Deborah Gyapong: September 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Join me in praying for Christopher Hitchen's conversion

I have been praying on and off for a long time that Christopher Hitchens would surrender to Jesus Christ, and become a foremost apologist of this age for the Christian faith. Want to join me?

Kathy Shaidle predicts it'll happen any time now after this:

“At the end of the event as he staggered, sweating and red faced, out of the room, he [Hitchens] advanced on Father Rutler in a threatening and physical manner, screaming that this beloved pastor and brilliant scholar whom he had never met was `a child molester and a lazy layabout who never did a day’s work in his life’. His behavior was so frightening that a bodyguard put himself between Hitchens and Father Rutler to protect him. Several of the event organizers then escorted Hitchens to the men’s room and when he emerged he continued his psychotic rant, repeating the same calumnious and baseless screed as before. It was then that Father Rutler, in the most charitable manner, told Hitchens [for the second time] that he will `either die a madman or a Roman Catholic’. … Unless he faces his alcoholism soon, I am betting on the ‘madman’ ending for him.” (4)
Read the rest here. Interesting comments, too.

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Bubble zone law challenged

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Douglas Spratt ran afoul of British Columbia’s so-called “bubble zone” around abortion clinics, when he carried a nine-foot cross and a sign, saying “You Shall Not Murder” into one and spoke to a couple clinic employees about the need for repentance and God’s forgiveness.

Arrested under the province’s Access to Abortion Services Act, Spratt was eventually convicted in Dec. 1998 of “sidewalk interference” and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Now the Spratt case has gone on to the B.C. Court of Appeal. An Alliance of groups concerned about religious freedom see the Spratt Case as a test for freedom of religious expression in Canada.

More here.

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A troubling "family portrait" revealed in Census data

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – The latest Statistics Canada’s “Census 2006: Family Portrait shows troubling trends that spell bad news for the future well-being of society say pro-family groups.

That data, released Sept. 12, show more single-parents are raising children alone, common law relationships have jumped by 18.9 percent, and the number of married couples continues to decline.

For the first time, unmarried Canadians over age 15 outnumbered married Canadians and couples without children (42.7 percent) outnumbered couples with children (41.4 percent). More Canadians than ever before are living alone (13 percent).

More here.

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Debate over proportional representation divides pro-life movement

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Canada’s pro-life movement is deeply divided over a referendum that would change how Ontarians vote in subsequent elections.

The pro-life Family Coalition Party (FCP), which is fielding candidates in the Oct. 10 provincial election, says electoral reform is their only hope to advance their cause.

Two national pro-life organizations have warned, however, that countries with similar voting systems have ended up advancing anti-family and anti-life agendas.

Read the rest here.

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Polygamy debate oozes onto national stage


OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast recalls how Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop of Montreal, was ridiculed by the news media when he warned that legalizing same-sex marriage might lead to polygamy.

Now Cardinal Turcotte’s remarks – and those of many others who warned against it during the same-sex marriage debate – may appear more prophetic than foolish. Polygamy has been in the news all summer as British Columbia considers testing whether the law against plural marriage can withstand a religious freedom challenge.

Meanwhile, the U.S. movie network HBO has been airing the hit drama series “Big Love,” about a polygamous family living a “closeted” life in an American state, to overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Archbishop Prendergast is not surprised at the looming polygamy debate. He looks back to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Read the rest here.

The picture by CBC's Simon Gardner shows me with the Archbishop at a news conference earlier in the summer.

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Where are the next generation of saints coming from?

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – “Families, where are the saints of the third millennium?” That question forms the title of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) annual message to families for 2007, challenging families to pass the faith on to the next generation.

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Gardasil poses ethical dilemma for Christian parents

This fall, Catholic parents of girls from 10 to 13 years old may face a quandary when schools in several provinces start offering a new vaccination program against a sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.

In the last federal budget, Ottawa set aside $300 million so the provinces can mount vaccination programs, using the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil that was approved in Canada a year ago.

HPV causes genital warts and some strains of the virus produce lesions that can lead to cervical cancer.

Several provinces, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Ontario, have announced they will offer the expensive three-shot vaccination series in schools this year.

Newfoundland will offer it to Grade 6 girls, while Ontario will offer it to Grade 8 girls. Other provinces, including Quebec, are expected to join the program.

The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute (CCBI) began to raise concerns last February when it called any mass vaccination program "inappropriate" and "unnecessary." Teaching young people to abstain from sexual activity until marriage is the best way to prevent the illness.

Read the rest here.



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Comedian Judy Savoy addresses CWL convention


Time and again, comedian Judy Savoy has had to face her greatest fear - the fear of rejection.

She felt abandoned by her father when he turned to drink after a tragic family death and, later in life, her husband left her after 19 years of marriage.

But when Savoy decided to trust God, she received the ability to forgive others and she left bitterness and resentment behind.

The Halifax-based actor and comedian kicked off the Catholic Women's League national convention Aug. 13, addressing the league's 2007-08 theme Love One Another.

Read the rest here.


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Stories of Mother Theresa to be compiled

When JoAnne Christie travelled around India last year, she kept encountering people who told her stories about Mother Teresa.

"When they told the stories the look on their faces was quite remarkable," Christie said. "Everyone's face shone."

Now Christie and co-editor John Jerome are compiling the stories about the famous nun so people can understand the impact she has had.

While in India, Christie visited Calcutta and the motherhouse for the Missionaries of Charity, the order Mother Teresa founded. She saw Christ's love in action in the faces of the women who worked there.

"It's hard to put in words that love that you see," she said. Though she never met Mother Teresa herself, she realized she was "getting a glimpse of her through all the nuns in Calcutta" and all the people who were sharing stories about her.

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Crossroads Walkers take pro-life message across Canada

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – A group of young people wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Pro-Life” ended their cross Canada journey to promote the Culture of Life on Aug. 11 on Parliament Hill.

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Review of Neil Anderson's The Bondage Breaker

Dr. Neil Anderson's Freedom in Christ ministries played a profound role in my understanding of the importance of having an orthodox, Apostolic faith. Over the summer I got a chance to interview him ....and say thanks! Here's the review I wrote of The Bondage Breaker, the book that helped break the hold Gnosticism and the occult had on me when I first came across it in the 1990s. Maranatha News asked me to do the review of both the re-release of that book on its 15th anniversary and his latest book Restored.

OTTAWA—According to Dr. Neil T. Anderson, the problem of demonic influence has never gone away and the solution remains the same—finding freedom in Christ. Now he hopes to get the message out to a new generation.

He describes his most recent book, Restored: Experience Life with Jesus, as “the culmination of 40 years in ministry.” In addition, his bestseller, The Bondage Breaker, has been re-released to mark its 15th anniversary.

In the 1990s, The Bondage Breaker rode the wave of people’s fascination with spiritual warfare that originated in the charismatic renewal of the 1970s and 80s.

“You’re always going to have movements that come and go,” Anderson said in an interview with Maranatha News from his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 19. “Maybe, in one sense, I kind of caught the peak of that at that time.”


You can read the rest here. And you can find the story of the impact Anderson's ministry had on my life here.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The debate over proportional representation

Catholic Online has picked up the long story I wrote on how the debate over proportional representation is dividing the pro-life movement in Ontario.

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Canada’s pro-life movement is deeply divided over a referendum that would change how Ontarians vote in subsequent elections.

The pro-life Family Coalition Party (FCP), which is fielding candidates in the Oct. 10 provincial election, says electoral reform is their only hope to advance their cause.

Two national pro-life organizations have warned, however, that countries with similar voting systems have ended up advancing anti-family and anti-life agendas.

Read the rest here.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Profile of Archbishop Terrence Prendergast

Ottawa Catholics are blessed to have Archbishop Terrence Prendergast as their new shepherd.
Here's a link to a profile I wrote about him.

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN)— Ottawa’s new Archbishop Terrence Prendergast entered Jesuit seminary in Montreal in 1961 at the age of 17, never imagining he might become a bishop.


Read the rest here at Catholic Online.

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