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 Catholic  Organization For Life and Family wants families to discover the sexual liberation buried in long-neglected Catholic teaching.

In its annual message to families, COLF uses the "theology of the body" as a way of talking about sexuality. COLF's goal is to disentangle thinking about sex from  sexual politics, commercialization, media images and pornography.

Catholics aren't the only Christians interested in politics. At www.ecumenism.net the ecumenical movement in Canada is highlighting all the election guides and kits put out by various churches.

Canada's Catholic bishops have released a four-page Federal Election 2008 Guide on their web site. The bishops take on complacency and apathy. "Catholics have an obligation to be interested in politics," they write in the introduction.

Two-tier medicine that puts the rich at the head of the line for everything from cancer therapy to hip replacements and legislation that would make cheap and easy euthanasia more readily available than quality palliative care are issues the Catholic Health Association hopes voters will question before they cast their ballots Oct. 14.

Jesuit Father Jim Profit is hopeful that political debate in Canada has begun to take notice of the state of the ecology. "Ultimately if the Earth doesn't survive the rest of us won't survive either. It's a key issue," said the director of the Jesuit Collaborative for Ecology, Forestry and Agriculture in Guelph.

It probably comes as no surprise to many Catholics that Nicole Charbonneau Barron, is running in the Montreal riding of St. Bruno-St. Hubert for the Conservatives. Charbonneau Barron is a member of Opus Dei, and the personnel prelature to the pope is generally associated with conservative, right wing politics.

{mosimage}Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop of Montreal, is returning his Order of Canada to protest the decision to honour Dr. Henry Morgantaler with Canada's highest civilian award.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's promise to get Canadian troops out of Afghanistan at the end of 2011 is good, but not good enough for Catholics for Peace – Toronto.

{mosimage}TORONTO - With 97 Canadian soldiers dead and many more injured, a record year for attacks on development workers and mounting evidence that NATO is losing the war in Afghanistan some might have expected the war to be a major issue in the Canadian election campaign.

"It's not an issue because the Liberals gave the issue away when they voted for the Conservative extension to 2011, so there's no difference really between the Conservative and the Liberal position on this," said left-leaning Rideau Institute defence analyst Stephen Staples.
{mosimage}TORONTO - The Make Poverty History coalition of more than 1,000 individuals, churches, unions and organizations complains that the Conservative Party is missing in action on poverty issues.

Make Poverty History managed to get four of the five national party leaders to answer specific questions on poverty reduction leading up to the Oct. 14 federal election. The video of those interviews is available at www.makepovertyhistory.ca/ontherecord .