MONTREAL - Montreal's cardinal of the people, Archbishop Emeritus Jean-Claude Turcotte, is dead.

The popular cardinal, who served as Montreal's archbishop for 22 years, died April 8 in Montreal’s Marie-Clarac Hospital.

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MONTREAL - A Catholic deacon who was arrested with more than 100,000 pornographic pictures of children was sentenced Mar. 24 to two years less a day in prison.

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OTTAWA - The Canadian bishops’ doctrine commission, in a new booklet, is stressing the role of all Catholics in the new evangelization.

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OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops examine the church's connection with other Christian churches in a document marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism.

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The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops may have to re-fight a battle with the federal government over the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

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BEAUPRÉ, QUE. - The mission of the Church in North American is to go “con-cretely to places on the periphery,” Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega told Canada’s bishops on Sept. 16.

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BEAUPRÉ, QUE. - Canada's bishops will launch a national campaign this fall to combat a push in Canada to legalize euthanasia.

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president has written to the Archbishop of Moncton to offer condolences after the shooting deaths of three Mounties in the Maritime city June 4.

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When Canada’s Catholic bishops last year spoke out yet again on the environment they were hoping they wouldn’t have the last word on the subject. Now a Catholic video production company along with several parishes and religious orders are hoping to get Catholic students and parishioners talking with the launch of Green Spirit TV.

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has raised concerns about “serious challenges” at home and abroad in an open letter to Prime Minister Harper dated April 17.

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OTTAWA - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his “extraordinary leadership” on the day the world found the pontiff would be stepping down from the papacy.

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OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops have denounced recent statements made in Canada by the Society of St. Pius X superior that “the Jews” are the “enemies of the Church.”

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wants something substantial to come out of the Jan. 11 meeting between the government and indigenous leaders.

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OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president has sent a condolence letter concerning the Dec. 14 school shootings to his American counterpart.

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A “culture of silence” and deference to “political conservatism” has infected the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), charges the head of the Jesuit-founded Centre Justice et Foi (Justice and Faith) in Montreal.

In an open letter to CCCB president Archbishop Richard Smith, Elisabeth Garant said the elimination of the CCCB’s post of senior advisor for social justice, delaying and blunting the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s fall education campaign, inviting Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney to a private meeting and not criticizing refugee policy reforms amount to a “serious step back away from the rich Church tradition of social justice.”

Garant’s letter will be on the agenda of the next CCCB executive committee meeting Nov. 27-28. Until then, the conference has chosen to make no comment.

Garant served five years as a member of the CCCB’s Commission on Justice and Peace. She accuses the bishops of cozying up to the Conservative government because, she said, the CCCB has not engaged the Canadian government on an issue of social justice since December 2010. At that time, Kenney dismissed a letter from the bishops’ justice and peace commission as another in “a long tradition of ideological bureaucrats who work for the bishops’ conference producing political letters signed by pastors who may not have specialized knowledge in certain areas of policy.”

“From that moment we observe a silence,” said Garant. “Why are we silent on things that are not our personal issues but that we think for the common good we need to talk about?”

She also questions the CCCB for laying off social justice advisor Francois Poitras in order to help get its finances in order.

CCCB General Secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers has said layoffs were necessary. “We have had to rethink the way we do things, to do more and to cost less,” he told Canadian Catholic News.

“When Msgr. Powers said that this responsibility (for social justice) will be spread among other lay people at the conference, I don’t know any of them who have the experience or the competence to deal with social justice,” she said.

Garant also disputes the CCCB’s explanation behind the delay of the Development and Peace fall campaign. In a joint letter, the CCCB and Development and Peace explained that the campaign was delayed and modified because “concern was expressed that elements of the original materials could be a source of division among bishops, priests, parishioners and donors.”

“They are saying they do that for the sake of some faithful who will be hurt,” said Garant. “There’s no real proof of what they are talking about.”

Garant has yet to receive acknowledgment of her letter from the CCCB or Smith. Smith was in Rome in early November.

Though the Centre Justice et Foi has autonomy, it remains a Jesuit apostolate with the full confidence of Canada’s French-speaking Jesuit fathers, said Garant.

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