Friday, September 28, 2012

Evangelist warns of the devil

Pray, attend Mass regularly, and spray your house with holy water to stop the 'evil one'
Robert Canton says if the devil is after you, pray,
attend Mass regularly, and sprinkle your house
with holy water. Ramon Gonzalez / CCN.

The B.C. Catholic has a story from Ramon Gonzalez of the Western Catholic Reporter about an evangelist who gave several talks to Alberta Catholics on how to know and defeat Satan:
If you have been cursed by someone or think the “evil one” is after you, pray, attend Mass regularly, and spray your house with holy water.
“Prayer works; prayer is power,” Robert Canton said as he spoke to about 280 charismatic Catholics Sept. 22. “Pray until something happens.”
Canton also urged his audience to be people of worship in order to keep Satan away. “If you are a praising person you become pleasing to God,” and thus “the evil one will not be able to stand you,” he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Northern priest, loved by community, passes away

Father Daws used his past life of addiction to counsel afflicted

The B.C. Catholic has a story about the life of beloved Yukon priest Father David Daws:
Father David Albert Daws struggled with alcoholism as a
young adult but cleaned up and used his experience to
help counsel other addicts. Photo submitted.
 There isn't always a direct path from altar server to pastor. Father David Albert Daws certainly proved that, walking one of the more obscure paths as he turned from a life of addiction to become a priest. Father Daws died Aug. 11 in Abbotsford. He was 64.
David Daws was born in Whitehorse into a troubled family. His father was an alcoholic and abusive.
He struggled with his own alcohol addiction and bounced around from job to job during his 20s. During this time he broke both his legs in a car accident.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Election rhetoric may be less than honest

Commentators say pro-Obama Catholics misrepresent record
This Catholic News Agency story says Catholic commentators Deacon Keith Fournier and Deal Hudson, in their new column to run daily through the upcoming elections, have warned that some Catholic supporters of President Obama are misrepresenting his record.

Deacon Fournier said "too many Catholics and other Christians have not figured out the consequences we face Nov. 6, 2012, if we do not properly inform our decision on who we will elect to lead us and vote accordingly."

He and Hudson said in a Sept. 27 column at Catholic Online that despite their own differences they have joined together to "do absolutely everything we can" to influence "the most important election in our lifetime."

Deacon Fournier is the editor-in-chief of Catholic Online, and Hudson is the president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network and a former Republican consultant on Catholic outreach.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Motion 312 reaction

Woodworth's motion gets unexpected support
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, author of Motion 312, holds a press conference
after the motion's defeat in the House of Commons.
The B.C. Catholic has Nathan Rumohr's and Deborah Gyapong's coverage of the Motion 312 vote and reaction:
As many pundits expected, Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312 was defeated in the House of Commons Sept. 26. However, many were surprised that the vote was not defeated by a bigger majority. The result was 203 against to 91 for, or just over 2 to 1.
MPs from all parties voted against the motion, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and most of his cabinet.
While many of the motion's supporters were disappointed with the result, they saw a silver lining in how the motion has sparked a national debate on the rights of children in the womb.
Read Rumohr's story here and Gyapong's here.

Uruguay takes another step towards legalizing abortion

Congress narrowly passes law legalizing pregnancy terminations up to 12 weeks
Life-size models of babies at 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 weeks after conception. The Uruguayan
congress passed a law by one vote Sept. 25 legalizing abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Catholic News Agency reports the Uruguayan congress has passed a law legalizing abortion:
The legislation now goes to the senate for approval and must be signed by President Jose Mujica, who has already voiced his support for the measure.
It passed after more than 13 hours of debate and one day after thousands of pro-life advocates marched in the capital city of Montevideo, urging lawmakers to vote against the bill.
The law holds that a woman who wishes to obtain an abortion must appear before a commission of doctors and social workers who are to provide her with information about her choice. After a five-day waiting period, she will be free to decide whether to proceed with the abortion.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pro-lifers hope to appeal 'bubble zone' conviction

Don Spratt and Cecilia von Dehn to continue to dispute their 2011 convictions
Cecilia von Dehn being arrested outside the Everywoman's Health Centre
in 2009. Special to The B.C. Catholic
After more than two years of fighting, pro-life activists Don Spratt and Cecilia von Dehn have been granted leave to appeal their convictions for breaching the Access to Abortion Services Act, known commonly as the "Bubble Zone Law." 
B.C. Court of Appeal Judge David Franklin Tysoe ruled Sept. 10 that Judge Barbara Fisher might have incorrectly defined the law when she convicted Spratt and von Dehn in June 2011.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Priest impressed by archdiocese's charitable response

Father Ochaya sensed a lot of solidarity among parishes during his summer mission appeal trip
Three students from the Diocese of Juba in South Sudan. Father Martin Ochaya
Lino came to the Archdiocese of Vancouver during the summer to raise money for students there to go to school. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story about the recent mission appeals trip of Father Martin Ochay Lino from South Sudan. He visited the Archdiocese of Vancouver over the summer, raising money for projects for his Diocese of Juba, which is the main provider of education for South Sudanese children:
Many Canadians associate education with the government, but for the youth of South Sudan, the Catholic Church is almost the only education provider.
Father Martin Ochaya Lino, from the diocese of Juba in South Sudan, made this clear during his mission appeal trip to the Archdiocese of Vancouver during the summer. The priest is raising funds to help individual students pay tuition at schools in his home diocese and to establish a rehabilitation centre for orphans affected by war and disease.
His trip was successful; Lower Mainland Catholics responded.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Canada's nuncio says '`remain aware' of threats to religious freedom

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana speaks at bishops' plenary
Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay presents Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana
with a special stole to mark the canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in October.
Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
Religious freedom is the subject of today's story from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' plenary. CCN's national correspondent Deborah Gyapong reports:
Canada’s apostolic nuncio warned Canadian bishops about threats to Catholic education in Canada and urged the bishops to “remain aware of developments in our society that jeopardize religious freedom.”
Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Holy See’s ambassador to Canada, addressed the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at their annual plenary Sept. 24. 
“Many Catholic institutions are in danger of losing their Catholic character,” Archbishop Lopez Quintana said. He added that the Pope has spoken of an “educational emergency” worldwide in the face of rampant individualism that “reduces reality to something to be manipulated."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Glimmer of hope re HHS

Conscience rights for pharmacists upheld in Illinois ruling
Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world; Gloria Estefan, a latin pop singing sensation; and Etsuro Sotoo, a Japanese architect, are all to be speakers at the 2013 religious freedom conference in the Vatican. Read more.
This Catholic News Agency story says an Illinois appeals court's ruling on the conscience rights of pharmacists is being hailed as a victory for religious freedom and could offer hope to current lawsuits challenging the federal contraception mandate.

"Government can't force pharmacists and pharmacies to violate their religious beliefs to stay in business," said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has been co-representing the pharmacists for seven years.

Rienzi told CNA on Sept. 24 that the ruling provides a "useful" parallel in examining the controversial Health and Human Services mandate that forces many religious employers to violate their sincere beliefs by providing health insurance coverage of contraception, sterilization, and early abortion drugs.

"I think the same principle would apply," he said.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Archbishop rewards altar servers

More than 100 servers from 54 parishes attend
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, poses with the 108 altar servers from 54 parishes
after the seventh annual Archbishop’s Altar Server Awards Mass Sept. 15
at Holy Rosary Cathedral. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C Catholic.
Altar servers from around the Archdiocese of Vancouver gathered at Holy Rosary Cathedral recently for the seventh annual Archbishop's Altar Server Awards:
"It is certainly encouraging for me, and inspiring, to see you, because for the whole archdiocese you are signs of inspiration and encouragement to us who are older, and you are a hope for the Church," Archbishop Miller told the award recipients during his homily. "We are honouring you because you are the good fruit."
He thanked the altar servers for their commitment to the altar. He said serving at the altar is not only a duty or a service but also a great honour.
"I know, often, serving at Mass can be inconvenient," he said. "You have to give up a lot of things. You give up those things to be faithful servants of the Lord."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Major Archbishop Shevchuk addresses CCCB plenary

Warns of the subtle spiritual danger of secularism
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk receives a standing ovation from the
Canadian bishops after his address at the bishops' annual plenary Sept. 25
in Sainte-Adele, Que. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk got a standing ovation after speaking about the dangers of secularism to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at their annual plenary:
The first head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church to address the plenary, Archbishop Shevchuk said the Church must find “new courage” to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to contemporary society to provide “an anchor and compass.”
“We live in societies where virtue and goodness are frequently a veneer for religious intolerance, personal gratification, and moral decay,” he said. “Secularism would like us to be closed in a little box of Sunday worship.”
The former Soviet Union used that approach to religion, he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB plenary to devour packed agenda

Canadian bishops to discuss clerical sexual abuse, immigration, and social justice
Msgr. Patrick Powers, CCCB general secretary, and Archbishop Richard Smith
of Edmonton, CCCB president. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has Deborah Gyapong's coverage of the annual plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Sainte-Adele, Que:
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is examining the prevention of clerical sexual abuse as one of the many issues of its packed five-day annual plenary Sept. 24-28.
The 90-plus bishops gathered from across Canada will receive the updated guidelines prepared for submission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, the CCCB president, said in his annual president’s address at the Mont-Gabriel Hotel Sept. 23.
“Of course our ongoing response must extend far beyond the articulation of protocols and procedures to an embrace in love and compassion of any person, family, or community affected by this scourge,” he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

More interference in family life

HHS mandate allows minors free contraception, sterilization
Here is a Catholic News Agency story pointing out that minor children on their parents' health care plans will have free access to sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing drugs, under the controversial HHS mandate, and depending on the state, they will be able to obtain access without parental consent.

Matt Bowman, senior counsel for the religious liberty legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said the mandate "tramples parental rights" because it requires them to "pay for and sponsor coverage of abortifacients, sterilization, contraception, and education in favour of the same for their own children."

The Guttmacher Institute, in a Sept. 1 briefing on state policies, said that an increase in minors' access to interference with reproduction over the last 30 years shows a broader recognition that "while parental involvement in minors' health care decisions is desirable, many minors will not avail themselves of important services if they are forced to involve their parents."

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pro-life bonanza

Annual Walk For Life in Chilliwack 

The 30th annual Walk for Life in Chilliwack, Sept. 29, is for the whole family. The Chilliwack Pro-life Society is inviting pro-lifers for a day of fun, exercise, and entertainment at Unity Christian Elementary School.

The walk starts at 10:30 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. There will be a free lunch for the participants  and kids activities throughout the day. The 5 km event is by donation and proceeds will go towards the operation of the Resource Centre and Crisis Pregnancy Centre that has provided counseling, education, and care since 1980.

For more information contact the Chilliwack Pro-life Society at 604-795-3091 or click here.

Life Chain protests abortion

Surrey Pro-life group to hold abortion protest Sept. 30
Students from Vancouver College participate in LifeChain in this BCC file photo.

Several members of the Surrey-Delta Pro-life Society will be informing drivers and passers-by of the horrors of abortion. The society is holding the Life Chain event at two locations near the King George skytrain station.

The first will be held at 104th Avenue and King George, the other at Holland Park Corner (100th Avenue and King George).

For more information contact the Surrey-Delta Pro-Life Society at 604-574-0225 or click here.

Abortion memorial vandalized

We Need a Law abortion display vandalized in Surrey

A private property abortion memorial was vandalized in Surrey B.C. The tossed and torn signs, which aimed to invite discussion on the abortion issues, were found Sept. 24. 

Mike Schouten, director of (creators of the memorial) said "it's unfortunate that a single invitation to dialogue about abortion results in this type of immature reaction." The signs advertized a community event to be held at the Cloverdale Public Library. This act of vandalism will in no way deter this discussion from occurring said Schouten.

 Schouten further comments at

Carmelites begin new chapter in B.C.

Archbishop Miller blesses foundation stone for a new priestly formation house
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, incenses the foundation stone of the future Carmelite formation house Sept. 11. 
Recently I attended a very important event for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the blessing of a new foundation stone for a new priestly formation house under the Carmelite Order:
On the cusp of the Year of Faith, there have been several moments of grace in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.
So far this year a new Dominican Monastery has been built in Squamish, 18 men have been called to candidacy for the permanent diaconate, and now the Discalced Carmelites are making a new foundation, with a formation house for priests to be called "The Little Flower at Carmel Hill."
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, blessed the foundation stone for the house Sept. 11, noting the significant moment. "We are here to celebrate a new exciting adventure of grace," Archbishop Miller said. "The formation house will serve, God willing, many Carmelite seminarians."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

HHS letter goes viral

Thousands join grassroots women's movement opposing HHS mandate
Law professor Dr. Helen Alvare
Here is a Catholic News Agency story relating that thousands of women across the U.S. are leading grassroots efforts to make their voices heard in opposition to the federal contraception and sterilization mandate.

The Women Speak for Themselves movement is driven by "things that women are deciding to do on their own," said Meg McDonnell, who has been assisting the group from early in its existence.

The movement began in February, when George Mason law professor Helen Alvare and former Thomas More Law Center counsel Kim Daniels wrote a letter responding to the controversial federal mandate that requires employers to offer free contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs in their health-care plans, regardless of their religious and moral objections.

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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Martyrdom becoming more likely

New study finds rise in religious restrictions worldwide

Here is a Catholic News Agency story saying that hostility towards religion has risen globally, both in the form of government restrictions and social attitudes, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Released Sept. 20, a report from the centre's Forum on Religion & Public Life warned that a "rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010."

The study found that 75 per cent of the world's population was living under "high" or "very high" religious restrictions, up from 70 per cent the previous year.

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

Census figures alarm family groups

Numbers show a decrease in traditional families and increase in single-family households

According to the 2011 Census data, the traditional
family is on the decline in Canada.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about the reaction traditional family groups had to the 2011 Census that shows traditional families are declining, while single family's on the rise:
Peter Murphy, assistant director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), said the “handwriting is on the wall” as the Census reveals the number of common-law couples has risen 13.9 per cent since 2006 and lone-parent families have increased 8 per cent.
The number of children living with married parents declined from 68.4 per cent to 63.6 per cent from 2006 to 2011, Statistics Canada reported in the Sept. 19 release of data on family structures. Figures examined over 50 years showed a dramatic decline from around 90 per cent of married couple families in 1961. A steep decline began in the mid-1970s.
“Despite an attempt by the media to make ‘diversity’ in family structure seem like a good in itself, when it comes to questions pertaining to procreation and child-rearing the ‘writing’ is inscribed on the human body,” Murphy said in an email interview. “It takes a man and a woman to conceive a child and, as the social sciences have told us repeatedly, it is in the best interest of children to be raised by a man and a woman united in marriage.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Blessed Nykyta still leaves his mark on the Ukrainian church

Canada's first UGCC eparch, revered by current shepherds, honoured at bishop's synod

Blessed Nykyta Budka
The B.C. Catholic has the tale of Blessed Nykyta Budka, the respected martyr and the first Ukrainian Catholic eparch (bishop) in Canada:
As eparchs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) gathered for their annual synod in Winnipeg Sept. 9-16, Blessed Nykyta Budka's name dominated conversation. Without him the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada might not be in existence today.
Born in Ukraine in 1877, Blessed Budka was appointed Canada's first Ukrainian eparch in 1912 by the Vatican. The 35-year-old was charged with uniting the Ukrainian faithful who were scattered throughout Canada.
He arrived in Winnipeg on a December evening with only 13 secular priests and nine monks to oversea the 80 parishes and chapels. Eparch Budka travelled far and wide across Canada in the days before most of today's highways connecting the country, visiting his 150,000 faithful from coast to coast.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reproductive technology is 'absolutely' the commercialization of the female body, says expert

Medical professional warns of risk in surrogate and donor pregnancies
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Catholic News Agency about a medical expert and filmmaker who says surrogate pregnancies are simply "the buying and selling of children:"
Artificial reproductive technology is “absolutely” the commercialization of the female body and especially harmful to children, a medical expert and documentary filmmaker says. 
“I am bold enough to go on record to say it's buying and selling children,” Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of Centre for Bioethics Culture, told CNA Sept. 18. 
Lahl said that although the argument could be made that surrogate parents or egg and sperm donors are being paid for their “time and effort” and not the children they help produce, ultimately “there's money changing hands and there's children being passed around.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Monastic weekend provides chance for discernment

Nuns from Abbey of St. Walburga will hold a weekend retreat at Westminster Abbey in October
Nuns at the Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado.
Discerning a vocation is a difficult task, according to Sister Maria Johanna Avila, OSB. To help with this process the nuns from the Abbey of St. Walburga will hold a monastic weekend Oct. 12-14 at Westminster Abbey. Sister Avila describes what an inquirer can expect from the spiritual weekend:
Twice a year the monks at Westminster Abbey offer a weekend for young women to experience a taste of monasticism firsthand. Monastic life fosters silence, order, and balance, with the liturgy as its source and summit, so that a person may have an ideal setting for seeking God.
Young women are able to join the monks in chanting the Divine Office, the main duty given to Benedictines by the Church, and to learn more about how to pray with the Scriptures. They also complement that prayer with work.
The weekend will also give them an opportunity to meet other young women who are on the same journey. Some women who have attended the "live-in weekends" have gone on to be Benedictine nuns or have entered other religious communities, and some have discerned their call to marriage and motherhood.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

The married Messiah?

Jesuit weighs in on a recent finding that claims Jesus had a wife
The papyrus fragment that includes words referring to the supposed wife of Jesus.
The finding was presented by Karen L. King at a recent conference in Rome.
Father James Martin, SJ, a contributing editor to the Catholic magazine Americawrote an opinion piece in The New York Times about a recent discovery of a fourth-century papyrus that asserts there was a Mrs. Jesus Christ:
At an academic conference in Rome on Sept. 18, Karen L. King, a church historian at Harvard Divinity School, presented a finding that, according to some reports, threatened to overturn what we know about Jesus, as well as the tradition of priestly celibacy. She identified a small fragment of fourth-century papyrus that includes the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife....’ ” Another clause appears to say, “she will be able to be my disciple.” Some experts have concluded that the manuscript, written in Coptic, is authentic. 
But does this mean that Jesus was married? Probably not. And will this fascinating new discovery make this Jesuit priest want to rush out and get married? No.
Read the full article here.

Red Mass in Ottawa

Homily focuses on the impact legal decisions have on future generations
Archbishop Prendergast celebrates the annual Red Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Robert Du Broy / Archdiocese of Ottawa.
Lawyers, law students, and politicians were among the hundreds of attendees at the annual Red Mass in Ottawa Sept. 18. CCN's Deborah Gyapong reports:
Those in the legal profession have a “high calling,” and their “decisions have a huge impact on peoples’ lives, sometimes life itself,” Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, said at the Red Mass, Sept. 18 at Notre Dame Cathedral. The special Mass is celebrated at the opening of the law courts each fall.
“The consequences of your decisions reach into future generations,” he said during his homily. The Mass invokes the power of the Holy Spirit on all those involved in the administration of justice. “It is no exaggeration to say that you need the wisdom of Solomon.”
Archbishop Prendergast said legal professionals deal with difficult questions.
Read more at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Corpus Christi celebrates centennial

Parishioners recall 100-year history
Father Bruce-John Hamilton elevates the Blessed Sacrament before a crowd of
500 Corpus Christi parishioners after a procession.
Elizabeth Krump / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Hundreds gathered at Corpus Christi Church recently to celebrate the parish's 100th anniversary:
"Remember your history," began Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, in his homily as he celebrated Mass. 
The Mass, followed by a procession of the Blessed Sacrament and luncheon for nearly 600, came at the end of a weekend of festivities and gathering of the faithful to celebrate 100 years of blessings and community at the parish, known for its multi-ethnic and immigrant make-up. 
Pastor Father Bruce-John Hamilton said he was blessed to be in a parish where parishioners are ready to "give so much of themselves."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB throws support behind Motion 312

Many other groups sign declaration
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth speaks to journalists Sept. 17 about Motion 312.
He said the volume of messages received through postcard campaigns has tested
the limits of the House of Commons postal service. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic website has a story by Deborah Gyapong about the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops joining many pro-life groups getting behind Motion 312:
The CCCB’s statement also complements a separate declaration signed by 60 high-profile groups and individuals in support of Woodworth’s private member’s motion that is scheduled for its second and final hour of debate Sept. 21.
“As the House of Commons prepares to debate Motion 312, the Bishops of Canada invite all members of the Parliament of Canada to take into full account the sacredness of the unborn child and each human life,” said CCCB President Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton in the Sept. 18 statement. “We also encourage Canadian Catholics, and all people of good will, to pray that our legislators be blessed with wisdom and courage to do what is best to protect and further the common good, which is based on respect for the human dignity of all.”
Archbishop Smith stressed the Church’s teaching on human life. “The Catholic Church holds that a human being comes into existence at conception,” he said. “The lives of human beings are, therefore, sacred at every stage in our existence -- from beginning to natural end.”
The CCCB’s statement issued Sept. 18 came out as The Declaration of Support for Parliamentary Study of Canada’s Legal Definition of “Human Being” was sent to Members of Parliament. The declaration was released to the public Sept. 19.
 Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Benedict XVI leaves Lebanon

Country can be beacon of religious co-existence, Pope says
Here is a Catholic News Agency story relating that, at his departure from Lebanon, Pope Benedict XVI said the religious co-existence the people of Lebanon showed during his three-day apostolic visit can become an inspiration and model for the rest of the Middle East.

"In these troubled times, the Arab world, and indeed the entire world, will have seen Christians and Muslims united in celebrating peace," said the Pope at Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport Sept. 16. The Lebanese population is 39 per cent Christian and 60 per cent Muslim.

There had been worries in some quarters before Pope Benedict left for Lebanon on Friday that he was flying into an unpredictable political and religious situation. Neighbouring Syria is currently embroiled in a civil war, and there are increasing anti-U.S. protests across the region. Those worries proved to be unfounded.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roadside memorial for the unborn sponsors a large grave site raising awareness about abortion in Surrey

Most roadside memorials celebrate the life of a beloved family member or friend. But a large roadside memorial at the north-east corner of Fraser Hwy. & 188th St. in Surrey memorialises the 100,000 babies killed every year from abortion. sponsored the memorial, which aims to raise awareness of abortion in Canada.

For more information visit

Achieving peace 'quite demanding'

Pope encourages culture of peace in Lebanon
In this Catholic News Agency story, on the second day of his trip to Lebanon, Sept. 15, Pope Benedict XVI called for the strengthening of a "culture of peace" that is built upon respect for life, the family, and religious liberty, and said achieving peace is "quite demanding."

Speaking at the presidential palace in the city of Baabda, he praised Lebanon as a Middle Eastern country where Christianity and Islam "have lived side by side for centuries."

Pope Benedict had begun the second day of his apostolic visit with a private Mass at the Apostolic Nunciature of Harissa before being taken by car to the Presidential Palace. There he was greeted by the President of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman. The two then had a private meeting.

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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Archbishop Miller clarifies Church teaching on gestational laws

Vancouver's Catholic leader gives direction on divisive issue within pro-life movement
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, released a "Statement on Catholics Who Support
Gestational Legislation" Aug. 31 to clarify the Church's position on "incremental"
legislation. BCC file photos.
The B.C. Catholic has a story about a statement released by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, on the Church's teaching regarding "incremental" abortion legislation:
Differences of opinion have come to light among pro-life groups about supporting "incremental" legislation, laws which may be an improvement on previous public policy but which still violate Church teaching. Some are hailing an improvement while others are decrying failings in proposed legislation.
Now Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, has released a statement for Catholics clarifying the Church's views on supporting "gestational legislation." (Read the entire letter here.)
"We encourage pro-life legislators, activists, and groups to work cooperatively towards achieving recognition in Canadian law of the right to life of every person from conception to natural death," he wrote. "Cooperation does not always mean unanimity regarding a given strategy; open and civil debate about the wisdom of any specific strategy is healthy."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope appeals to the young

Pope calls Lebanese youth to 'revolution of love'
This Catholic News Agency story tells of Pope Benedict XVI challenging young Christians and Muslims in the Middle East to reject the path of violence and hate and instead unleash a "revolution of love."

"It is vital that the Middle East in general, looking at you, should understand that Muslims and Christians, Islam and Christianity, can live side by side without hatred, with respect for the beliefs of each person, so as to build together a free and humane society," the Pope told an open-air gathering of young people the in Bkerke, Lebanon, Sept. 15.

In recent years educated young people have been at the vanguard of anti-government protests across the Middle East, the so-called "Arab Spring." Pope Benedict used his address to outline a different revolution: one begun by Jesus Christ.

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bishops face packed plenary agenda Sept. 24-28

Topics to include the Second Vatican Council and the worldwide economic crisis
Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, the episcopal delegate for Anglicanorum
in Canada, will give a report on progress of the country at the annual
plenary meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Sept. 24-28.
Photo courtesy of archdiocese of Toronto.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about the upcoming plenary meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Among the highlights of this year's agenda is the visit of Archeparch Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych (Ukraine), the major archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who will offer a reflection Sept. 25 after having presided at the worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Church Synod of Bishops in Winnipeg Sept. 9-16.
The new ordinary for the U.S. Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, will also attend. The Ordinariate was erected in January 2012 to provide a home for people from the Anglican tradition who wish to become Catholic while maintaining aspects of Anglican liturgy and patrimony under the Holy Father's 2008 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.
Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, the episcopal delegate for Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, will give a report on progress here. Groups in Canada have been joining the Church. These "Anglican Use" groups will eventually become part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Understanding Motion 312

What exactly does the personhood legislation call for?
Stephen Woodworth addresses the National March for Life in May 2010.
Twelve days remain until Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312 is voted on by the House of Commons. The motion requests that a parliamentary committee be set up to investigate the 400-year-old definition of a human being. The definition is the basis of Section 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, which states a human being does not receive any legal protection until the moment of complete birth.

Opponents of the motion say this a back-door ploy by the Conservative government to reopen the issue of abortion and possibly outlaw it. However, that isn't the case according to Woodworth. He recently told The B.C. Catholic that the motion is about human rights, and is about studying the issue of personhood.

The following is a 35-minute video presentation by Woodworth that clearly explains Motion 312 in more detail:

Salami o-tikum

Pope Benedict arrives in Lebanon as 'pilgrim of peace'
This Catholic News Agency story tells of Pope Benedict XVI's arrival in the Middle East as he begins a three-day apostolic visit to Lebanon.

"Dear friends, I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men. Christ says, 'Salami o-tikum,' 'My peace I give to you,'" said the Pope at the official welcoming ceremony at Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport Sept. 14.

The Pope has travelled to the Middle East to sign his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle entitled "Ecclesia in Medio Oriente" which, he said, is "addressed to everyone" as "a roadmap for the years to come."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Catholic school teachers meet

Almost 1,000 Catholic educators gather for Faith Development Day 2012 at St. Matthew's Parish
Sister Anne Bryant Smollin, CSJ, of Albany, N.Y., speaks at the Catholic Independent
Schools' Faith Development Day at St. Matthew's Parish Aug. 30. She told the educators in
attendance how they can use joy, humour, and laughter to deal with the stresses
of their daily life and their vocation as educators. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Doug Lauson, superintendent of the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese, contributed a story to The B.C. Catholic about the district's Faith Development Day at St. Matthew's Parish:
The year's first official professional development day for the 49 schools of the archdiocese began with the celebration of Mass by the archbishop, with Father Augustine Obiwumma, pastor of St. Matthew's Parish, and several other priests of the archdiocese concelebrating.
In his opening address Archbishop Miller began the day by unveiling two archdiocesan initiatives to celebrate the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. The Year of Faith will begin around the world Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the second Vatican Council, and end Nov. 25, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Vatican condemns killing of U.S. Ambassador in Libya

Vatican expresses hope that, despite tragedy, the international community will continue its commitment to peace in the Middle East
Vatican City
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Catholic News Agency about the Vatican's views on the violent attack in Libya by Muslim extremists that resulted in the death of a U.S. diplomat and three other Americans:
The Vatican voiced its “firmest possible condemnation” of the fatal attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including the ambassador to the country.
“Nothing, in fact, can justify the activity of terrorist organizations and homicidal violence,” read the statement issued by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, Sept. 13.
“Along with our sadness, mourning, and prayers for the victims, we again express the hope that, despite this latest tragedy, the international community may discover the most favourable ways to continue its commitment in favour of peace in Libya and the entire Middle East.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Early learning programs may not help nurture children

Institute of Marriage and Family Canada says government-sponsored programs may hinder child's development

A girl eagerly raises her hand in class.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about early learning programs and how those programs may actually be to a child's detriment:
The Ottawa-based Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) warns government-sponsored early learning programs may harm the integrity of developing children.
In an Aug. 30 article, IMFC research and communications manager Andrea Mrozek quotes Canadian developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld of The Neufeld Institute who says socialization is more than being able to get along with others; it means being true to oneself.
Neufeld describes a teacher who is unable to disagree publicly with other teachers, giving her the appearance of being “nice” and “getting along with others” when it is fear of conflict motivating her. She may pass that fear on to her students, but the lack of ability to diplomatically disagree with others does not indicate maturity, he says.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Planned Parenthood accused of aggression, partisan attacks

Former Komen executive reveals Planned Parenthood backlash in new book
This Catholic News Agency story tells about Karen Handel's new book, which tells of "aggressive" and "partisan" attacks from Planned Parenthood on Komen for the Cure after the breast-cancer charity announced a cut in grant funding to Planned Parenthood.

Handel told CNA that when Komen for the Cure announced Feb. 1 that it had decided to restructure funds to Planned Parenthood, the charity "was trying to make a common sense business decision."

In a Sept. 7 interview, Handel outlined her new book
Planned Bullyhood: The Truth about the Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which was released Sept. 11 by Howard Books.

Planned Parenthood has been the subject of a federal investigation since last year. The investigation was launched after the pro-life group Americans United for Life issued a report indicating financial irregularities and involvement in assisting those involved in sex-trafficking and prostitution.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

But we don't walk, we drive!

Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Here is a Catholic News Agency story about members of the Catholic clergy from around the United States who hiked 100 miles of an ancient pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, this summer.

"El Camino de Santiago," or "The Way of St. James," is an ancient pilgrimage consisting of a network of trails all leading to the tomb of the saint in Santiago, Spain.

The requirement to be a certified pilgrim of the Camino states that walkers must complete 100 kilometres of the journey.

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Woodworth says Motion 312 being misinterpreted

Conservative MP says his motion is a 21st-century piece of legislation that looks at human rights

Stephen Woodworth
The fate of MP Stephen Woodworth's personhood Motion 312 will be voted on in less than a month. The B.C. Catholic recently caught up with the pro-life MP to discuss the motion and how it has been misinterpreted by political peers and the public:
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth says he's not trying to be revolutionary with Motion 312, just responsible. While many politicians from both the left and right have accused Woodworth of trying to open up the abortion debate with the motion, Woodworth says it's not a tool to criminalize abortion but a 21st-century piece of legislation that investigates human rights.  
"We can't pick and choose who a human being is," Woodworth told The B.C. Catholic. "There have been wars fought over these principles. If we don't have honest laws how can we have faith in our system of governance?"
Motion 312 requests that a parliamentary committee be set up to investigate the 400-year-old definition of a human being. The motion will be voted on in the House of Commons Sept. 26. Section 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada states a human being does not receive any legal protection until the moment of complete birth.
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Union support for contentious political issues raises concerns

Organizations' support for controversial issues may have gone too far, says Catholic Civil Rights League
Protesters organized by the Canadian Auto Workers Union show their displeasure
with the New Abortion Caravan earlier this summer. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about the growing concerns that unions are using workers' money to fund contentious political action campaigns:
The days may be numbered for union support of contentious political causes, something the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) has been working towards for a long time.
While the League has been concerned about union support for so-called same-sex marriage and other issues in opposition to Catholic teaching, the tipping point for political change may be the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) recent support for separatist candidates in the Sept. 4 Quebec provincial election .
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, who is parliamentary secretary to the transport minister, promised to urge his cabinet colleagues to bring in legislation that would allow employees to opt out of paying union dues.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website. 

Rome forms a new team

Vatican hopes Apple partnership will spread Pope's message
Father Giuseppe Costa, CSB
Here is a Catholic News Agency story about the Vatican teaming up with Apple to develop new hi-tech methods for communicating the works of Pope Benedict XVI to the world.

"It represents an enormous step on the international stage because, as you know, Internet goes beyond space and time," said Father Giuseppe Costa, the director of the Vatican's publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

In recent months the Pontiff has used his weekly address to explore the theme of prayer in the story of salvation. His latest volume, "Prayer in the New Testament," is already available in print form. The new eBook format will be accompanied by illustrations from the Vatican's art collections.

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

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ukrainian Catholics warmly receive leader

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk tours the province of B.C.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk (right), Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB,
and Bishop Peter Stasiuk of Australia and New Zealand share a laugh at the
blessing of the new Bishop Jerome Chimy Eparchial Centre in New Westminster Aug. 31.
Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Last weekend was big one for Ukrainian Catholics in B.C. with the visit of their leader Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk:
He came to see his people and his people responded. The Eparchy of New Westminster was abuzz Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 with the visit of their shepherd, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk. The eparchy celebrated with a moleben (a prayer service), the blessing of a newly christened eparchial house, and Divine Liturgies (Mass) in Vancouver and Kelowna.
Before the man known to the Ukrainian faithful as His Beatitude settled into his official functions, he sat down with The B.C. Catholic for an exclusive interview.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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