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{mosimage}It's almost as if Pope Benedict XVI had Canada and its controversies in mind as he penned the first social encyclical of the 21st century.

By updating Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio, and making an explicit link between church teaching on economic development and Pope Paul's teaching on human sexuality, abortion and contraception — Humanae Vitae — it was as though Benedict had the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in mind, said Michael Casey.

"It will certainly inform our discussions on policies and on our orientation. It will be stuff to work on over the next few months," said Casey, executive director of Development and Peace.

Canadians among new archbishops receiving pallium

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - Receiving the woolen pallium from the Pope underlines an archbishop's unique ties to the vicar of Christ in Rome and to his own flock of parishioners back home, said a number of archbishops from Canada and the United States and Canada.

Archbishops J. Michael Miller of Vancouver and Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Que., were among the 34 bishops from 20 countries who received the white, narrow circular band called a pallium during a special Mass in St. Peter's Basilica June 29.

LifeSite at odds with Canadian bishops' Development and Peace report

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Allegations against the Canadian bishops' development agency are a "counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians," say Bishops Martin Currie and Francois Lapierre.

Currie and Lapierre's inquiry into LifeSiteNews.com stories that accused the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of giving money to groups which advocate for legal abortion in Mexico clears the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of involvement in pushing for legal abortion in Mexico. Having consulted with Mexico's bishops and interviewed five Development and Peace partners whom LifeSiteNews.com said were promoting legal access to abortion, the bishops "did not find any evidence that they have been implicated in promoting abortion," said the report released publicly June 29 (see http://tinyurl.com/mcrpk4 ).

Catholic Church part of Canada's 'founding myth'

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{mosimage}Canada Day celebrations will almost certainly praise this country as a tolerant, peaceable nation with a highly developed, secular and multicultural, democratic culture.

That wasn’t what St. Jean de Brebeuf had in mind when he established the first European settlement in Upper Canada in 1639. The mystic Jesuit priest and missionary had a vision of a Christian kingdom in the heart of North America — a theocracy, really — where European and Huron cultures would be mutually transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.

Brebeuf’s vision lasted just 10 years, and the Jesuits ended up burning down their tiny experiment at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons near present-day Midland, Ont., in 1649 to prevent the village falling into the hands of the Iroquois (proxies for the Dutch, whose commercial interests in the fur trade opposed those of France).

Canadian Bishops clear Development and Peace of any wrongdoing

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{mosimage}The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s Mexican partners were “imprudent” when they signed a civil society submission to the United Nations on human rights, but Canada’s bishops have found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Development and Peace or its partners, Archbishop James Weisgerber has declared.

The report into allegations made by LifeSiteNews.com that Development and Peace funded Mexican groups lobbying in favour of legal abortion will include recommendations for tighter protocols on future partnerships, but those recommendations won’t be revealed until all the bishops have had a chance to read the report, said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president.

Surveys seek input on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches wants to know who you will be praying with and for between Jan. 18 and 25 next year.

Using its web site and Twitter account, the CCC has launched a pair of surveys to find out how parishes and congregations are praying during the annual Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity. If the answer is that your Catholic parish doesn’t do much to observe the world-wide, Vatican-supported week for Christian unity, they want to hear that too.

Jantzi index on the rebound

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{mosimage}The Jantzi Social Index continued to keep pace with standard market indices through the May climb back to a shaky respectability.

The Jantzi — which picks its 60 Canadian stocks based on environmental sustainability, labour and human rights performance and transparent governance — was up 10.68 per cent in May and 32.2 per cent over the previous three months.

Bioethics institute targets assisted suicide

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute has fired an opening volley in what it sees as a summer-long battle for palliative care and against physician-assisted suicide.

The CCBI has printed 1,600 postcards addressed to Parliament and distributed them to its friends and supporters. The postcards call for the defeat of Bill C-384, a private member’s bill that would remove physician-assisted suicide from the Criminal Code. The bill was introduced to Parliament May 13 by Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde. It’s expected to come up for second reading when Parliament resumes sitting in the fall.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission set to look at Indian residential school abuses

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Justice Murray Sinclair has been appointed chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into abuses at Indian residential schools.

“It’s a very daunting task,” Manitoba’s first aboriginal judge said. “We have a long road to walk and we don’t have as much time as we could probably use to get there.”

But Sinclair said he is committed to an accurate commission process that will treat all parties fairly, including those who have a positive story to tell.

Bishop Durocher brings message of solidarity with First Nations

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - On behalf of Canada’s Catholic bishops, Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher brought a message of solidarity and hope with Canada's First Nations to the National Day of Reconciliation June 11.

The day marked the first anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s historic apology from the Canadian government for Indian residential schools.

On Parliament Hill, Durocher spoke of Pope Benedict XVI’s words of deep regret, solidarity and hope spoken to aboriginal leaders in a private audience in late April in Rome.

Development and Peace faces new abortion-funding allegations from Peru

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{mosimage}A Peruvian archbishop is accusing the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of supporting pro-abortion groups in his country.

In a letter dated May 28 but not sent until June 9, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, president of the Peruvian Conference of Catholic Bishops' Commission on the Family, Children and Life, tells Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' president Archbishop James Weisgerber he is "personally concerned about any funding from Catholics of Canada to pro-abortion groups in Peru."

It's the latest turn in a controversy that began in February when LifeSiteNews.com accused Development and Peace of funding pro-abortion advocacy in Mexico.  

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