Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Choosing abortion over morning sickness

I received an e-mail last week from someone in another Canadian diocese regretting that they didn't have the equivalent of Pro-Life Sunday, which we marked here June 21. The Archdiocese of Vancouver is known for being a very pro-life diocese, but here's a way to support the culture of life that I'll bet most pro-lifers have never considered: support a mother-to-be suffering from morning sickness. This article explains that the term "morning sickness" trivializes what is actually a more incapacitating condition, hyperemesis gravidarum. It tells the story of a mother who underwent an abortion rather than face the months of nausea that accompanied her first pregnancy, while suggesting that with proper support and medical help, perhaps a life could have been spared.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What abortion fight?

If you watched the G8/G20 coverage, you may have listened to reports of the maternal health plan with an ear for the A word. Abortion never came up, and Norman Spector in the Globe and Mail observes how the tempest in a teapot was fuelled by politicians and media.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I am for life," says Andrea Bocelli

"Because of my personal convictions as a devout Catholic, I am not only fighting against something, I am fighting for something - and I am for life." - Andrea Bocelli. Check out this link on Youtube to see how doctors tried to convince the blind singer's mother to abort him after she suffered an attack of appendicitis. Doctors said that the child would be born with a disability. “Maybe I am partisan, but I can say it was the right choice,” says Bocelli in the video. It's part of the Whole Life Initiative.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Montreal Catholic high school wins in court

A victory for a Catholic high school in Montreal, and religious and academic freedom in Canada, thanks to a Quebec Superior Court ruling that Loyola High School could be exempted from a controversial government ethics and morality course that essentially makes all religions morally equivalent. In his ruling, Judge Gerard Dugre also took a strip off the Quebec government for its heavy handed refusal to give the high school the exemption it requested. Loyola maintained it was already delivering the government-required content, albeit through a Catholic lens. The judge pointed out Canadian society is based on principles "recognizing the supremacy of God and the primacy of the law — both of which benefit from constitutional protection" -- a principle often forgotten or ignored in Canada lately.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Religion coverage in Canada

One of Canada's national newspapers does a better job of covering religion than the other, and it's not The Globe and Mail. Here Charles Lewis of The National Post explains his newspaper's enthusiastic approach toward religion.

Vatican flag in Vancouver captures attention

Here's a neat tweet from someone who spotted the Vatican flag hanging outside our building at Robson and Cambie.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Extending the Year for Priests

The Year for Priests may be over, but The B.C. Catholic will continue honouring our clergy in its pages. For the past year, we've been running profiles of priests in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, a project largely co-ordinated by reader Lynne Heathe. We still have a few profiles left to run, but this is an invitation to tell us about the priest who made (or makes) a difference in your life. It may be your pastor or someone else, but send us your article about him and we'll try to use it.
Meanwhile, our very own Father Alessandro Lovato of Immaculate Conception in Delta is profiled in this month's issue of Columbia, the Knights of Columbus monthly magazine.

Faithful Catholic Media: a mutually exclusive term?

Can you be a media outlet that's faithfully Catholic at the same time? Absolutely. For more on the topic, see the Archdiocese of Toronto blog report on a discussion of the subject at the recent Catholic Press Association conference in New Orleans.

UVic pro-lifers score victory

The University of Victoria’s pro-life club has won a surprising victory in its freedom of speech battle with the student society, reports Steve Weatherbe. The newly elected student society’s board has decided to reverse the rulings of two previous boards since 2008 to withhold Youth Protecting Youth’s funding. As well as paying $719 in club grants withheld since 2008, the board removed several amendments to the society’s anti-harassment policies made by the outgoing board, designed to ban prolife advocacy from the campus. Watch for the full story in next week's B.C. Catholic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

B.C. Catholic is blogging, Facebooking and Twittering

Just for the record, we're now blogging, Facebooking, and Twittering. Come check us out! Get a head's up on next week's paper.

Pope John XXIII's Tips for a Happy Life

Well here's an interesting item: Ten Tips for Living a Better Life, courtesy of Pope John XXIII. I admit when I first saw it I was skeptical. Sure to be just an urban legend that actually came from Ann Landers or Deepak Chopra or someone. But no, here it is, straight from the Vatican.

Friday, June 11, 2010

B.C. Catholic launches Facebook site

Welcome to The B.C. Catholic's new Facebook site. OK, there's not much there yet, but from tiny acorns grow mighty oaks! Please say hi!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Archbishop Miller's schedule now on line

Over the past few months, the Archbishop’s Office and the Vancouver archdiocesan web committee have been working toward publicizing diocesan and parish events that Archbishop J. Michael Miller plans to attend. You can take a look at his schedule on the RCAV archdiocesan website.

Sad day for the unborn, and democracy, in B.C.

Turns out we're not entitled to know how many abortions are performed at Kelowna General and Vancouver General Hospitals. In fact, we're not even going to have a hearing into whether the statistics can be released. In a move that looks downright machiavellian, BC’s Information and Privacy senior adjudicator Celia Francis has agreed with the hospitals that the review process should be cancelled, since there's no likelihood the stats will ever be made available. That ends the request by pro-lifers Ted Gerk and John Hof for a review of the policy against releasing the information. They're planning to turn their attention now into exposing the sorry state of democracy in B.C. when you can't even ask for a review of an undemocratic policy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

National Post editorial on Catholics

A little late getting around to posting this, but here's a fair and common-sense editorial in the National Post, pulling together the recent controversies about Cardinal Ouellet, Opus Dei, abortion, Marci McDonald's new book, and right-wing elements in the Conservative party. What ties them all together? Hatred of the Catholic Church.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pampers baby app: the culture of life on your iPad

Check out Pampers' new Hello Baby app for iPad. Makes me want to get an iPad just for this.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Use new media to touch people's hearts: Pope

If Catholic communicators are to use new media effectively, they must use it in ways that touch people’s hearts and draw them to living faith communities, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message for the annual meeting of the Catholic Press Association taking place in New Orleans. The 2010 meeting is focusing on the theme “Spreading the Good News – Byte by Byte,” which “highlights the extraordinary potential of the new media to bring the message of Christ and the teaching of His Church to the attention of a wider public,” the Pope said.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Courage to Come Back

Starr Peardon, who founded the Talitha Koum Society, a non profit organization to help women with addictions and legal troubles, has been named this year's Courage to Come Back recipient by Coast Mental Health. Clean and sober for 16 years, Peardon has opened three shelters to help women make a fresh start after God helped her turn her own life around. Read in an upcoming B.C. Catholic about her journey to sobriety and how she has assisted hundreds of women to recover their lives.

3 ordinations in next week's B.C. Catholic

Three ordinations took place in the Archdiocese of Vancouver just as the Year for Priests comes to an end. It's in next week's B.C. Catholic, along with a look at Notre Dame Secondary's new building and a story about the archdiocese's ecclesial communities (Focalare, Couples for Christ, L'Arche Greater Vancouver and others) getting together to celebrate for the first time. Here's a preview.

Hedy Fry ducks abortion debate

A B.C. Member of Parliament has backed down from her challenge to debate anyone on the topic of abortion. Last month the CBC reported that Hedy Fry (Liberal, Vancouver Centre) had "all her arguments ready" and was set to take on anyone in an abortion debate. B.C. pro-lifer Stephanie Gray, whose mother was a patient of Dr. Fry's while pregnant with Gray, offered to take her up on the invitation. Now it turns out Fry didn't exactly mean "anyone." It's so disappointing when you can't take an esteemed pro-choice politician at her word.
Stephanie Gray

Mythbusters: abortion edition

Canadian ethicist Margaret Somerville has her own version of Mythbusters going on in this article in the Montreal Gazette. Just like the TV show whose experts pronounce "busted" or "confirmed" after examining each myth, Somerville goes through a couple of the leading myths surrounding abortion in Canada, and she ably busts both of them.

Opus Dei under fire in Ottawa

"Are you now, or have you ever been a member of Opus Dei?" That seems to be the underlying question on Parliament Hill, with Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe leading the charge against the "fundamentalist religious right." A wonderful interview by CBC's Evan Solomon with Msgr. Fred Dolan of Opus Dei and conservative protagonist Ezra Levant. Quote of the interview, New Democrat MP Pat Martin in a press scrum saying Opus Dei gives him "the creeps." Second best quote: Msgr. Dolan's response: "That's like calling apple pie creepy."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vocations labyrinth: the 6th installment!

The B.C. Catholic and the Archdiocese of Vancouver Vocations Office are presenting a six-month spiritual journey entitled The Vocation Labyrinth. Each week, Vocations Director Father Hien Nguyen blogs his response to one of 23 vocations questions. Here is his sixth entry -- Paul Schratz.

How do I follow my vocation?

One of the main problems for many young people in following a vocation is making a commitment.
There are many choices offered to young people which are not helping but rather contributing to their confusion. Let me quickly give you an example.
On a recent plane flight I was offered a drink. I just asked for a tea and immediate was faced with the following choices: What kind? With or without milk? Sugar? One or two cubes?
I have seen many young people sitting on a fence, looking, and sometimes not knowing what to decide for years.
Of course we need to discern and do it well with the help of the Holy Spirit, spiritual director, and those who assist us. However, even in the process of discernment we have to commit.
We cannot say one day I want to be this and the next day that, or I want to be both. The first rule in this situation is “to put all eggs in one basket.”
We cannot discern two vocations at the same time. Once we have a sense that God is calling us to a vocation, then we need to commit ourselves to it and discern whole heartedly until we are certain whether it is or is not for us.
This means that we need to make a step forward. If we sense that the priesthood is where the Holy Spirit is leading us, then go to the seminary. If it is religious life then go to the community to discern. If it is married life then seriously discern with your counterpart.
We have to remember that we need to do our part by making the choice. Indecision in our commitment will stall our journey and become a cause of negligence in our duty to respond to God’s call.
We will focus our discussion next week around discernment and our freedom in doing so. Please give a thought throughout this week and talk to you again next week.
With prayers,
Fr. Hien Nguyen

An oilslick larger than the Lower Mainland

To fully appreciate the size of the oil slick off the Gulf Coast, here's an interactive map that will locate a graphic of the spill anywhere you like. Just type Mt. Vernon, WA, for instance, in the search field and watch the oil slick get repositioned, stretching from the Archdiocese of Seattle to the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Intolerance of Christians in Canada on the rise

A once-passive intolerance of Christians is becoming active, writes Ezra Levant in the National Post. "There is a concerted effort to name Christians and drive them out of office, to delegitimize the very idea of Christians participating in public life."

Discrimination against LFA students

A youth reporter at the Richmond Review writes about discrimination against Little Flower Academy students.

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