Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

Too much intrusion

Re: Lay chaplains (Letter to the Editor, Dec. 2):

There are two aspects of Mr. Klaassen’s letter which deserve comment. The first is his suggestion for lay chaplains is in direct contradiction of the Code of Canon Law c.564: “A chaplain is a priest to whom is entrusted in a stable manner the pastoral care . . .

The second addresses his statement: “But the military chaplaincy ought to be civilian.” Submitting to this contradiction to the Church’s authority would be a weakening of the Church’s authority. There is far too much of that intrusion into and against the Church already, isn’t there?

David A. Hogg

Scarborough, Ont.


In the winter of 1964, Parliament was a hotbed of debate. With Canada’s 100th birthday just two-and-a-half years away, politicians were busily trying to come to some sort of agreement on a new national flag to replace the Red Ensign. The Great Canadian Flag Debate officially began in June 1964 and after six months of often bitter argument, it finally ended on Dec. 15, 1964 as the Liberals invoked closure, much to the chagrin of Conservative leader John Diefenbaker. Two months later, the new flag flew for the first time, prompting this letter to The Catholic Register editor from an unnamed seminarian at Toronto’s St. Augustine’s Seminary.

Few events in recent Canadian history have had a greater impact than the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal. The gunman, Marc Lepine, killed 14 women and injured 14 others in the Dec. 6, 1989 attack before killing himself. His suicide note revealed his hatred of feminists. In the wake of the tragedy, there were changes to gun laws and the creation of an annual national day of remembrance on Dec. 6 to recognize violence against women. Five days following the attack, a funeral Mass for nine of the women was held at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica, as reported in The Register:

A peacemaker

Re: Reflections of a nation in a time of grief (Nov. 18):

Fr. J.A. McDonagh’s account of the events following John F. Kennedy’s assassination was remarkable. Reflecting on the tragedy, he wrote: “Nothing will be the same again until merciful time has weighed all the evidence produced.” 

Canada has had a long tradition of welcoming refugees looking to escape persecution. One of the most seminal events in that history came in the fall of 1956, when Hungarians revolted against their Communist rulers. They were met with a massive show of force as Soviet tanks rolled through the streets of Budapest and crushed the revolt within days. In early November, thousands of Hungarians began fleeing to Austria. Canada reacted quickly, providing swift approval of refugee claims and within a month they began arriving. Eventually Canada gave asylum to about 37,500 Hungarians and lent support in their first year in Canada. The majority were Roman Catholic, so it’s no surprise the Church played an important role dealing with the new arrivals as this Register story from the Dec. 8, 1956 illustrates. 


While strongly endorsing the mission and work of Development and Peace, the Catholic Women’s League is asking its parish councils to hold off on sending funds to the organization as Canada’s bishops continue to investigate D&P’s project partners.

The principal of St. Michael's College School and its board president have both resigned as the fallout continues from the allegations of assault and sexual assualt at the all-boys Catholic school.

Measurable standards

Re: Great Expectations (Nov. 11):

Director of education Ab Falconi from York Catholic District School Board is proud that Ontario Catholic schools graduate a higher percentage of students than public schools. On the surface this sounds really good, but what does it actually mean? Do we know that it’s not a case of removing the net so that every student can play tennis? 

An iconic Canadian Catholic high school is reeling following the arrest of six students who are charged with assault and sexual assault following an alleged incident in a locker-room that was posted on social media.

Catholic Register columnist Robert Brehl’s fifth book, Right Hand Man, published by Barlow Books, was released this month. It is a collaboration on the memoirs of businessman and philanthropist Phil Lind, who guided the genius of Rogers Communications founder Ted Rogers for 40 years. In 1998 Lind was felled by a massive stroke at age 54. He had to re-learn how to talk, walk, write with his left hand and more. But with dogged determination, Lind went on to some of his most important career victories — proving there can still be lots of life (and lots of obstacles to overcome) after a debilitating stroke. In this abridged excerpt, Lind and Brehl, who got to know Lind while reporting on business for the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, describe the immediate days after the stroke.