for 2016 was actually written in 2012, about how singer Kelley Mooney's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" Cohen's death this past November. After Cohen's death this past November, the song had a revival, as did our story.

It's no surprise that much of our list of most viewed stories mirrors the issues were among the most talked about both inside and outside the Church.

Here are some of the stories that resonated with our readers in Canada and beyond:

1. An Orthodox Christian father from Hamilton, Steve Tourloukis, loses court fight over religious freedom and parental rights.

Orthodox christian father loses religious freedom paternal rights case web

2. University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson found himself at centre of a transgender storm over his refusal to use transgender pronouns. He had a stark warning for religious groups who don't buy in to the politically correct agenda: "Tremble."

Church tremble transgender agenda web

3. Toronto's Cardinal Thomas Collins, in the wake of a parliamentary committee report on assisted suicide, steps up opposition to assisted dying in April.

Collins steps opposition assited dying web

4. In February, Ottawa Archbiship Terrence Prendergast stepped into the internal Church debate on guidelines around last rites and assisted suicide, a debate that continued through the year.

Last rites denied death web

5. A Canadian nun, Sr. Gilberte Bussiere from Montreal, tells of her ordeal and spiritual experience after being kidnapped in Cameroon and held captive for two months.

Canadian nun Cameroon web

6. In October, Canada's Catholic bishops sparked a lot of discussion after withdraw from the social justice coalition Kairos over legal and ideological issues.

Kairos2 web

7. Bishop Donald J. Bolen of Saskatoon decided to find out what homelessness really by living on the streets for 36 hours in a charity challenge.

Saskatoon bishop homelessness

8. Hockey icon Gordie Howe died June 10, sparking many to remember him not just for his skills on the ice, but also his role as a family man.

Howe web

9. Philippine church leaders felt powerless to stop the killings of more than 1,400 people by a death squad that had been linked to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippines drugs killing web

10. A Slovak nun died after being shot in South Sudan while driving an ambulance taking an expectant mother to the hospital.

Slovak nun South Sudan web

11. The Archdiocese of Toronto had many joyful moments in 2016 with stories like the restoration of St. Michael's Cathedral, but also some poignant reminders that tragedy can strike, as in the story of Fr. Thomasz Dzida, a young priest from a Scarborough parish.

Cathedral reborn social

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