News/Canada

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Could the Catholic vote play a key role in the next federal election?

It did in the 2000 election when it helped Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien win his third majority.

But Catholic support has plummeted by “a massive 24 per cent,” a study by McGill political scientists shows. Catholic voters, who have traditionally voted Liberal, contributed to the Conservative minority government victories in 2006 and 2008.

LifeSite accused of fuelling web war on Salt+Light

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TORONTO - Salt+Light Television CEO Fr. Tom Rosica has reacted to daily threats against his life, reputation and ministry, blaming LifeSiteNews for stirring up “division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

Since controversy erupted over Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral in Boston, e-mails and blog postings directed at Rosica have included: “Your grave is dug”; “We will bring down your network”; “We will force you to resign”; and  “We will get the Vatican to rescind your appointment.”

Freedomsite.org wins free speech case

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Catholics who fight for freedom of speech and of religion are applauding a tribunal decision that declared the Canadian Human Rights Act censorship provision unconstitutional.

On Sept. 2, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal member Athanasios Hadjis concluded Section 13(1) and some other portions of the act are “inconsistent with s. 2(b) of the charter, which guarantees the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.” Section 13(1) says that material “likely to expose” various enumerated groups to hatred and contempt contravenes the act. There is no defense for truth or intent since the act merely looks at the effects on vulnerable minorities, even if there is no proof any damage has occurred.

Canadian Jesuit named expert for African Synod

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{mosimage}A Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican Oct. 4-25.

Fr. Michael Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network in 2002 as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of AIDS. His appointment as “adiutor secretarii specialis” to the second Synod of Bishops on Africa will require him to step away from running AJAN at least temporarily.

Canadian Council of Churches wades into U.S. health care debate

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{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches launched a letter into the shark tank of American debate over health care and saw some surprising ripples on the surface.

The Aug. 10 letter to the National Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals became the starting point for journalist David Waters' Aug. 29 "Under God" column in The Washington Post.

Married Anglican convert ordained to priesthood in PEI

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{mosimage}Married priests. Although it isn’t unheard of, it is still an anomaly in Canada. Less than a dozen exist across the country, with one new addition in Prince Edward Island this month.

On Aug. 9, Fr. Martin Carter was ordained at St. Dunstan’s Basilica in Charlottetown. Carter, 63, has been a resident of P.E.I. for 20 years. He converted to Catholicism in December 2005 before he began the road to Roman Catholic priesthood.

Medical association honours Sr. Nuala Kenny

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Sr. Nuala Kenny, who has spent most of her life facing down what she calls the “de-moralization of modern medicine” in the context of advancing technology and commercialization, will receive the Canadian Medical Association ’s Dr. William Marsden Award for leadership in medical ethics.

Kenny is a pediatrician, a former professor of medicine and ethics at the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and Dalhousie University , and a one-time deputy minister of health of Nova Scotia. She founded Dalhousie’s department of bioethics and served on the ethics committees of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada , the Canadian Pediatric Society, the National Council for Bioethics in Human Research , the National Science Advisory Board and the National Forum on Health. She has been president of both the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Canadian Bioethics Society. She is an officer of the Order of Canada , was a founding member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research , one of the founders of the Governing Council of the Health Council of Canada and one of the founders of Canadian Doctors for Medicare .

Department of Peace initiative launched

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{mosimage}A private members’ bill to establish a Canadian Department of Peace will soon be before Parliament, perhaps as early as the fall.

British Columbia MP Bill Siksay jumped on board the six-year-old campaign advocating for a Department of Peace just a few years ago, and recently volunteered to write the legislation for the private members’ bill he hopes to table in September.

Development and Peace works on protocols for distribution of funds 

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Getting individual bishops or bishops' conferences to sign off on more than $16 million worth of projects is complicated, but Canada's Catholic development agency is willing to get those signatures and reassure the bishops it's working with the church when it chooses partners.

"The good news is that we're dialoguing on this," said Michael Casey, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. "They've expressed their support for Development and Peace."

Newspaper apologizes for story that sparked Harper Communion controversy

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{mosimage}OTTAWA  - A New Brunswick newspaper has apologized for a July 8 story that wrongly accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of pocketing Communion at a Catholic funeral.

The story also said a senior Roman Catholic priest had demanded the prime minister explain what happened to the Host.

Encyclical a boost for Development and Peace

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{mosimage}Caritas in Veritate represents something old and something new for Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace members, but it also represents a papal vote of confidence in their work and spirituality, volunteers with the social justice organization told The Catholic Register.

“Reading the encyclical made me more enthusiastic again about Development and Peace,” said Gwen Stang of Macklin, Sask., a member for 20 years.