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.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The complaints of peasants and indigenous people in Central America have reached the Toronto Stock Exchange and pushed Goldcorp Inc. off a socially responsible stock index that helps determine at least $33 million in mutual fund investment.

{mosimage}An extra $45 million for the World Food Program plus $5 million more for the ecumenical Canada Foodgrains Bank in Winnipeg will help avert a disaster in much of the world where rising food prices are pushing the 850 million people who live on a dollar a day towards starvation.

"It is a step in the right direction," said Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace director of international programs Gilio Brunelli.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Canada needs a new strategy if it wants to see peace and development in Afghanistan, the new secretary general of Brussels-based Pax Christi International told The Catholic Register.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The debate over how, when, where and whether scientists should be allowed to experiment on human embryonic stem cells should not be left in the hands of bureaucrats, academics and scientists, London Bishop Ron Fabbro said at a Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute conference for doctors April 27.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The founding executive director of Project Ploughshares — one of Canada’s leading Christian voices for peace — wants Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan, for now.

Following 10 days interviewing Afghanis and Canadians in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, Project Ploughshares senior researcher Ernie Regehr concludes Canadian troops are not creating the peace and stability necessary for economic and social development in Kandahar province. However, the soldiers are still necessary to prevent an all-out civil war.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Administrative backlogs, a marriage of convenience with the United States and compromised due process in Canada's refugee system have churches taking Canada's government to the Supreme Court and refugee advocates pushing politicians to live up to a law Parliament passed in 2001 and then re-passed this summer.

The Canadian Council of Churches, Amnesty International and the Canadian Council for Refugees will challenge Canada's Safe Third Country agreement with the United States at the Supreme Court of Canada.

{mosimage}PICKERING, Ont. - As he accepted the blessing of Jesuits and their friends at the end of a St. Ignatius Day Mass in Pickering, Ont. July 31, Fr. Jim Webb took up a "heroic, humble task" in imitation of the man who founded the Jesuits 474 years ago.

Webb officially became the provincial superior for the Jesuits of English Canada, taking over from Fr. Jean-Marc Laporte.

{mosimage}TORONTO - For the second time in just over a year, Montreal-born philosophy professor Charles Taylor is being honoured for a lifetime of thinking about modern life, multiculturalism and morality. Along with University of Toronto molecular biologist Anthony Pawson and University of California computer scientist Richard Karp, Taylor has been tapped for this year's Kyoto Prize, worth $460,000.

Last year Taylor, 76, was granted the $2-million Templeton Prize for Progress or Discoveries in Spiritual Realities. The Kyoto Prize is awarded by the Inamori Foundation for significant contributions to science, culture and the spiritual development of humanity.

{mosimage}TORONTO - More than 60 religious organizations, many of them ecumenical and many of them Catholic, have backed a petition asking Ottawa to halt deportations of U.S. soldiers who have come to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq.

The online petition sponsored by the Quakers asks Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley to create a policy to allow conscientious objectors to stay in Canada. The petition cites the June 3 advisory vote of Parliament which would have allowed American soldiers to stay in Canada as permanent residents.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto’s Catholics are on pace to double the number of refugees they sponsor in 2008, but they face increasing frustration over Iraqi refugees tangled in red tape in Damascus.

It now takes the better part of two years for privately sponsored Iraqi refugees to be processed through the Canadian consulate in Damascus.