News/Canada

Jesuit Father Martin RoyackersA Canadian Jesuit gunned down in 2001 standing by his rectory door in Jamaica will have his name attached to an AIDS clinic in Burundi.

“The decision to name this clinic after Martin Royackers has been motivated by two things,” said SYM director Jesuit Father Desire Yamuremye in an e-mail to The Catholic Register. “The principal one is that the centre is at the service of the poor living with HIV and AIDS. I think Martin Royackers was murdered while he was at the service of poor people. The second reason is that part of the funds came from the Canadian Jesuit province.”

Pro-life Sisters to open new centre

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Sisters of LifeTORONTO - After nearly three years of getting to know Toronto, the Sisters of Life will celebrate their newly opened Sisters of Life Centre with a special Mass and social gathering on June 12.

Visitors to the celebration will get to tour the new centre, formerly the rectory of St. Catherine of Siena parish. Renovations began last fall and the centre contains two parlours on the first floor for meeting with visitors, a kitchen and dining room, and on the second floor a chapel and six offices equipped with phones and computers for the Sisters to connect pregnant women in need with volunteers and important services.

Victims of abuse from years gone by caught in a grey zone

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child abuse survivorIn the criminal justice system there are more grey areas than black and white, particularly when it comes to 20- and 30-year-old sex crimes.

When an adult tells church officials that as a child he or she was abused in the church, the internal process these days is pretty clear. But what about the police?

When Fr. George Smith was accused this May of inappropriately touching a young person while working in Deer Lake, Nfld., between 1986 and 1991 he was immediately suspended from his duties as a parish priest in Prince Edward Island. An internal investigation was launched in the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador. Police, however, were left out of the picture.

Teen pregnancies down by a third, study says

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teen motherTORONTO - Increased use of birth control and improved sex education in schools may be keys to a 10-year decline in Canada’s teen birth and abortion rate, according to a new study by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada.

Canada’s teen birth and abortion rate fell by 36.9 per cent from 1996 to 2006, said the study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. The study used Statistics Canada figures. The United States saw a drop of 25 per cent compared to 4.75 for England and Wales and a 19.1-per-cent jump for Sweden, according to the study.

Opposition attacks 'anti-Christian bigotry'

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Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe OTTAWA - Recent attacks by federal politicians on Opus Dei have raised concerns about efforts to drive Christians out of public life.

A number of Opposition politicians accused Opus Dei of being “fundamentalist,” right wing and “creepy” and having an undue influence on the Tory government, attacks that began after Msgr. Fred Dolan, Vicar for Opus Dei in Canada, spoke at a May 26 luncheon at the Parliamentary restaurant for MPs, Senators and Parliament Hill staff.

Canadian archbishops among apostolic visitors to Ireland

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OTTAWA - Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins and Ottawa's Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., are among nine church leaders who will join an apostolic visit to Ireland to help the Irish Church reeling from a sexual abuse crisis.

“It’s a common practice when there is a problem or a struggle or a difficulty of any kind for the Holy See to have a visitation,” said Collins.

 

PEI priest suspended

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P.E.I. Bishop Richard GreccoAn allegation of abuse in Newfoundland has triggered the immediate suspension of a priest in Prince Edward Island.

P.E.I. Bishop Richard Grecco suspended Fr. George Smith from pastoral duties at St. Malachy’s Church in Kinkora, P.E.I. within 24 hours of learning of the allegation against Smith in the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador.

Vigil supports American soldier

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Jeremy Hinzman, the first American soldier to claim refugee status in Canada rather than serve in Iraq, at a prayer vigil in Toronto with his daughter Meghan, before his March 25 hearing before the Federal Court. As Jeremy Hinzman faced final judgment on whether Canada would keep him, Parliament began debate on a bill that would force the government to respect the conscience of U.S. soldiers like Hinzman who fled to Canada rather than fight in Iraq.

The Federal Court of Appeal has reserved judgment on legal issues underpinning Hinzman’s application for humanitarian and compassionate leave to remain in Canada despite a 2008 deportation order. The court’s decision on Hinzman’s case could take months.

Jesus crosses from Quebec to Ontario

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Catholic clergy and young adults paused to adore the Blessed Sacrament on Parliament Hill May 23, during a eucharistic procession that began in Gatineau-Hull and ended at Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral.OTTAWA - A eucharistic procession across the Ottawa River to Parliament Hill May 22 provided a sign of the spread of a new youth movement’s from Quebec to the rest of Canada.

The Pentecost Eve procession crowned the May 21-24 Youth Summit/Montée Jeunesse here.  The summits began in the years leading up to the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City as a way of harnessing youth creativity and energy.  Now the Summits continue as a fruit of the congress.  The Ottawa summit was the sixth and the first held outside of Quebec.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet fires back at critics with funding demand

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Cardinal Marc OuelletOTTAWA (CCN) — Cardinal Marc Ouellet has vowed not to be silenced on the “crime” of abortion and has answered his critics by demanding federal government funding to assist pregnant women.

In an interview on May 23 and at a press conference May 27, Ouellet expressed surprise at harsh political and media reaction to his recent  comments in which he stated that abortion is a moral crime even in cases of rape. He was vilified in the media and one popular La Presse columnist called him an ayatollah and extremist and wished the cardinal would die from a slow, painful illness.  

Cardinal Ouellet abortion comments ignite 'hateful response'

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Cardinal Marc Ouellet and babyOTTAWA - A popular Quebec columnist said he hopes Cardinal Marc Ouellet will die after a long, painful illness because he called abortion a moral crime even in cases of rape.

“Why should we push a woman who has been the victim of a crime to commit one of her own,” Ouellet told a pro-life conference in Quebec City May 15, prompting a province-wide backlash.