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 ecumenical social justice agency KAIROS is dumping five of its 27 employees and trimming its programs to focus on two areas of work.

Staff cuts were triggered by falling revenues from foundations and churches hit hard by last fall’s stock market collapse, said KAIROS executive director Mary Corkery. But even without the dip in investment income KAIROS would have had to eventually trim its expenses, she said.

“It’s a long-term problem. It’s a structural problem,” Corkery said.


{mosimage}TORONTO - Before stock markets around the world crashed in September 2008, $609.23 billion  in Canada was invested with an eye on protecting the environment, treating workers and communities fairly and running the company openly.

Socially responsible investing principles captured 19.9 per cent of more than $3 trillion invested in Canada, according to the second biannual Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review. While total SRI investments climbed 21 per cent between mid-2006 and June 2008, the ethically invested market share remained steady at just under 20 per cent.


{mosimage}TORONTO - Pro-life lawyer Geoff Cauchi thinks it’s a good thing Canada has no law on abortion.

“It’s easier to get people motivated, to get them involved, when you show them, ‘Look, there’s no law; people could have an abortion right up to birth.’ They get shocked and they’re motivated,” said Cauchi, who is on the boards of Alliance for Life Ontario and Life Canada .

In Cauchi’s view the worst thing would be the sort of abortion law England and most European countries have — legal, funded abortion up to 26 weeks, with some legal restrictions on the relatively few late-term abortions.

{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches added some new, Catholic blood at mid-May meetings in Ottawa and began to set the stage for the 2010 G8 meeting of the world's largest economies at the Deerhurst Inn in Huntsville, Ont.

The council admitted the Ukrainian Catholic Church as a full member and elected a new executive which includes a Roman Catholic bishop as vice president. The council now consists of 23 national churches representing 85 per cent of Canada's Christians.


{mosimage}Asking the federal government to develop a poverty reduction plan is just asking them to do their job, according to Citizens for Public Justice executive director Joe Gunn.

Gunn’s ecumenical social justice organization, along with a dozen other church, union and social action organizations have launched Dignity For All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada . The campaign aims to get the public and all federal political parties talking about a realistic plan for reducing Canada’s 10.8 per cent poverty rate.

{mosimage}A Peruvian archbishop is accusing the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of supporting pro-abortion groups in his country.

In a letter dated May 28 but not sent until June 9, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, president of the Peruvian Conference of Catholic Bishops' Commission on the Family, Children and Life, tells Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' president Archbishop James Weisgerber he is "personally concerned about any funding from Catholics of Canada to pro-abortion groups in Peru."

It's the latest turn in a controversy that began in February when LifeSiteNews.com accused Development and Peace of funding pro-abortion advocacy in Mexico.  

{mosimage}Canada Day celebrations will almost certainly praise this country as a tolerant, peaceable nation with a highly developed, secular and multicultural, democratic culture.

That wasn’t what St. Jean de Brebeuf had in mind when he established the first European settlement in Upper Canada in 1639. The mystic Jesuit priest and missionary had a vision of a Christian kingdom in the heart of North America — a theocracy, really — where European and Huron cultures would be mutually transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.

Brebeuf’s vision lasted just 10 years, and the Jesuits ended up burning down their tiny experiment at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons near present-day Midland, Ont., in 1649 to prevent the village falling into the hands of the Iroquois (proxies for the Dutch, whose commercial interests in the fur trade opposed those of France).
{mosimage}The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace’s Mexican partners were “imprudent” when they signed a civil society submission to the United Nations on human rights, but Canada’s bishops have found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Development and Peace or its partners, Archbishop James Weisgerber has declared.

The report into allegations made by LifeSiteNews.com that Development and Peace funded Mexican groups lobbying in favour of legal abortion will include recommendations for tighter protocols on future partnerships, but those recommendations won’t be revealed until all the bishops have had a chance to read the report, said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president.

{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches wants to know who you will be praying with and for between Jan. 18 and 25 next year.

Using its web site and Twitter account, the CCC has launched a pair of surveys to find out how parishes and congregations are praying during the annual Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity. If the answer is that your Catholic parish doesn’t do much to observe the world-wide, Vatican-supported week for Christian unity, they want to hear that too.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute has fired an opening volley in what it sees as a summer-long battle for palliative care and against physician-assisted suicide.

The CCBI has printed 1,600 postcards addressed to Parliament and distributed them to its friends and supporters. The postcards call for the defeat of Bill C-384, a private member’s bill that would remove physician-assisted suicide from the Criminal Code. The bill was introduced to Parliament May 13 by Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde. It’s expected to come up for second reading when Parliament resumes sitting in the fall.