Friday, August 31, 2012

Grotto pilgramage

Annual trek offers insight into upcoming Year of Faith activities in the Archdiocese of Vancouver
Catholic Pilgrims carry a statue of Our Lady during the annual pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission Aug. 18. P.G. Corr / Special to The B.C.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Karen Murphy Corr this year's procession at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission:
For nine years Squamish tribe elder Wendy M. Charbonneau has led the procession at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission during the annual pilgrimage. However this year, more than in past years, she relied on her love for Jesus and His mother to help her walk the steep hill at Fraser River Heritage Park. 
People from all over the archdiocese joined in the pilgrimage Aug. 18. 
"I've had chronic rheumatoid arthritis in my spine now for several years, but osteoarthritis developed this past year in my shoulders and hips. I also have nerve damage in my foot so I usually use a scooter now," Charbonneau explained softly.
Read the whole story at The B.C. Catholic website.

A Paralympian from the archdiocese

St. Matthew's parishioner pushes into London hosted games
Paralympian Nathan Dewitt races down a track at Holy Cross High School.
The 21-year-old St. Matthew's parishioner will race Sept. 4 and 8.
The Paralympic Games in London will run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.
The Surrey Now / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story about wheelchair racer Nathan Dewitt who will be competing in the Paralympic Games in London:

Coaches and therapists told Nathan Dewitt early in his wheelchair-racing days that he had talent, and that if he kept working hard he could one day compete in the Paralympic Games.
The 21-year-old parishioner at St. Matthews in Surrey never quite believed those words until he qualified for the Canadian Paralympic team this year.
"It was one those goals I didn't think I would actually fulfill," Dewitt said. But the humble Surrey resident was lauded for his ability early in his career, winning the Avche Pinkard Rookie of the Year Award (Wheelchair Race Series) and named the B.C. Athlete with a Disability of the Year in 2007.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Historic crossroads for U.S.

Glendon: economic, cultural concerns make 2012 election historic

Here is a Catholic News Agency story about Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, who believes that the 2012 presidential election will be a historic crossroads for the United States.

"I think this may be the most important election in many, many years, and the reasons for saying that are both economic and cultural," she told CNA Aug. 24.

Glendon, who was recently appointed vice-chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, says American voters face a choice between a Democratic Party that is "very devoted to and willing to give priority to what I would call the 'lifestyle liberties,'" and a Republican Party that is more supportive of "the family and the small institutions of civil society and religion."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Amnesty calls for Vietnamese priest's release

Communist country has held Father Nguyen Van Ly in prison off and on since 1970

Father Nguyen Van Ly
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Ramon Gonzalez of the Western Catholic Reporter about Amnesty International's call to release a Vietnamese priest who has been imprisoned in the communist country for advocating for freedom:
Father Ly, 64, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for consistently calling for more religious freedom and for his long-standing criticism of the human rights policies of the Vietnamese government. 
In March 2010 he was temporarily allowed out of prison for medical treatment after he suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. 
However, in July 2011 he was taken back to Ba Saoi prison accused of inciting dissent. He is said to be in poor health and is partially paralyzed as a result of the stroke.
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

New CWL president-elect from Vancouver

Archdiocese's vice chancellor may become the third B.C. president
Barbara Dowding

The B.C. Catholic has a story about the Catholic Women's League's new president-elect Barbara Dowding:
Barbara Dowding has been elected president-elect of the Catholic Women's League of Canada. Dowding, vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, was a member of the executive committee elected at the CWL's national convention Aug. 12 to 15 in Edmonton. 
Dowding is excited about the new challenge. "There's a new interest in the CWL from younger women because they are starting to understand we do more than just bake," she joked. "We all have great hope. This new executive is forward thinking. We aren't so young in age but we are young in ideas and in vision."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

A plug for freedom

Final Republican platform has strong religious freedom plank
A view of Tampa, Fla., host of the 2012 Republican National Convention

The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Agency story about religious freedom being a major theme in the Republican Party's new platform:

The U.S. Republican Party included a significant section on the importance of religious freedom in its new official platform, adopted Aug. 28 in Tampa, Fla.
"We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government," stated the 2012 Republican platform, which was formally approved at the party's national convention.
The party explained that its positions respect "God-given individual rights," including the freedom "of every American to follow his or her beliefs."
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No to pipeline, says Christian group

Kairos objects to Northern Gateway pipeline
Environmentalists aren't the only ones opposed to a proposed pipeline that would run through B.C. The B.C. Catholic has a story by Ramon Gonzalez of the Western Catholic Reporter about a Christian think tank's opposition  to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline:

The ecumenical group Kairos says the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., would have serious implications for the economy, ecology, and Canada’s relations with aboriginal people.
“Key concerns for Kairos include whether or not indigenous rights will be fully respected,” says Jennifer Henry, the group’s executive director.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

New Dominican monastery rises in B.C. wilderness

Archbishop Miller blesses and anoints the new home for St. Dominic's contemplative nuns
The new Queen of Peace Monastery. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic
The Archdiocese of Vancouver has a new monastery, and The B.C. Catholic was on hand for its blessing:
After settling in B.C. 11 years ago, the Dominican Contemplative Sisters welcomed hundreds of guests, both lay and religious, to their new home for a dedication Mass at the brand new Queen of Peace Monastery. 
"This monastery and its chapel bridge the gap between beauty in the world of nature and the unfathomable beauty of eternal life, between the beauty of things and God Who is beauty itself," Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said during his homily Aug. 8 on the Feast of St. Dominic.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Witch hunt in Pakistan

Vatican defends child with Down syndrome accused of burning Quran
This Catholic News Agency story relates that Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, the head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has voiced support for a Christian Pakistani girl with Down syndrome who was arrested for allegedly burning pages of the Quran.

Reports from some humanitarian organizations in the region said the girl unintentionally burned the pages because they were mixed in with a pile of trash she collected to make a fire for cooking. Neighbours allegedly burst into her home and accused her and her family of burning the Quran.

This is not the first time the Vatican has spoken out on such a case. The Holy See has also called for the release of Asia Bibi, a Catholic mother of five in Pakistan who remains imprisoned for allegedly violating the country's blasphemy laws. She has been given a death sentence despite her insistence that she is innocent.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WYD again

World Youth Day Rio opens registration Aug. 28
Organizers for World Youth Day Rio 2013 announced that registration for the event will begin Tuesday, Aug. 28.

They pointed young people to the official Pilgrim's Guide, which was released on July 31, and contains basic information about registration and frequently asked questions.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, August 24, 2012

New CWL president has spiritual focus

Betty Ann Brown Davidson, installed during the 92nd annual national convention

New Catholic Women's League president
Betty Ann Brown Davidson
The B.C. Catholic has a story about the new president of the Catholic Women's League. Ramon Gonzalez of the Western Catholic Reporter caught up with Betty Ann Brown Davidson at the organization's conference in Edmonton:
The new national president of the Catholic Women’s League is a deeply spiritual woman who wants league members to foster a relationship with Jesus.
Accordingly, president Betty Ann Brown Davidson has chosen a more spiritual theme for her two-year term: "We Have Seen the Lord." 
“This is because the Church is starting the new evangelization and we are having a Year of Faith,” she explained. “It’s the idea that we are resurrection women like the women after Jesus rose and it’s up to us to go and tell the Gospel story. 
“That’s what I want them to do — to whisper the Gospel.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

LCWR myths exposed

National Catholic Register tells a different story about the liberal nuns

A photo of an unnamed nun professing support
for abortion is posted on Dan Burke's
blogpost on the National Catholic Register
Dan Burke, executive director of the National Catholic Register, shares his thoughts on the recent dispute between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in a recent blogpost on the Register's website. Burke says the nuns are not being attacked by Rome over doctrinal issues as reported by many in the mainstream media:
One of the great privileges of our work at the National Catholic Register is that we have the opportunity to counteract the distortion in the secular media that is often birthed out of the ranks of even those who claim to love God, the Church, and those in need. Yes, to be clear, there are many within the LCWR that do love and worship in spirit and truth. They are the many who are undervalued, mistreated and who still quietly give their lives away on a day-to-day basis.
Burke writes these "undervalued" nuns are often not supported by LCWR leadership, and are often suppressed:
We are aware of many who are suppressed by their very own leaders (those nice-sounding ladies you see at the press conferences who speak in soft, gentle, and peaceful tones of “dialogue” and "contemplation"). You heard me right. The surface claim that these women live in democratically ordered communities and that these communities are perfectly represented by the LCWR is, in fact, often not the case.
The post also lists several Register stories and opinion pieces regarding the issue. To read the whole post click here.

It's time to debate abortion

McGill's medical ethics and law director lists the issues

Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth,
author of Motion-312.
The Ottawa Citizen has an informative opinion piece by Margaret Somerville, director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law, who concludes it's time to have an abortion debate in Canada:
Pro-choice advocates have passionately opposed MP Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion to set up a parliamentary committee to examine the definition of “human being” in the Criminal Code, arguing “there is nothing to discuss.” This definition provides that “a child becomes a human being” only at birth. They fear a discussion could result in some legal recognition of unborn children and the enactment of some law governing abortion.
The Canadian Medical Association has just adopted a resolution also recommending that parliamentarians should vote against such a discussion. They, too, are concerned that parliamentarians might agree that some law is needed and physicians would then run the risk of becoming criminals and going to jail. Obviously they must not believe that their members would obey the law.
Pro-life advocates want the debate.
So what are the issues? 
Read the full story on the Ottawa Citizen website.

Another religious-freedom suit in U.S.

Woman-friendly Catholic business sues over HHS mandate

Catholic News Agency has a story about a businesswoman who has filed the most recent lawsuit against the federal contraception mandate.

"I'm a total integrated person," said Mary Anne Yep, co-founder and vice president of Triune Health Group. She believes that the government must respect her identity as a Catholic woman as well as a business owner.

Yep told CNA Aug. 23 that she cannot separate her identity as a woman, a business owner, and a Catholic. The government cannot expect her to "carve out a portion" of herself during working hours, she said.

Yep helped found Triune Health Group in 1990, along with her husband, Christopher, the company's president and CEO. The company was recently named the Best Place to Work for Women in the Chicago metro area by Crain's Chicago Business magazine.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Secular constitution would exclude religious believers

Religious freedom expert says the Parti Quebecois's proposed Charter of Secularism would violate the Charter

Iain Benson
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about a constitutional lawyer's concern that the proposed Charter of Secularism would stifle religious involvement in Quebec politics:
“Religions in Quebec have rights, and one of these rights is not to be forced out of the public sphere by the beliefs of atheism and agnosticism dominating the public,” said constitutional lawyer and international religious freedom expert Iain Benson in an email interview. 
Benson said he was “startled” by PQ Leader Pauline Marois’s proposed Charter of Secularism that would prohibit government employees from wearing religious symbols such as hijabs, kirpans (ceremonial daggers required by baptized Sikhs), turbans, and kippahs (or yarmulkes, the skullcaps worn by Jewish men). The Charter of Secularism, which seems to be a work in progress, would allow the wearing of an unobtrusive crucifix. 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Turning again to Our Lady

Pope explains how Mary's queenship points to Jesus
This Catholic News Agency story relates that Pope Benedict XVI has recommended that Christians look to the queenship of Mary, who is "queen in the service of God to humanity," as a sure guide towards her Son.

"Dear friends, devotion to Our Lady is an important part of spiritual life. In our prayer we should not fail to turn to her, confident that Mary will intercede for us with her Son," the Pope said to pilgrims during his Aug. 22 general audience at Castel Gandolfo.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

'No' to 'same-sex marriage'

Scottish cardinal ends dialogue with government over 'gay marriage'

Cardinal Keith P. O'Brien has broken off direct talks with the Scottish government in protest over their decision to back "same-sex marriage," this Catholic News Agency story reports.

The cardinal's actions follow the Scottish government's move last month to legislate for "same-sex marriage," despite nearly two-thirds of those who responded to their official consultation being against the initiative. In total, 64 per cent of the 77,508 who replied said they did not want marriage redefined.

In June, leading Scottish lawyer Aidan O'Neill warned that "same-sex marriage" legislation will radically undermine religious liberty in Scotland.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saint makes it into movies

St. Augustine premiers on the big screen
Restless Heart, a feature film about the famous theologian St. Augustine of Hippo, is now available for sponsored screenings across the U.S., Catholic News Agency reports.

Ignatius Press, the film's American distributor, is encouraging individuals, parishes, church groups, and other organizations to have the film shown in their towns.

Interested groups and individuals should work with local theatres and other venues to book a screen. Ignatius Press said it will provide a copy of the film and a complete promotional kit for "an affordable fee."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

U.S. bishops urge cooperative effort to renew economy

Economy should place working people and their families at the centre, says Bishop Blaire

The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Agency story about the U.S. bishops' point man on domestic justice issues, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, who is calling on an economic renewal in America:
“Everyone and every institution has a role to play in building a more just economy,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He recalled the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II that both “society and the state must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website. 

Historic visit for Ukrainian Catholics

Ukrainian shepherd to visit Eparchy of New Westminster

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk.
The B.C. Catholic previews the upcoming pastoral visit from Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk to the Eparchy of New Westminster:
While the major archbishop hasn't spent much time in North America, his trip to B.C. won't be the first time he's visited this province. 
"He has been to Vancouver before as a student priest," said Ken Nowakowski, Eparch (Bishop) of New Westminster and friend of Major Archbishop Shevchuk. "He came to have a little holiday in Victoria and Vancouver."

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pro-life walk across America finishes with rally in DC

Crossroads walkers trek through 40 states proclaiming the 'Culture of Life'
The Crossroads walkers arrive in Washington, D.C. in this screenshot of the
documentary; Crossroads: Pro-Life Walks Across America.
The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Agency story about the final day of the Crossroads Summer Walk in the U.S:
Over 40 young people who walked across the U.S. for pro-life service, advocacy and witness held a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to mark the end of the 18th annual cross-country trek run by the group Crossroads. 
“Even though the walks are over, we still need to continue on and let the Lord work, to continue that mission of transforming the culture of death into a culture of life,” Crossroads national director Jim Nolan told CNA Aug. 13. 
Walk participants began on the West Coast on May 19. They passed through 40 states, visiting hundreds of churches and standing outside of dozens of abortion clinics where they prayed and offered pro-life counseling. 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.  
Below is part one of Crossroads: Pro Life Walks Across America:

Anti-euthanasia groups alarmed by constitutional exemption

Another B.C. judge allows Gloria Taylor the 'right to die' after government appeals initial ruling
Gloria Taylor's lawyer Joseph Arvay tells reporters outside the B.C. Supreme Court his
client is relieved with the June 15 B.C. decision to grant Taylor a constitutional exception
for a physician assisted-suicide. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Concerns from anti-euthanasia groups are expressed in Deborah Gyapong's latest story after another B.C. judge reinstated Gloria Taylor's constitutional exemption to assisted suicide:
Taylor, one of the plaintiffs in the controversial Carter case decided last June, had been granted the exemption when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith struck down Canada’s laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia as unconstitutional on Charter grounds. Smith ruled the laws would be kept in force for a year so Parliament could react with new legislation, but allowed Taylor the exemption while the law is still in force. 
In July, the federal government appealed the Carter decision, including the constitutional exemption. 
On Aug. 10, B.C. Justice Jo-Ann Prowse, however, ruled removing the exemption would cause Taylor “irreparable harm” by taking away the solace and peace of mind of knowing she could obtain an assisted suicide and by removing her ability to have one before her symptoms became unbearable.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Young woman loves the cloistered lifestyle

Poor Clare novice sees great joy in a life counter-cultural to that of mainstream world

Sister Agnes Marie Jose, OSC.
The B.C. Catholic profiles Sister Agnes Marie Jose, OSC, a 24-year-old novitiate at St. Clare's Monastery in Mission:
Two years ago Sister Agnes Marie Jose, OSC, was a driven 22-year-old university student who had the world at her fingertips. The woman once known as Angel was on a path to serve God as a scientific researcher. Instead God brought her into contemplative life at the Poor Clare Monastery in Mission. 
"The consecrated life is a beautiful life," said Sister Agnes Marie. "It's one filled with sacrifices and hardships, but also overflowing with love, peace, and joy!" 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Obama presence at fundraiser not an endorsement, Archbishop Lori says

Baltimore shepherd urges Catholics to not 'get distracted' over invite

Archbishop William E. Lori
Archbishop William. E. Lori of Baltimore says Cardinal Timothy Dolan's invite to President Barack Obama to the Alfred E. Smith Foundation dinner is not an enforcement:
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the U.S. bishops' conference president, has been criticized by some pro-life groups for continuing an election-year custom of inviting both the Democratic and Republican candidates to the comedy-oriented fundraiser for Catholic charitable causes in New York. 
While Obama appeared in 2008 alongside Senator John McCain, the 2012 invitation has disturbed some observers, who cited the president's recent efforts to force Catholic institutions to offer contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs through their health insurance plans. 
In his remarks to Lopez during the Knights of Columbus' Aug. 7–9 Supreme Convention in California, Archbishop Lori said he believed there was no “clearer voice in the United States about the sanctity of life and religious liberty than Cardinal Dolan.”
 Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Efforts continue for Pope Paul VI's canonization

Cardinal hopes for upcoming beatification

Pope Paul VI.
The B.C. Catholic has Catholic News Agency's coverage of a special Mass commemorating the 34th anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI:
Commemorating the 34th anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI, retired Archbishop of Milan Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi said he hopes to see the late pontiff raised to the altars soon.  
“I trust and greatly desire that soon – and I am sure than many, everyone, shares this – the Church can venerate Paul VI as blessed,” he said during an Aug. 6 Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.  
“This desire is ignited every time I read his writings and I think of his service of love to the Church and to humanity,” the cardinal notied, according to the SIR news agency.
 Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

South Africa proposes first saint

Benedict Daswa died a martyr for his stand against sorcery
Benedict Daswa.
Here's an article I wrote about about a faithful South African man who could become the country's first saint:
Benedict Daswa, a teacher, community leader, father, and faithful Catholic, was martyred 22 years ago for living his faith and refusing to participate in a village witch-hunt.
Renewed efforts to have Daswa canonized have coincided with Pope Benedict XVI's call for Africans to identify saints. The Diocese of Tzaneen concluded an exhaustive look into Daswa's life and death in 2009, and the Vatican might conclude its look into his cause by the end of the year.
No recent miracle has to be authenticated at this stage, as Daswa was martyred for his faith. However there are still many steps to be taken before he can be canonized.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Obama says HHS mandate 'was the right thing to do.'

President reaffirms support at Denver rally and downplays mandate's controversy
A screenshot of President Barack Obama approaching the podium at a campaign
event in Denver, Colorado Aug 8. The president told the rally he will continue to
support mandatory contraceptive coverage and said this was "the right thing to do."
The B.C. Catholic has Catholic News Agency's coverage of President Barack Obama's campaign stop in Denver, Colo, where the president once again reaffirmed his support for the controversial HHS mandate:

President Obama criticized his opponent, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for favouring legislation the president said would “allow any employer to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees.”
“It would be up to the employer to decide. Your boss, telling you what’s best for your health, your safety,” the president said.
“I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get. I don’t think that insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get.”
The Department of Health and Human Services mandate requires most employers to provide insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. It went into effect for many employers on Aug. 1.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Below is a video by Revealing Politics, where Caleb Bonham interviews attendees after the Obama rally about their views on the contraception mandate:

Pro-lifer exposes B.C. government's duplicity on abortion

Booklet on missing provincial data briefs politicians 'in the hopes they'll do something'
The cover of B.C.'s Missing Abortion Data by Ted Gerk.

The B.C. Catholic has a story about an abortion researcher who recently released a research booklet that details B.C's abortion censorship:

For more than 20 years Ted Gerk has been exposing B.C.'s abortion lies while the provincial government and other powers censor him along the way.
"It's a fundamental principle, to debate all issues in society," said the 52-year-old Kelowna resident. "But to do this you have to have all the information."
He has released a research booklet called B.C.'s Missing Abortion Data which details the province's abortion censorship and makes recommendations about what the government should do regarding this. The book was distributed to every politician in the province, media outlets, and members of the public.
"This booklet is something that briefs the government with information on abortion stats in the hopes they will do something about it," Gerk said. "As much as politicians are tired of the abortion debate they can't shut it down."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chinese woman rescues over 30 abandoned babies

Heroic actions draws praise
Lou Xiaoying
 The B.C. Catholic has a story by Catholic News Agency about Lou Xiaoying, a humble Chinese women who has rescued abandoned children since 1972:

Reports of a woman in China who saved dozens of abandoned babies in recent decades has drawn praise for her heroic actions and criticism for the one-child policy that leads to the practice of child desertion.

“These children need love and care,” said Lou Xiaoying. “They are all precious human lives. I do not understand how people can leave such a vulnerable baby on the streets.”

A July 30 article in the Daily Mail told the story of the 88-year-old woman who has dedicated the last 40 years of her life to saving abandoned Chinese babies from death.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Contraception mandate now in effect in U.S.

Business owners face heavy fines if they do not comply

The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Agency story about the reaction to the contraception mandate, which has been officially put into effect in the U.S.:
Starting Aug. 1, the owners of many for-profit businesses are being forced to pick between violating their beliefs and paying stifling fines as the federal contraception mandate goes into effect.

This initial implementation of the mandate “marks the beginning of the end of religious freedom in our nation,” said Christen Varley, executive director of Conscience Cause, a nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to defend religious freedom and conscience rights.

In a statement released shortly before the mandate was scheduled to go into effect, Varley explained that as of August 1, many employers would be faced with the “unimaginable choice” of denying their faith or paying crippling fines that could put them out of business.  
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A restaurants 'mobbed' by appreciative patrons

Grass-roots campaign supports CEO's stance on marriage
The promotional picture on the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Facebook page.
Want to improve business? Then take a pro-marriage stand. LifeSiteNews is reporting Chick-fil-A restaurants have been packed with customers in support of CEO Dan Cathy's stand against same-sex marriage:

Conservative leaders from across America described the chicken-crazed chaos.
Jim Sedlak of the American Life League said that “our little Chick-Fil-A in Stafford, Virginia was absolutely mobbed at lunch time,” forcing hungry families to journey over from nearby parking lots.
“They have a very little parking lot, but it was just absolutely mobbed today. It was terrific,” Sedlak told over the telephone. He said the drive through line “snaked almost twice around the building” and, “from the size of the bags people were carrying out, purchasing LOTS of food.”
 The mainstream media has also picked up on the frenzy. Fox News points out that a Chick-fil-A sandwich is also a sign of freedom:

It used to be that taking a bite of a chicken sandwich just meant you were hungry. Now it has become a symbol of whether you stand for or against same-sex marriage, or – alternately – the right to express your personal views without fear of retaliation.
At Chick-fil-A locations across the country, people voted with their wallets today, coming out to express support for the fast-food chain after CEO Dan Cathy said in an interview that he is a firm backer of traditional marriage.
Chris Johnson sees a double standard. “He (Dan Cathy) said the exact same thing that President Obama said,” Johnson told Fox News -- referring to the president’s past opposition to gay marriage – “And he gets negativity, and Obama gets positivity.”
While our neighbours to the south expressed their freedom of speech while enjoying an assortment of chicken goodies, it wasn't all good news for conservative Americans today. Aug. 1 is also the first day of the Obama healthcare mandate.

Holy Father prays for youthful evangelizers

Pope praying youth will answer call to preach the Gospel
World Youth Day 2011 Pilgrims attending the final Mass. BCC file photo.
The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Agency story about one of Pope Benedict XVI's August prayers:

With exactly one year to go until the 28th World Youth Day begins in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Benedict XVI is praying this August that young people will engage in evangelization.
“That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth,” the official Vatican statement from July 31 says.
Pope Benedict’s mission prayer intention echoes almost exactly the theme for next year’s event in Brazil, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Swiss approve pre-natal test for Down's Sydrome

Some fear tests will increase abortions
B.C. Catholic columnist Colleen Roy's nephew James who has Down's Syndrome.
Switzerland has legalized a new prenatal test that detects the presence of Down's Syndrome,
a move Dr. Esteban Rodriguez Martin says will result “in abortion in more than 85 percent
of the babies who have the condition in the countries where unborn human life does
 not enjoy legal protection.” Colleen Roy / The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Catholic News Agency about the government of Switzerland's approval of a controversial pre-natal test for Down's Syndrome. Some fear this will lead to more abortions:

Called “Prenatest,” the procedure will be made available in the country starting in August, according to Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung am Sonntag. It uses blood samples from the mother to detect the presence of Trisomy 21 or Down’s Syndrome in her unborn child.
The German company LifeCodexx, which developed the test, calls it a “safe alternative to traditional invasive methods.”

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Bells toll in PoCo

Parish reaches bell resolution
Our Lady of the Assumption parishioners exit the building after Mass as the
church's bells (inside the right tower) ring for the 6 p.m. Angelus. The bells
have been controversial since neighbours complained about level of noise and the bell-ringing schedule. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Has peace been made between Our Lady of the Assumption Parish and their Port Coquitlam neighbours over the ringing of the church's bells?

"The matter has been reviewed by the city's community safety committee," said Pardeep Purewal, the communications manager for the city of Port Coquitlam. She said the committee directed the church to make adjustments to the volume and the schedule of bell-ringing. "The neighbours (will) monitor compliance over the summer."
During the July 11 meeting at city hall, the city heard from two delegations representing both sides of the bells issue.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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