News/Canada

Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLifeTORONTO - ShareLife executive director Arthur Peters wants the fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto more involved in efforts to encourage charitable giving with tax breaks on donations.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has heard submissions from the charitable sector for years on ways to boost Canadian charitable giving. Peters would like to see lobbying by the charitable sector be more successful.

Linda Gibbons' court challenge hits a roadblock

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Linda Gibbons

TORONTO   - The ongoing legal battles of pro-life activist Linda Gibbons received a setback at a Sept. 2 hearing when a judge ruled the case against her did not breach her Charter rights and that her lawyer was not entitled to view nine-year-old documents held by the crown attorney.

Gibbons’ next court date was set for Sept. 30.

Lawyer Daniel Santoro said he was disappointed with the decisions but withheld further comment until after having a chance to review the judge’s detailed ruling, expected to be released during the week of Sept. 7.

International development minister contradicts Canada's abortion policy

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Bev OdaThe Conservative minister in charge of Canada’s international development assistance seems to be singing from a different hymn book than her Conservative colleagues on funding abortions in poor countries.

The tune is leading some pro-lifers to call for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dismiss International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda from the federal cabinet.

Holy books to be allowed at citizenship ceremonies

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Catholic Biblical Association logoOTTAWA - Groups will soon be allowed to distribute holy books at Canadian citizenship ceremonies.

“We’re going to send a directive to all Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) staff who process applications, instructing them if religious groups apply to sit in the back and have copies of holy books, they are entitled to do so,” said Alykhan Velshi, a spokesman for CIC Minister Jason Kenney.

The previous government had banned groups from giving away holy books in 2004, Velshi said.

Pro-lifer Linda Gibbons takes protest fight to highest court

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Linda Gibbon

TORONTO - Jailed pro-life protester Linda Gibbons is seeking to have a 16-year-old “temporary” court injunction overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Gibbons’ lawyer, Daniel Santoro, said the blanket injunction against pro-life protesters is an “abuse” and criminal charges arising from the injunction are  “unconstitutional.”

Santoro told The Catholic Register he submitted an application for a hearing to the Supreme Court on Gibbons’ behalf on Aug. 23. The Court has yet to respond.

Cross-border dioceses unite in honouring Mother Teresa

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Peace BridgeThe Peace Bridge connecting Canada and the United States at Niagara Falls was lit up on Aug. 26 in honour of the centenary of Mother Teresa’s birth. But it also represented a coming together of cross-border dioceses, said Kevin Keenan, director of communications with the diocese of Buffalo.

Illuminated in blue and white, the colours of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, the Peace Bridge initiative was a result of efforts of Buffalo Bishop Edward U. Kmiec and Msgr. Wayne Kirkpatrick, administrator of the diocese of St. Catharines, Ont.

Basilian priest charged with abuse dating back to 1972

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child abuseThe Basilian Fathers are encouraging any possible victims of sexual abuse by Fr. Kenneth O’Keefe to come forward.

O’Keefe was charged Aug. 11 with one count of indecent assault stemming from his contact with a teenaged boy at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa in 1972. But if there are other victims or other unreported incidents to be dealt with, the Basilians want to hear about them and will work with police and the court system to see justice is done, said Basilian spokesman Fr. Tom Rosica.

Bishops gear up for annual collection

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CCCB logoOTTAWA - Canada’s bishops hope the faithful will generously support its work as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual collection approaches the weekend of Sept. 26.

“The primary purpose of the collection is to help the dioceses in Canada meet their annual per capital contribution to the CCCB,” said conference president Bishop Pierre Morissette in an Aug. 9 letter. “This is the conference’s main source of financing.”

Each diocese is assessed on a per capita basis for its contribution to the running of the bishops’ secretariat of 40 staff members and the work the bishops do in common, whether it is government relations, those with other episcopal conferences or the Holy See.

The Church needs bishops who are bold men of faith, says Ouellet

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Cardinal Marc OuelletQUEBEC CITY - In his new duties helping the Pope choose bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet will be looking for bold “men of faith” who have “the guts to help people live it out.”

A bishop has to lead the community, so he needs a deep supernatural vision as well as the capacity to assess the political, cultural and sociological context, said Ouellet, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Above all, a bishop must be “audacious in proposing the Word and in believing in the power of the Word and the power of the Spirit.”

Cardinal Ouellet bids goodbye to Quebec and Canada

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SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRE, QUE. - Cardinal Marc Ouellet affirmed his unqualified commitment to the Gospel as he bid his farewell to the Quebec archdiocese Aug. 15 before heading off to assume a new role at the Vatican.

At his last public celebration of the Eucharist before departing to Rome, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops acknowledged some people may have been hurt by some of his words in public debate or some of his pastoral decisions.

In recent months, Ouellet has faced a wave of negative attacks in the news media for his forthright stance in defense of human life from conception, even in cases of rape.  

Basilian priest charged with abusing Ottawa student in 1972

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The Basilian Fathers are encouraging any possible victims of sexual abuse by Fr. Kenneth O'Keefe to come forward.

O'Keefe was charged Aug. 11 with one count of indecent assault stemming from his contact with a teenaged boy at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa in 1972. But if there are other victims or other unreported incidents to be dealt with, the Basilians want to hear about them and will work with police and the court system to see justice is done, said Basilian spokesman Fr. Tom
Rosica.

"We are committed to making available financial support for restorative therapy for anyone who has been abused by Fr. O'Keefe or by any other Basilian," said a statement from the religious order.