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Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

Hopes dashed

I was filled with hope when I read that the federal government plans to drop the contentious anti-abortion test for summer job funding. But on further reading, my hopes were dashed. 

In order to receive summer-job funding for students, groups no longer have to attest to supporting reproductive rights, but the new wording is just as restrictive and just as vile. Applicants must declare they won’t work to infringe on any Canadian legal rights. 

Keep in mind that Canada has no laws on abortion. Abortion is not illegal but there are no laws or statutes giving women the legal right to kill their unborn child.

Other changes still deny pro-life groups from accessing summer-job funding. Any project or summer job that tries to “restrict access for a woman’s ability to access sexual or reproductive health services” (a euphemism for abortion) will be disqualified.

I see this as a ploy to divide faith-based groups from pro-life groups. Trudeau and the Liberals are concerned about public opinion before the next election. This is just a way to appease faith groups until the election. Then, should the Liberals win, we can expect the full weight of government to come down on faith groups.

Margaret Mountain,

North Gower, Ont.


Canada’s David Saint-Jacques joined the exclusive club of space explorers when he blasted off to the International Space Station on Dec. 3, almost 46 years after NASA ended the Apollo program that put men on the moon. On Dec. 19, 1972, the last Apollo mission ended with the splashdown of the Apollo 17 capsule. It was an historic achievement, though by this time — after five previous moon landings in three years — the excitement of moon landings was waning. The last moon mission, however, held a deeper meaning for Fr. Harold O’Neill, who was a professor of dogmatic theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. At the time he wrote this for The Register, he was studying at the University of Regensburg in West Germany, where he drew inspiration from a lecture by Professor Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI.


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?