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 - As the Taliban issued an explicit threat against Canadian aid workers and killings of NGO staff reached record levels in Afghanistan, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace said it remains committed to its work with women’s groups straddling both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the zone of conflict.

Tough-on-crime election promises released this week by the Conservative Party don't much impress the Church Council on Justice and Corrections.
The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition isn't shy about criticizing the federal Conservatives while the election is on. In an editorial in it's September newsletter the Ontario coalition of faith communities takes the Conservatives to task.

Religion and politics are constant bedfellows, so it's no surprise that Catholics aren't the only ones weighing in on this election. Among the religious voices raised in the early going of the short, six-week campaign, Muslims and Jews each have their concerns.

{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.