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}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.

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.