{mosimage}The Montreal diocese received an early Christmas present in the form of its newest priest, Fr. François Charette.

Charette, 31, was ordained for the diocese Dec. 11 after a 13-year journey that began with a conversion of heart, involvement in a pontifical lay community, parish work and missionary work in Latin America.

Canadian senate latest to call for action on poverty

{mosimage}A behemoth, 300-page report with 78 recommendations, the result of two years study and testimony from more than 175 witnesses, has anti-poverty activists hoping Canadians may start thinking and talking about poverty and how to solve it.

In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness was tabled in the Senate Dec. 8. The government will have 150 days to respond to its findings and recommendations once Senators finish commenting on it in January.

KAIROS reapplies for CIDA funding

{mosimage}KAIROS is willing to reapply for Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funding, but the ecumenical justice organization wants to know the new ground rules.

“We’ve already spent six months on this proposal and discussions around this proposal, understanding that this was an excellent proposal and we got an excellent evaluation right in the middle of our work,” said KAIROS executive director Mary Corkery.

At a brief meeting with CIDA Minister Bev Oda, KAIROS “didn’t learn very much,” Corkery said.

Bishop Lahey's case postponed until the new year

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey, who was expected to appear in an Ottawa courtroom Dec. 16 on charges of possession and importation of child pornography, has had his case postponed until Jan. 13.

A lawyer for the former bishop of Antigonish, N.S., asked for the postponement for procedural reasons.

Spanish archbishop chosen as new apostolic nuncio to Canada

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Spanish Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana as the new apostolic nuncio to Canada.

The Holy See made the announcement Dec. 10.

“Once again the Holy Father has shown his great care and love for Canada in assigning a first class nuncio to this country in the person of Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana,” said Salt + Light Television CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica, who first met Canada’s new nuncio at the Secretariat of State when Rosica was preparing for World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.

Quebec to launch consultation on euthanasia

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The Quebec government’s plan to initiate a public debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide should be a catalyst to energize people to speak out against these “deadly practices,” said pro-life groups.

In a Dec. 3 announcement, provincial health minister Yves Bolduc said Quebec will hold public consultations on the question of euthanasia in the new year.

Morally, Canada is complicit if Afghan detainees tortured

{mosimage}TORONTO - Whether Canadian officials in Afghanistan knew that Afghan detainees would be tortured once handed over to the Afghan army, or merely suspected that they might be, Canadians may have involved themselves in the intrinsic evil of torture, according to Catholic theologians.

Government denials which claim Canadians had no concrete evidence of specific cases of Canadian detainees being tortured don’t absolve Canadian officials of moral complicity in torture, said Lee Cormie, professor of Christian ethics at Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College.

Development agencies fear the CIDA chop

{mosimage}The axe that landed on KAIROS , ending 35 years of Canadian International Development Agency funding, has left Canada’s Catholic development organization and others wondering, who’s next?

“It gives all organizations in the development community... pause right now to wonder what’s going on,” said Michael Casey, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

Bishops establish ad hoc committee to help D&P review mandate

{mosimage}OTTAWA - An ad hoc committee of four bishops has been named to help the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace in a renewal process.

“The focus of the committee is to help Development and Peace to review its mandate and to see how they can adjust to the last encyclical letter of the Pope, Caritas in Veritate,” said Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Bishop Pierre Morissette Dec. 3. “We think that there is a lot of very helpful insight in this letter for Development and Peace.”

Conservatives show weakened resolve on death penalty

{mosimage}TORONTO - Heavy condemnation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government for its pick-and-choose approach to protecting Canadians facing the death penalty abroad came up repeatedly during the third annual Cities for Life protest in Toronto.

“We now have, for the first time in more than 50 years, a Prime Minister and a government who support the death penalty, who believe in the death penalty,” said James Lockyer, director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted

Challenge to Morgentaler's Order of Canada dismissed

{mosimage}Order of Canada recipient Frank Chauvin has said thanks, but no thanks, to the country’s highest civilian honour.

Chauvin will be returning his Order of Canada after a federal court judge dismissed his application on Nov. 24 challenging abortion doctor Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the order.

“The Order of Canada is nice and all, but give it to somebody who deserves it and wants it,” Chauvin told The Catholic Register from Windsor, Ont.