The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has a draft of a statement on the 2008 federal election, and the bishops plan to discuss it before going public perhaps as early as next week.

Duceppe attacks Opus Dei candidate


Stung by losing one of his own MPs, controversial priest Fr. Raymond Gravel, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe has attacked the Conservatives for having a Montreal-area candidate who is a member of Opus Dei.

There is a Catholic way to vote


The Catholic Church may no longer tell the flock whom to vote for, but there certainly is a Catholic way to vote. In numerous statements and documents over the years, Catholic bishops around the world have offered principles to guide voters on how to align their decision on the ballot with their faith.

Poverty needs to be election issue


{mosimage}TORONTO - "The politics of poverty must be part of this election," said Mike Creek, spokesman for Voices from the Street, a Toronto advocacy organization that puts poor people in front of media cameras and microphones.

The 25 in 5 Network of more than 100 churches, unions and social agencies delivered a report Sept. 8 at Queen's Park outlining minimum demands for a provincial poverty reduction plan, but much of what they had to say was aimed at federal politicians as they headed out for the first full day on the campaign trail.

The hidden meaning of political language


So the battle is on and one thing for sure, between now and Oct. 14 the federal election campaign will be marked again by suggestions, allegations and threats that the governing Conservative Party can’t be given a majority because they have a “secret agenda” that a majority will allow them to impose. And of course by “secret agenda” the opposition parties really mean a scary “right-wing Christian agenda.”

Medjugorje priest sanctioned by the Vatican


{mosimage}LONDON - The Vatican has authorized "severe cautionary and disciplinary measures" against a priest who served as spiritual director to the visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has written to Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, whose diocese covers Medjugorje, to inform him that they are investigating the case of Franciscan Father Tomislav Vlasic.

Rebel priest to resign as MP


{mosimage}OTTAWA - Dissident Catholic priest Fr. Raymond Gravel is stepping down as a Bloc Quebecois MP after receiving an ultimatum from the Vatican.

“My bishop had received instructions from Rome that I must make a choice between the priesthood and the calling of an MP,” Gravel told the Sept. 3 French-language newspaper La Presse. “There was the threat of laicization and they could defrock me.”

Election can't shake abortion debate


{mosimage}OTTAWA - Abortion remains a heated subject, despite the attempts of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to keep it out of the federal election.

“The Canadian public does not have any viable political option to advance its grave and serious concern to promote and protect human life in the womb,” said St. Catharine’s Bishop James Wingle.

Jesuits open new novitiate in Montreal


{mosimage}The Jesuits’ new home for novices is exactly where it needs to be, according to novice master Fr. Eric Oland.

“Something that has been a hallmark of the Jesuits from the very beginning is that we go to places where there is the greatest need. Yes, the church is very challenged in Quebec at the moment. But I can say from personal experience there are glimmers of hope and glimmers of change,” Oland told The Catholic Register during the opening week of a new combined novitiate for English and French Canada in Montreal’s Cote-des-Neiges district.

Building hope at Jane and Finch


{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s a neighbourhood known to outsiders for its gang and gun violence, prostitution and poverty. Yet the ethnically diverse community surrounding the infamous Jane and Finch intersection in northwest Toronto has a ray of hope in the form of St. Augustine of Canterbury parish.

After 10 years of developing outreach programs for youth, adults, seniors and family — and not just limited to Catholics — the church, which sits a few blocks north of Finch Ave, is preparing to build a family centre to provide even more.

'Iron Friar' evangelizes on the run


{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Daniel Callahan is best known as the “Iron Friar” — running, swimming and cycling in the Ford Ironman USA triathlon, while evangelizing and raising money for a good cause.

For him, triathlons provide a great analogy for life itself: in a race “you’re going in for a medal,” he said, but in life “you’re going in for eternal life.”