TORONTO - Blessed Sacrament, the school and parish, pulled together May 1 for a barbecue to mark the joint success in raising funds for the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Family of Faith campaign.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

KATHMANDU, Nepal - Truckloads of relief material organized by church charities began moving across Nepal a week after the Himalayan nation was rocked by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake April 25.

Published in International

Parishioners across the Archdiocese of Toronto have always been generous towards the needs of the greater community. Last fall, I noted that the archdiocese would be undertaking the Family of Faith campaign in parishes, and that it was important to maintain support for ShareLife while we contributed to this effort.

Published in Guest Columns

EDMONTON - Catholic charities are crying foul at the recent Alberta budget cut to the tax credit for charitable donations. 

Once among the highest in the country, the credit has been reduced to 12.75 per cent from 21 per cent for donations of more than $200 — meaning less incentive to give money to charity, including the Church.

Published in Canada

Lent has a way of unsettling us, of shaking up our easy routines and making us question what more we should be doing as part of our Christian obedience.

Published in Guest Columns
December 11, 2014

Beliveau's legacy

Several years ago Jean Beliveau was asked to name the book he would select if he could own just one.

“The Bible,” he told the Montreal Gazette. “It’s a book I could read the rest of my life.”

Published in Editorial

NAIROBI, Kenya - Some church leaders are criticizing a British musicians’ charity group raising funds for the West African Ebola crisis, saying its new single reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa.

Published in Music News

VATICAN CITY - Despite worries about the impact of millions of tourists on Michelangelo’s precious frescoes, the Sistine Chapel is opening its doors for the first time to a new kind of tourist to support Pope Francis’ charities.

Published in Vatican

TORONTO - Toronto’s Catholic school board made its second appearance at Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s annual dusk-to-dawn outdoor art exhibit, this year spreading a message of charity.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for the "globalization of charity" through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees.

Published in Vatican
February 6, 2013

Faith and charity

Charity can exist without faith but faith without charity is illusory. That fundamental truth was underlined by Pope Benedict XVI in his message for Lent in which he said faith and charity are coupled and inseparable.

Published in Editorial

VATICAN CITY - Faith and charity can never be separated nor opposed to each other, just as faith by itself isn't genuine without charity, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Deploring war, civil conflict and poverty around the world, Pope Benedict XVI told foreign ambassadors assembled at the Vatican that peace-building requires charity, religious liberty, a proper understanding of human rights and openness to divine love.

Published in Vatican

OTTAWA - Non-governmental organizations and charities are finding themselves starved for funds as Canada shifts to a trade–oriented approach to overseas development.

Published in Canada
December 5, 2012

Faithful charity

Engaging in charity is central to the mission of the Church or, as Pope Benedict says, “an indispensable expression of her very being.” For 2,000 years, charity has been such an obvious aspect of Christian identity that it was never expressly established in Canon Law as a duty of the bishops. There was no need. It was simply acknowledged by all as being a fundamental teaching of Christ and therefore essential to the practise of the faith.

That changed on Dec. 1 when the Pope issued an apostolic letter to formalize regulations to govern the Church’s charitable activities. He did this, he said, because there was a need to fill a lacuna, the gap between what was being enthusiastically practised but without a legislated framework.

His document will be warmly received by generous Catholics who’ve expressed concern about their donations sometimes going, directly or indirectly, to causes that conflict with Church teaching. In Canada, the most public of these cases involve a small number of agencies affiliated with Development and Peace. Even today, D&P continues to hear occasional suggestions that, despite tighter controls, some of its money finds its way to groups that support abortion.

Benedict’s welcomed decree is a succinct reflection on the essential nature of charity and its integral place in the Church. It’s a call for charities to exemplify Christian life, for the laity to engage in charitable activity and for bishops to provide firm leadership and strict oversight.

Most striking, though, is the Pope’s unequivocal edict that Catholic charities always act in accordance with Church doctrine.

Without exception, they “are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principles,” he said. He has also prohibited these charities from accepting financial support from groups that contravene Church teaching.

Additionally, dioceses and parishes are instructed to prohibit publicity for charitable organizations that contravene Church teaching. The Pope makes it the duty of bishops in particular but also pastors to “ensure that they (charities) are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful.”

These are welcomed words. When Catholics support a Catholic charity they have every right to expect their money is supporting causes that align with their faith. For many years, everyone assumed that was the case. Several recent incidents, however, suggest that has not always been so.

The Pope has now decreed that being faithful is more than merely expected of Catholic charities. It is mandatory. These charities are obligated to strictly adhere to Church doctrine and bishops are formally required to ensure that charities comply.

It’s all about ensuring that Catholic charities are, in every respect, truly Catholic.

Published in Editorial
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