Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pope Francis greets new number one fan

Papal talk on P's and Q's interrupted by small boy's turn in pontiff's chair
Pope Francis receives a hug from a child during a speech on the importance of the family in St. Peter's Square.
Photo credit: The Associated Press.
What should a pontiff do when a boy decides to interrupt a speech in front of tens of thousands? Give the kid a hug, of course.

The National Post reports:

The Vatican says Pope Francis was surrounded by elderly faithful and their grandchildren Saturday night at a rally to encourage family life when the boy came up, wearing a striped shirt, jeans and sneakers. 
Acting like an indulgent grandpa, the Vicar of Christ let the boy explore the area undisturbed before tens of thousands of people. The pope smiled while reading his speech as the boy sat in the empty chair, gazed up at him and even at one point clung to the pontiff’s legs.
Read the full article here.

Archbishop to bestow papal awards

Benemerenti (to a well deserving person) medal recognizes long and exceptional service
Two recipients of the Benemerenti Medal, which is conferred on individuals who have given long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church, leave the altar during Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Twelve people in the Vancouver archdiocese are now to receive this medal. CNS photo / Bob Roller.
Seventeen men and women of the Archdiocese of Vancouver will be recognized for their outstanding service to the Church. Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, will confer papal awards Nov. 24 at Holy Rosary Cathedral. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Pope entrusts world to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Pope Francis entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to her maternal care before the image of Our Lady of Fatima, asking Mary's help to "revive and grow faith." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

COLF and EPC send out urgent calls to euthanasia opponents

As Quebec's euthanasia Bill 52 faces its first vote, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) put out urgent calls to oppose the bill. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CHABC honours women religious

Group hopes for statue on B.C. provincial legislature grounds
John Brozovich of Providence Health Care presents a cheque for $5,000 to CHABC's Gerald Herkel Sept. 19. The money will go toward a new legacy project. Photo submitted.
At the 73rd annual conference of the Catholic Health Association of B.C. held Sept. 19, the association received a $5,000 donation from Providence Health Care towards a project launched in recent months to honour the legacy of women religious in the province. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Archbishop Muller affirms Catholic marriage, urges care for divorced

The Vatican's head official on doctrinal matters has reaffirmed that Catholics in irregular marital unions after divorce cannot receive communion, but he urged that this means it is "all the more imperative" to show "pastoral concern" for them. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CPJ Poverty Trends Highlights 2013 show decrease in poverty rates

Citizens For Public Justice (CPJ)'s annual Poverty Trends Highlights Canada 2013 reveals poverty rates have decreased since "spiking" during the 2008-09 recession. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

'Baby Emily' Rogers celebrates her 15th birthday

Young Langley teenager born with 'omphalocele' birth defect is now strong, happy & motivated

Emily Rogers (front, right) poses with mother Marie, father Ron, and sister Alison. Photo submitted.
Emily Rogers, showered with prayers from hundreds of people hoping for her survival before she was born with an anomaly known as a "gross omphalocele," is now a strong and happy 15-year-old. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Spanish woman recounts how beatified aunt saved her life

Blessed Josefa Martinez's niece says she owes her life to her aunt, who was beatified Oct. 13 alongside 521 other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Groups hail Supreme Court's Rasouli decision in life support case

Groups that intervened on behalf of the family of a patient on life support are hailing the Supreme Court of Canada's Oct. 18 Rasouli decision. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, October 28, 2013

B.C. Catholic ready for Archdiocesan Conference

November boasts womanly theme
Pope Francis touches the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the start of Mass in honor of Mary at the Vatican Oct. 13. The Pope entrusted the world to Mary at the end of the Mass. Paul Haring / CNS.
Women of the Archdiocese are invited to the inaugural Archdiocesan Women's Conference. The day promises to be one of inspiration and information for Catholic women. 

"The role of women in the Church is not only maternity; the mother of the family, but it’s stronger: it is, in fact, the icon of the Virgin, of Our Lady, the one who helps the Church grow!" said Pope Francis when returning from Brazil.

Teresa Tomeo, author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and motivational speaker; Therese Polakovic, Founder and Executive Director of the study program Endow; and Cheridan Sanders of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation will be speaking.

The B.C. Catholic will be running a women's special celebrating the women of our archdiocese in its issue dated Nov. 4.

The conference will be held Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. More information and tickets to the conference are available online.

American insurance providers offer confusing logic

The unborn are members of the household – sometimes
U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Pay Our Military Act which ensures armed forces workers will continue operations during government shutdown. White House / Pete Souza.

To offset the cost of Obamacare, at least two health care exchanges are encouraging the enrolment of healthy Americans, even if they are not yet born.

“Unborn children are counted as members of her household, so this information helps determine if she is eligible for help with health care costs,” according to the website of Access Health CT, Connecticut's official health insurance provider. “Medicaid also has rules to help pregnant women.”

In Massachusetts, Health Connector asks, "How many people are in your family? (Include unborn child(ren) if someone is pregnant.)"

The Catholic Anchor reports that the Charlotte Lozier Institute has found the number of taxpayer-funded abortions could increase by 111,500 in one year under health-care law. Under the current act, many pro-life Americans may unknowingly pay for abortion coverage. Obamacare could force taxpayers to fund 10 per cent of abortions each year.

It is clear that insurance plans are flexible, they are willing to pay for a baby's health or death.

Read the full article from Catholic Anchor.

Non-physician abortion bill signed into law

California Governor Jerry Brown lowers barriers to abortions
Governor Jerry Brown. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images.

Governor Brown has signed two pro-abortion bills. One, AB 154, allows first-trimester surgical abortions by midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The other, AB 980, repeals building code provisions applicable to facilities providing surgical abortions. As a result, abortion clinics can now evade building standards.

AB 154 follows a period of testing non-physician abortions. The results of the study showed a complication rate twice that of abortions performed by physicians. However, the figures are hazy because Planned Parenthood refused the requests of evaluators for patient records, offering Planned Parenthood abstracts instead.

Life Legal Defense Foundation questions the decision. In 1997 the California Supreme Court ruled that physicians could not perform abortions on minors without informed consent for the procedure. AB 154 now allows minors to get abortions from non-physicians.

Indeed, the combination of AB 154 and AB 980 being enacted in the same session seems to cry out for an answer to the question: What was wrong with those “back-alley” abortions that abortion proponents kept referencing to argue for the legalization of abortion? Wasn’t it that they were done by midwives and the like, not doctors, in unsafe, non-medical settings?
Read the full post on the Life Legal Defense Foundation website.

Bishop Gagnon appointed Archbishop-elect

Pope Francis makes decision after a resignation early Monday morning

The Most Reverend Richard Gagnon has been appointed the Archbishop-elect of Winnipeg by Pope Francis. The appointment comes after the age-related resignation of former Archbishop Weisgerber. Photo: CCCB website

His Holiness Pope Francis newly appointed the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon the Archbishop-elect for the city of Winnipeg. The decision came soon after the resignation of the former Archbishop Weisgerber, who offered his required resignation after turning 75 years old.

Archbishop-elect Gagnon previously served as the bishop for the diocese of Victoria since 2004.

He recently released this letter addressed to the faithful of Victoria, thanking them for their love and support over the past nine years.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

The news of my appointment as Archbishop-Elect of Winnipeg is something I accept with humility and total reliance on the Grace of God. I believe very much that Christ is present among us and that he enlightens our path if we open our hearts to his transforming Grace. I wish to open my heart to all of you, the Faithful of the Diocese of Victoria and simply express my deep gratitude for the love, kindness and support that I have experienced over these past nine years. It was a great privilege for me to serve as your bishop in spite of my many shortcomings. I also acknowledge our dedicated Clergy, Religious, and Pastoral Centre staff, for their support, collaboration and friendship. As a community of Faith, we have lived through many joys and challenges together and we can be certain that the Lord will help us to look to the future with hope. As I prepare to take on my new appointment, I realize what a great honour it is to be called by Pope Francis to serve the People of God in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg and I pray that
the Lord will give me courage and wisdom to serve him in love and to build up the Body of Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, I ask for your prayers and I assure you that I will remember you to the Lord.

Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard Gagnon
Administrator of the Diocese of Victoria
Archbishop-Elect of Winnipeg

Chaldean Cultural and Fundraising Dinner

An evening of culture and Chaldean menu
The event will begin with a gourmet authentic Chaldean dinner. Photo Credit:
The Archdiocese of Vancouver will host a night of culture, history and Chaldean food at St. John the Apostle Parish on Nov. 30.

The event will start off with a gourmet authentic Chaldean dinner, followed by a video and talk on the history, and a cultural exposition.

The evening includes lessons about the Iraqi Catholic Chaldeans who, through the Archdiocese Office of Service & Justice Refugee sponsorship program, have a chance to resettle in Vancouver and preserve their ancient culture.

Doors open 5:00p.m., and dinner will be served 6:30p.m.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Emmanuella Kim at (604)-267-1757

Letter released in hopes of clarity

Address looks to prove misinterpretation of papal statements

Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton, Gregory J. Bittman releases a letter to his fellow colleagues about how the media mistakes the meaning of Pope Francis's statements in various question and answer sessions, interviews, and letters. As well as providing examples of other people's displeasure with the media's misinterpretation. Photo: Archdiocese of Edmonton website.

In a recently released letter, Bishop Bittman of Edmonton outlines how the media skews the intended meaning of many Papal statements.

The following is the letter from Bishop Bittman:

Dear Colleagues,
In Pope Francis we have a spiritual leader who is like none of his predecessors. He speaks with candour and informality, and he is an inspirational pastor to the world. His words are always refreshing; some might even call them revolutionary. Media outlets around the world are as enamoured by the Pope as everyone else. But in many of their reports about Francis, the media have taken his words out of context and suggested that they indicate radical departures from Catholic belief, doctrine and Tradition. When considering the words of the Pope and speaking to others about him, it is especially important for those of us serving the Church to read what he has said in credible sources with full context, and not judge on the basis of a newspaper/website headline or broadcast sound bite.

Here are some examples:
Pope Francis speaks about gay people and the situation of divorced and remarried persons.
This is the question and answer session he held with journalists on papal flight back from Rio; here is the full text from Vatican Press Office.

Pope Francis on Church reform, ministry to the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples, abortion, contraception, ecumenism, role of women, and much more.
This interview with Pope Francis took place over the course of three meetings during August 2013 in Rome. The interview was conducted in person by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal.

Pope Francis on the role of Bishops and priests As reported on Vatican Radio.

Father Penna on Pope Francis
Father Stefano Penna of Newman Theological College was a recent interview guest with Michael Coren of Sun News Network, who introduces the piece with his own complaints about mainstream media coverage of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis on salvation for atheists
Francis wrote this letter in response to one by Eugenio Scalfari of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, who described himself as an interested “non-believer.”

Pope Francis on atheists, converting others, ecumenism, and how he hopes to change the Church Pope Francis is unique in his willingness to speak directly to journalists. He followed up his letter to Scalfari with a personal interview. La Repubblica published this dialogue.

In closing, I ask once again that you discern carefully before believing, and propagating, some of the misinformation that appears in the media. For accurate sources on papal news, Vatican Information Service <>  (you can subscribe to this service via email), Vatican Radio <>  and  Zenit <>  (also offers subscriptions) are excellent places to start. Thank you for your consideration and, as always, for your faithful service.

In Christ,

Gregory J. Bittman
Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton 

St. Mark's College principal gets papal call

Msgr. Mark Hagemoen has been chosen to be Bishop of Mackenzie - Fort Smith
The northernmost and largest (by area) diocese in Canada will greet a new bishop soon. Pope Francis has named Msgr. Mark Hagemoen, principal of St. Mark's and Corpus Christi Colleges, the next bishop of Mackenzie - Fort Smith, based in Yellowknife, N.W.T. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other good stories recently posted to the site include:

Vatican event lauds 'tenacious' women in modern society

Just down the road from St. Peter's Basilica, a crowd of almost 200 packed into an audience hall to hear a panel discussion on the witness of modern women in the Church. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Prelate reminds teachers to conform to the Gospel

At a packed annual Archbishop's Charity Dinner Oct. 16, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa challenged Catholic educators to resist the temptation to become a government bureaucracy. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feminists lack fight

Brother Ivo claims activists fight like girls regarding sex-selective abortion

Feminists are called out by Brother Ivo for turning a blind eye to sex-selective abortion. Photo: Archbishop Cranmer blog.

A blog created by someone writing with the pseudonym Archbishop Cranmer, included a statement from Brother Ivo discussing feminists in Britain and their failure to deal with the presence of sex-selective abortion.

In the statement, Brother Ivo outlines the current practices of sex-selective abortion, or having an abortion based on the gender of the child.

He also brings to light the fact that many mothers are forced or pressured into having an abortion because the child is a female.

This issue is one that is not being fought by feminist activists in Britain, which does not sit well with Brother Ivo. Whether it be cultural or because of lack of rights, Brother Ivo makes clear that sex-selective abortion is alive in our world today.

He calls the lack of protest from many feminists across Britain "absurd."

"British feminists may talk a good fight - but when it comes down to it, they fight like girls."

Link to the full story.

Edmonton bishop sets the record straight

Auxiliary bishop provides clarity for misinterpreted papal statements

Bishop Gregory J. Bittman of Edmonton looks to explain the intended meaning of Pope Francis' various statements in question and answer sessions, interviews, and letters. As well as providing examples of other people's displeasure with the media's misinterpretations . Photo: Archdiocese of Edmonton website.

In a letter to priests, parish, and archdiocesan staff, Auxiliary Bishop Gregory J. Bittman outlines the injustice he sees in the way the media interprets various statements from Pope Francis.

"...the media have taken his words out of context and suggested that they indicate radical departures from Catholic belief, doctrine, and tradition," explained the bishop. " is especially important for those of us serving the Church to read what he has said in credible sources with full context, and not judge on the basis of a newspaper/website headline or broadcast sound bite."

In his letter, Bishop Bittman gives a list of instances in which Pope Francis's statements have been interpreted in a different or incorrect way.  He explains that we should not be quick to judge what Pope Francis says, as he speaks with "candour and informality" unlike any other Pope before him.

The letter also includes links to various examples of when the media misinterprets statements by Pope Francis.

The letter concludes by urging people to discern cautiously before acknowledging what the media says as fact.

Here is the list of the links provided:

'Mary of Nazareth' to premiere Nov. 16

Parish is set to host first showing of movie about Our Lady
Holy Family Parish will host the first Vancouver screening of the Mary of Nazareth film.

On Nov. 16 Holy Family Parish will be showing the Mary of Nazareth movie for the first time. There will be two showtimes: 3 and 7 p.m. at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium (in Pacific Academy) at 10238 168 St., Surrey.

Mary of Nazareth is an Ignatius Press film that outlines the story of Mary's life. The film shows what life was like for Mary from childhood to the Resurrection of Jesus.

Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 online, and $10 if you order 15 or more. Admission is free for priests and religious.

More information is available on their website.

Designer created Canucks' classic 'hockey-stick' logo

Joe Borovich still receives praise from players and fans alike for his timeless, iconic emblem
Joe Borovich stands in front of a classic Vancouver Canucks sweater at the "Art in the Atrium" exhibit in September. When he heard Vancouver had been granted an NHL expansion franchise, Borovich "fooled around for a week" and created the logo eventually chosen by management. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens have struggled on the ice in the National Hockey League's expansion era, the iconic crests on their sweaters have withstood the test of time. When the NHL came to Vancouver in 1970, Joe Borovich submitted a logo that was worn by Canuck players until 1978. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Pope rescued hundreds from military dictatorship, author says

Italian journalist Nello Scavo has released a book entitled "Bergoglio's List," recounting the efforts of Pope Francis to help hundreds escape persecution by Argentina's military dictatorship. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Treating spiritual side key to battle with depression

Rather than simply treating the physical ailments associated with depression, doctors must view patients as interconnected spiritual and physical beings, believes Dr. Kenneth Fung. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

St. Margaret's parishioners plan a sharing of memories

Town became a ghost town, with very few parishioners remaining 
Father Jim Fagan (back row, left), Archbishop William Mark Duke, and Monsignor Ed Brown with St. Margaret's elementary school students in 1961. A reunion will be held Oct. 26 in Surrey. Photo submitted to The B.C. Catholic.
Photographs will be on display Oct. 26 in Star of the Sea Elementary School in Surrey as Father Jim Fagan reconnects with his former parishioners from St. Margaret's Parish in Ocean Falls, B.C. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Pope: Mary is united to Christ in the 'martyrdom' of her heart

In his weekly general audience, the Pope continued his catechesis on the Church, reflecting today on the importance of Mary as an example of how to respond to God's plan with fidelity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Good news, bad news, for pro-life group

As a Manitoba pro-life campus group celebrated the defeat of an attempt to have its club status revoked, it was cautiously awaiting word on further attempts to censor its message. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Archbishop Miller blesses new pipe organ at St. Patrick's

Lengthy installation process completed in September
Archbishop Miller (in zucchetto) blesses the new pipe organ before the installation Mass of Father James Hughes (not in photo) in St. Patrick's Church Sept. 29. John Ray Catingub / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
After a year's delay, Vancouver's St. Patrick's Parish finally has its pipe organ. Construction was completed Sept. 21 and it was blessed by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Sept. 29. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Curial reform, role of laity top subjects in council meetings

In their final day of meetings with Pope Francis, the group of eight cardinals defined concrete steps in curial reform and specified that the role of the laity will be a significant area of focus in the future. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Young man went from ladies' man to man of God

In high school, the ladies loved Branden Gordon, and he loved them back, but Gordon always felt restless and unsatisfied, a feeling he assumed is typical of youth. Yet he persistently searched for what was missing, for the truth. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

UVic academic to talk on religious freedom

Professor of law believes the rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are a 'fundamental underpinning of democracy'
Mary Anne Waldron is the author of a new book, Free to Believe: Rethinking Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada. Photo contributed to The B.C. Catholic.
When legal challenges regarding freedom of religion and conscience make headlines, why should Catholics take an interest? Mary Anne Waldron will examine this question in the annual Bishop's Distinguished Lecture in Victoria Oct. 29. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Holocaust survivor thanks Pope for Church's aid in WWII

The last living person whom the Bishop of Assisi saved from being killed during the Holocaust met with Pope Francis, thanking him for the Church's role in protecting her people. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Quebec nun to be declared venerable

Pope Francis has declared the short, productive life of Marie Elisabeth Turgeon heroic, bringing her one step closer to joining Canada's list of saints. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's celebrate the 'Lily of the Mohawks'

Today is the first anniversary of St. Kateri Tekakwitha's canonization
Illustration by: Deacon Lawrence Klimecki.
Last year, on Oct 21, Pope Benedict XVI canonized the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.

St. Kateri is the patron saint of the environment and ecology, as is St. Francis of Assisi.

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith pointed out the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha was, "a sign of how special a moment this is for our country and our Church in renewing and deepening the relationship and partnership with indigenous people."

St. Kateri became a Catholic as a teenager and was baptized at age 20. Although this resulted in having to endure the hostility of her tribe, she remained firm to her faith.

She dedicated her life to prayer, penitential practices, and care for the sick and aged.

On April 17, 1680, she died at the age of 24.

The Church declared her venerable in 1943, and Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980.

Pilgrimages at the sites of shrines to Kateri, including one at her birth place at Auriesville, N.Y., continue today.

For an excerpt from a homily by Archbishop J. Miller, CSB, given at a special Mass in honour of Saint Kateri, visit The B.C. Catholic website.

Support First Nations in local healing and education

Second collection for Canada's Aboriginal People
"Moving forward, we can envision a more promising future in which strong Aboriginal families raise their children in culturally proud and thriving communities," said Phil Fontaine, National Co-Chair of the Moving Forward Together Campaign. Photo Credit:
A special one-time collection for the "Moving Forward Together Campaign" will be held on the Second Sunday of Advent, Dec 7-8, 2013.

"Together with Dioceses across Canada," wrote Archbishop J. Michael Miller in a letter, "the Archdiocese of Vancouver is taking part in an important initiative in support of our First Nations brothers and sisters."

"It is very important," stated Rennie Nahanee, from the First Nations Ministry, "helping [First Nations people] reintegrate back into society."

With Father Garry LaBoucane, the only Catholic First Nations priest in British Columbia, "[the First Nations Ministry] hopes to bring more urban Aboriginal People back to church or for some reconciliation."

This special collection will be a "way of helping to right some wrongs from the past that had to deal with Catholic people who taught in residential schools."

"People can learn of the indigenous people of this country," explained Nahanee.

"This pew collection," said Archbishop Miller, "is not meant to fund any legal settlement regarding the residential schools, but to support local ongoing healing and education programs in the Archdiocese of Vancouver: Talitha Koum Society and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Centre program for Aboriginal Ministry."

For more information about the campaign, visit their website here

Women's conference set for November

Three speakers will underscore female dignity
Cheridan Sanders, a producer for Salt and Light Television, will be one of three featured Catholic speakers. Photo contributed to The B.C. Catholic.
The first annual women's conference will hit the Vancouver archdiocese next month. Women from across the Lower Mainland will have an opportunity to gather for faith and fellowship in a Catholic setting at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Nov. 23. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Vatican analyst warns of global 'war' against Christians

In his new book "The Global War on Christians," Vatican analyst John Allen, Jr., details anti-Christian abuse worldwide, drawing light to the tremendous scale of violence against the world's most persecuted religion. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Prayers are helping Father Mireau beat cancer

Father Mike (Catfish) Mireau relates his current predicament to that of St. Thomas. "About six months ago I was told that I was going to die, and now I'm looking at the prospect of life. As with St. Thomas, I'm not sure if I'm ready to believe it or not," said Father Mireau. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Loyola wins fight over ethics course, government plans appeal

Loyola High School won its fight with the province's education department
The high school is a Jesuit Catholic institution, and did not want to teach a non-denominational ethics course. Photo Credits: CTV News.
The Quebec government is planning to appeal a superior court ruling that has granted Loyola High School the right to opt out of teaching a provincially imposed course on ethics and morality.
The private high school in Montreal's west end is a Jesuit Catholic institution. It fought an order from the province's education department to teach a non-denominational ethics course, implemented two years ago, that would take a secular approach to introducing students to a variety of religions -- from Judaism to Aboriginal spirituality.

"I think it's pretty safe to assume that we'll be appealing this ruling," said Charest.

Education Minister Michelle Courchesne added: "It is a difficult judgment that's for sure."

Justice Gerard Dugre rendered his decision Friday, and ruled that the province was violating the school's freedom of religion -- which is guaranteed by Quebec's charter of rights.
For full story, see CTV Montreal's website.

Proposed Quebec values charter violates rights, commission says

Provincial government plans to limit religious expression in the workplace
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois. Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail website.
Quebec's Human Rights Commission has ripped into the provincial government's plan to limit religious expression in the workplace, saying the Parti Québécois’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values clearly violates a host of fundamental rights.
Despite the harsh indictment delivered by the province’s rights watchdog Thursday, the PQ minority government vowed to plow ahead with the plan to create a framework for accommodation in Quebec and to impose a ban on religious symbols like veils and turbans in the workplace.

 In a scathing 21-page position paper, the commission said none of the charter of values is necessary and much of it is a clear violation of personal freedoms guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Quebec’s own charter of rights enacted 38 years ago and international law.

The commission says the government’s proposal confuses basic concepts like the difference between values and rights. The dress code, which is the most controversial element of the proposal is based on evidence that “seems to be more intuitive than rational,” the commission said.
For full story, see The Globe and Mail website.

Little Flower Academy gaining prestige

Principal Diane Little says reputation spreading around the world
Francesca Pietrantonio receives her high school diploma from principal Diane Little at Little Flower Academy in June. Submitted photo.
Francesca Pietrantonio had spent 18 years in Vancouver when she and her parents packed up to leave for Northwestern University in Chicago Sept. 12. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Next bishops' synod to explore pastoral care of family

The Holy See press office has announced the date and theme of the upcoming Synod of Bishops, which is slated to occur next fall and will address the pastoral approach to family issues. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Upcoming Loyola decision could outline scope of religious freedom

An upcoming hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCOC) involving Loyola High School's battle with Quebec could result in a foundational decision on religious freedom. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Delta parish celebrates harvest on Marian feast

Festival connects parishioners to cultural roots
Women dressed in saris serve traditional dishes from Mangalore, Karnataka, during Monthi Fest at Immaculate Conception Parish in Delta Sept. 7. The celebration, which combines a harvest festival with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has had more participants every year since 2004. Photo submitted to BCC.
While Thanksgiving may be near for many Canadian families, the local Mangalorean Catholic community celebrated a harvest festival in a flourish of flowers in September. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Christ empowers us to be missionaries, Pope Francis says

In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis continued his reflections on the Creed, drawing attention to the Church's apostolic nature and Jesus's invitation to spread the Gospel. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Charter of Values only latest symptom of virulent secularism

The proposed Charter of Quebec Values is but the latest manifestation of the ideology of secularism that is eroding religious and associational freedom in Canada, says Iain Benson. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Rules for commenting

Posts and comments to The Busy Catholic must be marked by Christian charity and respect for the truth. They should be on topic and presume the good will of other contributors. Discussion should take place primarily from a faith perspective. We reserve the right to end discussion on any topic any time we feel the discussion is no longer productive.