Michael Swan, The Catholic Register

Michael Swan, The Catholic Register

Michael is Associate Editor of The Catholic Register.

He is an award-winning writer and photographer and holds a Master of Arts degree from New York University.

Follow him on Twitter @MmmSwan, or click here to email him.

Jeremy HinzmanTORONTO - The federal government can't send Jeremy Hinzman and his family back to the United States just yet.

A unanimous decision of the Federal Court of Appeal has ordered Citizenship and Immigration to consider the AWOL American soldier's religious, political and moral beliefs before deciding whether the Hinzman family can stay in Canada. The Hinzmans reside in Toronto.
Nuclear ExplosionCanada's Christian church leaders have asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get serious about banning nuclear weapons.

Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant bishops and leaders sent a letter to Harper June 25 urging him to "publicly and prominently" recommit Canada "to the energetic pursuit of the early elimination of all nuclear weapons."
salle damAs this year's G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto steer their attention to maternal and child health care in poor countries, Caritas Internationalis and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace are trying to keep the leaders  focused on last year's promises to boost aid spending on food security and agriculture.

The Catholic development agencies have named "the rising food crisis" as their number one priority for the summit of the world's most powerful leaders.
CCIC logoThe umbrella group for 90 religious and secular development aid groups has laid off all but eight of its employees, put its building up for sale and emptied its $500,000 reserve fund for severance packages as it waits for final word on a funding decision from CIDA that’s now three months overdue.

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation is assuming it won’t get the $1.7 million the federal government normally contributes to its $2.4-million budget, said executive director Gerry Barr.
G8 LogoTORONTO - G8 countries have issued themselves a glowing report card complimenting themselves on how "The G8 has acted as a force for positive change and its actions have made a difference in addressing global challenges."

However, an independent academic assessment of G8 performance and comments by aid agencies and activists from poor countries aren't quite so kind.

Canada has lost its traditional second place ranking in the G8 Research Group analysis, keeping just 17 of 24 commitments it made at the last G8 meeting in L'Aquila, Italy.
Maternal healthcareTORONTO - Canada has picked the right issue to push at the G8 meetings in Huntsville, Ont., June 25 and 26, but it hasn't got the math quite right, according to aid groups.

Leaked drafts of the final Huntsville communique indicate Canada is offering $1 billion over five years to tackle maternal and child deaths in poor countries — a commitment that comes in less than the $1.1 billion security budget for the G8/G20 summit and less than the $1.5 billion recently pledged for maternal and child health by Bill and Melinda Gates.

Targeting the health of women and children is the right thing to do, said Michael Casey, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

“It is certainly a huge development priority,” Casey said.

TORONTO - On any given day on Bay Street, Infinium Group makes between 500,000 and one million trades in stocks, stock options, currencies, futures and financial derivatives. As the largest single trader most days on the Toronto Stock Exchange — bigger even than any of the Big Five banks — that’s what it does every day.

Infinium doesn’t make its trades based on the value of companies involved or their plans for new investment. The thousands of trades per second are triggered by computer programs based on mathematical models.

At the G20 meetings in Toronto June 26-27 European countries want to slow down companies like Infinium and their breakneck, second-by-second bets on financial products. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper says no.

It’s a pretty sure bet the Pope is not on Harper’s side on this one.
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.”
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.
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.