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.

Allegations against the Canadian bishops' development agency are a "counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians," say Bishops Martin Currie and Francois Lapierre.

Currie and Lapierre's inquiry into LifeSiteNews.com stories that accused the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of giving money to groups which advocate for legal abortion in Mexico clears the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace of involvement in pushing for legal abortion in Mexico. Having consulted with Mexico's bishops and interviewed five Development and Peace partners whom LifeSiteNews.com said were promoting legal access to abortion, the bishops "did not find any evidence that they have been implicated in promoting abortion," said the report released publicly June 29 (see http://tinyurl.com/mcrpk4 ).

{mosimage}Caritas in Veritate represents something old and something new for Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace members, but it also represents a papal vote of confidence in their work and spirituality, volunteers with the social justice organization told The Catholic Register.

“Reading the encyclical made me more enthusiastic again about Development and Peace,” said Gwen Stang of Macklin, Sask., a member for 20 years.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Getting individual bishops or bishops' conferences to sign off on more than $16 million worth of projects is complicated, but Canada's Catholic development agency is willing to get those signatures and reassure the bishops it's working with the church when it chooses partners.

"The good news is that we're dialoguing on this," said Michael Casey, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. "They've expressed their support for Development and Peace."

TORONTO - Salt+Light Television CEO Fr. Tom Rosica has reacted to daily threats against his life, reputation and ministry, blaming LifeSiteNews for stirring up “division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

Since controversy erupted over Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral in Boston, e-mails and blog postings directed at Rosica have included: “Your grave is dug”; “We will bring down your network”; “We will force you to resign”; and  “We will get the Vatican to rescind your appointment.”

{mosimage}TORONTO - Since July 31 Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been unable to decide whether a 14-year-old refugee abandoned and alone in an African city of three million is an urgent case.

The Tamil boy is a refugee from Sri Lanka’s bitter ethnic war. He doesn’t know whether his family is alive in Sri Lanka’s monsoon-soaked camps or dead. Nobody has heard from them since April and a Red Cross search has so far turned up nothing. Alone in Accra, Ghana, the boy can’t speak English, is frequently bullied and depressed.

{mosimage}A Canadian Jesuit based in Nairobi, Kenya, has been appointed one of about 30 experts who will assist bishops at Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican Oct. 4-25.

Fr. Michael Czerny founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network in 2002 as a way to help Jesuits in Africa work on the problem of AIDS. His appointment as “adiutor secretarii specialis” to the second Synod of Bishops on Africa will require him to step away from running AJAN at least temporarily.

{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches launched a letter into the shark tank of American debate over health care and saw some surprising ripples on the surface.

The Aug. 10 letter to the National Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals became the starting point for journalist David Waters' Aug. 29 "Under God" column in The Washington Post.

{mosimage}Before world leaders gather for their G20 summit in Muskoka next year, world faith leaders will be at the University of Winnipeg to pray that the world’s rich countries get their act together.

The G20 are on track to achieve 51 per cent of the Millennium Development Goals — promises made in 2001, by the G8, which was replaced on Sept. 25 by the G20. World leaders promised to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, fight AIDS, ensure environmental sustainability and establish a new global partnership for development by 2015. The 2010 World Religions Summit aims to remind the G20 of the unfilled promises.
{mosimage}More women are having more babies, but still not enough to sustain Canada’s population, reports Statistics Canada.

The latest numbers are from 2007 and show a 3.7-per-cent increase in births over 2006. It’s the fastest increase in the birth rate since 1989.

The question for some observers is whether the uptick in births has anything to do with public, government policy.

“I don’t think there’s any government policy that can come around and change this way of thinking,” said Andrea Mrozek, the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada’s manager of research. “For decades now we’ve been told that we don’t need a lot of kids — kids are economically a burden, it’s difficult, it’s expensive, will there be day care? — all these sorts of things. I think it’s too late. You can’t turn around now and say, ‘By the way, we think you should have lots of kids.’ ”
{mosimage}More women are having more babies, but still not enough to sustain Canada's population, reports Statistics Canada.

The latest numbers are from 2007 and show a 3.7-per-cent increase in births over 2006. It's the fastest increase in the birth rate since 1989.

The question for some observers is whether the uptick in births has anything to do with public, government policy.