News/Canada

{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.  

Chief Fontaine leaves a legacy of reconciliation

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - The pending departure of Phil Fontaine will not halt the progress towards reconciliation with First Nations peoples, predicted Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) president Archbishop James Weisgerber.

Fontaine, who served three terms since 1997 as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of July. A race is underway to select his replacement.

Members of Parliament put aside problems for the practice of prayer

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{mosimage}OTTAWA  - Internationally-renowned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias brought a bold, Christ-centered message to the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast May 28.

To a hotel ballroom filled with Members of Parliament, clergy, and ambassadors, Zacharias said that all our yearnings can be found in Jesus Christ alone.

He recounted a trip to the Middle East with Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, where he met with Sheikh Talal Sider, a founder of Hamas.

Poverty needs to be a national priority

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{mosimage}Asking the federal government to develop a poverty reduction plan is just asking them to do their job, according to Citizens for Public Justice executive director Joe Gunn.

Gunn’s ecumenical social justice organization, along with a dozen other church, union and social action organizations have launched Dignity For All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada . The campaign aims to get the public and all federal political parties talking about a realistic plan for reducing Canada’s 10.8 per cent poverty rate.

Canadian churches seek federal tar sands plan

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{mosimage}EDMONTON - Canadian Church leaders are preparing to bring the voice of Christian faith to bear on controversies surrounding the Alberta tar sands.

Following meetings May 21-27 with people who work and live in northern Alberta, church leaders intend to lobby the federal government for tighter environmental regulation of the huge and controversial source of energy.

Canadian Council of Churches lays groundwork for G8 Summit response

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{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches added some new, Catholic blood at mid-May meetings in Ottawa and began to set the stage for the 2010 G8 meeting of the world's largest economies at the Deerhurst Inn in Huntsville, Ont.

The council admitted the Ukrainian Catholic Church as a full member and elected a new executive which includes a Roman Catholic bishop as vice president. The council now consists of 23 national churches representing 85 per cent of Canada's Christians.


Coalition forms to defeat latest Canadian euthanasia bill

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Life-affirming groups are mounting an offensive against a Bloc Quebecois’ MP’s third attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Francine Lalonde introduced her private members’ Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia on May 13, the day before 12,300 Canadians came to Ottawa for the National March for Life. Her previous bills died when elections were called.


Over 12,000 join National March for Life

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OTTAWA - Despite driving rain and howling winds, the National March for Life May 12 drew more than 12,300 people — the largest crowd in its 11-year history.

Dubbed Exodus 2009, the March marked the 40th anniversary of the Omnibus Bill that decriminalized abortion in Canada, paving the way to abortion on demand.

On the steps to the Peace Tower, Quebec's Cardinal Marc Ouellet called upon Parliamentarians to address the juridical void that leaves abortion permissible right through nine months of pregnancy. He also called on all Canadians to build a culture of life that guards the family and welcomes human life. We are all responsible for the respect for human rights in our land, he said, especially the rights of the most fragile — infants in the womb, the elderly and the handicapped.

Canadian bishops on board for National March for Life

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OTTAWA - This year’s National March for Life to Parliament Hill on May 14 will see an unprecedented number of Catholic bishops taking part.

“It’s a wonderful occasion,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who has invited other bishops to attend.

Prendergast attended the March for the first time last spring.