News/Canada

They've spoken out on the environment, war and peace, poverty and the economy. Christian organizations have been quick and loud in their opinions on what should be done to make Canada a better country. And now there is a pro-life coalition offering its own advice for voters as we approach the Oct. 14 federal election.

Read his lips: there will be no abortion law

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Pro-lifers across the country pull their hair out in chunks every time they hear the dire warnings that Prime Minister Stephen Harper harbours a secret agenda to recriminalize abortion. They know full well he has been the biggest disappointment on that front since the Supreme Court overturned Canada's abortion law in 1988.

Party platforms now available online

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Catholic voters keep being told they should read the political parties' platforms before making their decision on Oct. 14. Well, they are now available, so happy reading.

Afghanistan falls off election radar screen

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With 97 Canadian soldiers dead and many more injured, a record year for attacks on development workers and mounting evidence that NATO is losing the war in Afghanistan some might have expected the war to be a major issue in the Canadian election campaign.

"It's not an issue because the Liberals gave the issue away when they voted for the Conservative extension to 2011, so there's no difference really between the Conservative and the Liberal position on this," said left-leaning Rideau Institute defence analyst Stephen Staples.

JSI performs well pre-market meltdown

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The pre-Wall Street meltdown market was a calm, even dull affair for Canadian ethical investors judging by the Jantzi Social Index results for August.

The JSI rose 1.4 per cent in August, keeping pace with the best known conventional indexes.

Afghanistan goals need to be made clear

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{mosimage}CORNWALL, Ont. - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops raised concerns about the war in Afghanistan and the Canadian government’s not making clear the goals of the mission there in his annual report to the bishops’ plenary here.

“If these goals are not articulated, it is difficult to determine bench marks, and almost impossible to evaluate successes and failures,” said Archbishop James Weisgerber.

First Nations chief calls for reconciliation with Catholic Church

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{mosimage}CORNWALL, Ont. - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine made an historic plea for reconciliation with the Catholic Church while speaking to a gathering of Catholic bishops here Sept. 22.

“What I want to talk about here is the future,” Fontaine told about 80 bishops attending the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual plenary.

Tough-on-crime approach won't work, says church advocacy group

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Tough-on-crime election promises released this week by the Conservative Party don't much impress the Church Council on Justice and Corrections.

Ecumenical coalition scolds Conservatives

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The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition isn't shy about criticizing the federal Conservatives while the election is on. In an editorial in it's September newsletter the Ontario coalition of faith communities takes the Conservatives to task.

Hearing from other faith voices

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Religion and politics are constant bedfellows, so it's no surprise that Catholics aren't the only ones weighing in on this election. Among the religious voices raised in the early going of the short, six-week campaign, Muslims and Jews each have their concerns.

Canadian religious leaders challenge conscience rights' decision

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Two of Ottawa’s best known religious leaders have issued a joint declaration challenging a move to force Ontario’s physicians to set aside their own conscience and religious beliefs when they conflict with a patient’s request.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., and Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka said Sept. 11 that they are “deeply disturbed” by a new policy being considered by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. This policy could require doctors to perform abortions or other types of treatments even if they contradict their own beliefs.