News/Canada

OTTAWA - An official from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said King’s Glory Fellowship of Calgary lost its charitable status for failing to file its annual financial report.

Its controversial lay pastor Artur Pawlowski admitted he did miss the deadline. He believes, however, King’s Glory Fellowship’s charitable status has not been restored because of his vocal defence of Christian teaching.

(See Calgary bishop comes to defence of lay pastor )

Olympics must not provide human trafficking opportunities, bishops say

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Concerned by reports that the Vancouver Winter Olympics could provide an ideal climate for human trafficking, Canada’s Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter denouncing a dehumanizing crime that, says the United Nations, affects 2.5 million people worldwide.

The Jan. 26 letter, signed by members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, said major sporting events often see “systems put in place to satisfy the demand for paid sex” and “this is likely to be the case during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.”

Bishop Lahey's next court date set for April 9

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey's next court date on charges of possession and importation of child pornography has been set for April 9.

The former bishop of Antigonish, N.S., did not appear in court Feb. 3 when one of his lawyers arranged for the new court date. He is unlikely to appear in court on April 9 either, according to his lawyer Michael Edelson.

Calgary bishop comes to defence of lay pastor

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Revenue Canada is “way out of line” and could be setting a worrisome precedent by revoking the charitable status of a church run by an activist lay pastor, said Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.

The Glory Christian Fellowship ran afoul of Revenue Canada due to the activities of its lay pastor, Artur Pawlowski. In December, the church received a letter from Dian Prodenov of Revenue Canada informing the fellowship its charitable status was revoked because “members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative views about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.”

Montreal Haitians seek loosened immigration rules

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{mosimage}With Montreal being home to the largest population of Haitians in Canada, the archdiocese of Montreal’s response to the Haiti earthquake has been four-fold.

First was Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte’s immediate call to prayer and action on the very day of the Jan. 12 humanitarian catastrophe. Next was the support and active promotion of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s fundraising campaign, which in two weeks had raised almost $2 million.

Scandals tar good bishops and priests

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The arrest last fall of Bishop Raymond Lahey has refocused attention on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The Catholic Register examines the issue in this special report.

OTTAWA (CCN) — Investigative journalist Michael Harris has seen a “tremendous policy change” in the Catholic Church since he broke the story of sexual and physical abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the late 1980s.
 
“There has been a true response to the real problem instead of musical parishes, private deals and checkbook dispensations,” said the author of Unholy Orders: Tragedy at Mount Cashel. “I have a good feeling that the next generation of Catholic priests will not be in this position.”

Haiti tugs Canadian heart strings

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{mosimage}The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace was on target to surpass $1 million in aid donations one week after Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

“We’re doing about $100,000 a day, so we’re doing very well,” said Development and Peace spokesperson Jasmine Fortin. “We hope it stays up.”

Canadian Jewish Congress wants Pius sainthood cause slowed down

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{mosimage}Another step, however minor, toward canonizing Pope Pius XII has got Canadian Jews wondering, why now?

The Dec. 19 Vatican declaration of Pope Pius XII’s “heroic virtues” has prompted the Canadian Jewish Congress to remind Canadian bishops that many Jews still harbour doubts about the war-time pope’s record.

Bishop Lahey faces judicial pre-trial Jan. 26 on child porn charges

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey, who faces charges of possession and importation of child pornography, will have a judicial pre-trial Jan. 26.

This off-the-record meeting of lawyers from both sides before a judge could lead either to a resolution of the case or launch the next step in the trial process.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity just the beginning

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{mosimage}Fuller, deeper and more meaningful prayers for Christian unity in Catholic parishes has to begin with the Jan. 17 to 24 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, say Catholics who have worked on preparing and promoting the annual event.

“It’s the prime event in terms of ecumenical work together, prayer together,” said  Jonas Abromaitis of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Abromaitis is commission secretary to the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue.

Parliament prorogued as Harper focuses on economy over other legislation

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to press the reset button and ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament has postponed the vote on a number of pieces of legislation.

It has postponed debate on a controversial private member’s euthanasia bill, guaranteed Conservative MP Joy Smith’s anti-human trafficking Bill C-268 will not become law before the Vancouver Olympics and stalled Liberal MP John McKay’s mining accountability Bill C-300, which had reached the committee stage in the House of Commons.