Deborah Gyapong: October 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dalai Lama visits Ottawa


Here's my story on his visit, posted at The Catholic Register's website.

OTTAWA - The Dalai Lama brought a message of peace and reconciliation to Ottawa Oct. 28-30, urging China to grant the Tibetan people the rights to preserve their language, culture and spirituality.

The 1989 Nobel Laureate also called for protection of Tibetan's fragile environment within a united China.

At a news conference on Parliament Hill Oct. 29, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader sketched out the history of the conflict that sent him into exile in the late 1950s. He pointed out that from the beginning Tibetans had called for “one country-two systems” that would give his people a measure of autonomy.

“The question of independence is out of the question,” he said, pointing out he was “not seeking separation.”





Read the rest here.

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Siggy interviews Dr. Sanity

If you frequent this blog, you'll know I'm a regular reader and big fan of Dr. Sanity, a psychiatrist who diagnoses politics and current events. Siggy of the blog Sigmund, Carl and Alfred interviews Dr. Sanity, aka. Dr. Pat Santy here.

Some wonderful reflections on the present biological model and determinism that dominates psychiatry these days. They also discuss in depth the problems with utopianism and political efforts to perfect human nature.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Theodore Dalrymple on the new atheists

Theodore Dalrymple, who is himself not a religious believer, has a wonderful essay on the new atheists in City Journal. Here's an excerpt:

The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds. God bided his time, but got Bradlaugh in the end. A slightly later atheist, Bertrand Russell, was once asked what he would do if it proved that he was mistaken and if he met his maker in the hereafter. He would demand to know, Russell replied with all the high-pitched fervor of his pedantry, why God had not made the evidence of his existence plainer and more irrefutable. And Jean-Paul Sartre came up with a memorable line: “God doesn’t exist—the bastard!”

Sartre’s wonderful outburst of disappointed rage suggests that it is not as easy as one might suppose to rid oneself of the notion of God. (Perhaps this is the time to declare that I am not myself a believer.) At the very least, Sartre’s line implies that God’s existence would solve some kind of problem—actually, a profound one: the transcendent purpose of human existence. Few of us, especially as we grow older, are entirely comfortable with the idea that life is full of sound and fury but signi-fies nothing. However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, and that at worst it is only the process of dying that we should fear, people still fear death as much as ever. In like fashion, however many times philosophers say that it is up to us ourselves, and to no one else, to find the meaning of life, we continue to long for a transcendent purpose immanent in existence itself, independent of our own wills. To tell us that we should not feel this longing is a bit like telling someone in the first flush of love that the object of his affections is not worthy of them. The heart hath its reasons that reason knows not of.

Of course, men—that is to say, some men—have denied this truth ever since the Enlightenment, and have sought to find a way of life based entirely on reason. Far as I am from decrying reason, the attempt leads at best to Gradgrind and at worst to Stalin. Reason can never be the absolute dictator of man’s mental or moral economy.

Read the rest here.



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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here's my piece on the Traditional Anglican Communion

B.C. Catholic has published my piece about the Traditional Anglican Communion's (TAC) seeking full communion with the Holy See here.
After more than a decade of informal contacts, the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) has made a formal request seeking "full, corporate, and sacramental union" with the Roman Catholic Church.

The TAC college of bishops met in a plenary assembly the first week of October in Portsmouth, England, where the 30 or so bishops and vicars general who are in charge of dioceses presently without bishops "unanimously agreed" to the text of a letter that was delivered to Rome the following week.

"The letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)," said TAC Primate Archbishop John Hepworth of Australia in a statement posted on the TAC's Messenger Journal web site.

According to the statement, the primate and the bishops will not give interviews "until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded." The content of the letter has not been released.

Read the rest here.

See the Salt and Light TV documentary on the TAC here.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Traditional Anglican Communion seeks communion with Holy See

I've written a story on this but I don't see it published anywhere yet. But LifeSiteNews.com has this story today:

PORTSMOUTH, UK, October 25, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The splits in the Worldwide Anglican Communion over the church’s secularising trends and growing enthusiasm for homosexuality has led some to seek reunion with the Catholic Church after nearly 500 years apart.

The bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)are reported to have met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007 and “unanimously agreed” to send a letter to the Pope seeking full, corporate, sacramental union” with the Catholic Church. The group has agreed not to give interviews until the Vatican has responded to their request.

The TAC boasts of some 400,000 members worldwide with at least 100 parishes in the US. It has been estimated that the TAC could have as many as 500 parishes supporting its goals in the UK.

Read the rest here.

A bishop with the Anglican Church of America, one of the churches that forms part of the TAC has some explanatory notes on David Virtue's site where there is some extensive discussion of the move. Bishop Langberg writes:

A recap of some events of the last 50 years seems to be in order. In the first place, Anglican-Roman unity is not a new scheme cooked up by the TAC. Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher visited Pope John XXIII in Rome in 1960, and among the topics discussed was unity between Anglicans and the Roman Catholic Church. A short time after that meeting, Pope John wrote: "A new hope arises that those who rejoice in the name of Christians, but are nevertheless separated from this apostolic see, may be able to make their way into the one Church of Christ ... to seek and to follow that unity which Jesus Christ implored from his Heavenly Father with such fervent prayers."

In 1966, Archbishop Fisher's successor Michael Ramsey had an official visit with Pope Paul VI. At the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls, after both had signed a Joint Declaration intended to begin a dialogue leading to full communion between the Anglican Communion and the See of Rome, Pope Paul removed his ring and placed it on Canterbury's finger as a symbol of the unity they both sought, the Pope using the phrases "our dear sister church" and "united but not absorbed."

Two years later, the 1968 Lambeth Conference endorsed the Archbishop's approach to the Holy See and the proposed work of the newly formed Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission. Influenced by the Vatican II doctrine of episcopal collegiality, the Lambeth Conference further proposed a re-examination of the question of papal authority by all concerned with the unity of the Body of Christ.

In 1970, in his homily at the Canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, Pope Paul said of the Anglican-Roman unity he anticipated, "There will be no seeking to lessen the prestige and usage proper to the Anglican Church."
More discussion at Virtue on Line here.

Salt and Light TV did a documentary on the TAC earlier this year. You can watch it here.

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Bella opens this weekend

I encourage you to go see this movie and support it.

I saw it last spring when those who attended the Rose Dinner after the National March for Life got a preview. It's a sweet, good movie with a heartwarming ending.

Now, interestingly, Barbara Nicolosi, founder of Act One, a workshop to equip Christians to write compelling screenplays, is not a big fan of the movie. She writes at her blog Church of the Masses:

A producer on the film subsequently left a message on my voicemail noting that my refusal to support the film had its source "in the demonic." Really? "Demonic"? It couldn't just be that I found the film plodding, easy, sloppy and uneven? In short, I don't think Bella is great. It's not really "Catholic" (in the sense of overt spirituality). And it really isn't pro-life (in the usual sense of that term).

What is going on is a wildly over the top marketing blitz in which the investors in the project are trying desperately to recoup their investment, by telling good Catholic people that they must support this film to send a message to Hollywood. As with so many other mediocre Christian movies, the only "message" that Hollywood will get if Bella does well, is that the Christian audience has no idea what a good movie is and will rave about anything that remotely mirrors our world-view.

Now, in the interest of full-disclosure, I haven't seen the film in over a year since it was in rough cut. In the weeks before the project was shot, I had read the "screenplay" (and I use the term loosely, because it was astoundingly unprofessional, but I understand from one of the producers that "80% of the script was thrown out on set as the actors improvv-ed the scenes...."Oh great," I thought. "That will fix things just fine.") My notes on the project were, "This screenplay is deficient in every area in which it can be." I noted that there was no real story, and that the character's choices were unmotivated. There was no conflict, no theme, no imagery, no subtext and no structure. And the dialogue was very bad. And there was a lot of stylistic showing-off that had nothing to do with the main story.
Read the rest here.


I agree that Bella is not a "great" movie. Few movies are truly great. But I think it is a good movie, both enjoyable and heartwarming. While she makes some points worth thinking about. And there are plenty of movies with worse screenplays, worse production values that are making it to theatres every day that have a horrible message. The dialog that made it into the film was not noticeably bad--there was maybe one place there the line sounded a bit wooden to me. The actors did a really good job. I would notice if the dialog was that bad, believe me.

I believe if Bella is a success, the next movie this company does will be even better.

Here's Joseph Farah's take on Bella. I agree with him about how the movie will leave you feeling. That's why I say go see it. It's good.

In many ways it is the opposite of "The Passion." It is a little picture – small budget, simple story. Chances are you won't know most of those involved in the picture. In fact, the only person with a Hollywood resume is one of the co-producers who helped shepherd the project through its unlikely birth to its critical success as winner of the prestigious Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award. That would be Steve McVeety, who also produced "The Passion."

But it's the performance of another co-producer, the acting star of "Bella," Eduardo Verastegui, a Mexican acting and recording icon in one of his first U.S. roles, that will leave you uplifted, teary-eyed and filled with hope. The story of how Verastegui's career led to the making of "Bella" would make for an interesting script itself.

The son of a sugar-cane farmer from the small northern Mexico village of Xicotencatl, Tamaulipas, Verastegui knew he wanted to be a performer at the age of 17. Gifted with good looks, he headed off to acting school in Mexico City.

Two years later, however, it was his singing voice that jump-started his entertainment career. He had an opportunity to travel the world in the Latin pop group Kairo for three years. Later, capitalizing on his acting skills, he accepted a contract for a Latin soap opera – leading to four renewals and acting superstardom with magazine cover stories and fans in 19 countries.

But Verastegui's restless heart was unfulfilled. He longed to do something of "substance" – something meaningful – with his abilities.

Moving to Los Angeles, he was hired to perform with Jennifer Lopez in her music video "Ain't It Funny." He was immediately noticed in Hollywood. But the roles coming his way were for characters of what he characterizes as "low morals" – criminals and playboys. He turned them down flat.

After 12 years as a pop-group idol, soap-opera star, solo artist, lots of beautiful women, money and fame, Verastegui said his soul was still empty. He wanted more – and he did not mean the things the world measures as success.

Specifically, he thought about his father, a hard-working man with integrity and love for his son and three daughters. He wanted a life of integrity like that.

Read it all.

For my story on Eduardo Verastegui, go here.

If you want to see him dancing with Jennifer Lopez, go here.

But maybe you'll have to go to confession afterwards. ;-) But it puts in perspective what he gave up when he turned his life over to Christ. I wish him and the rest of the Bella cast and crew all the best with their movie. And I hope Metanoia's next effort is one that Barbara Nicolosi will describe as a great movie.

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Great Jeanne Damoff post over at The Master's Artist

Jeanne writes:

Every writer knows you need conflict to move a story forward. And before you resolve one issue, you best set a few more pots to boiling so the kitchen stays nice and steamy to the end. Oh, and while you're cooking, add a few handfuls of irony, toss in at least two sympathetic characters with divergent goals, maybe even zest things up with a twist of plot, and everyone should leave the party satisfied.

Yep, that's the way we write. I'm just not wild about living that way.

Let me say up front that I like my neighbors. We watch out for each other. We smile and wave and collect packages left in the rain by the UPS man. On a nice evening we may even stand out in the street and chat a while. Good folks.

But this past week a little drama unfolded on our quiet street, reminding me that I enjoy tension in story a lot more than in real life.

Compared to drug wars or prostitution rings, our neighborhood issues may seem tame. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that the ingredients are no different. Only the level of spiciness. If I observe closely, I can translate the basic principles into writing effective conflict.

Here's the deal. One neighbor--we'll call her Candy Kane--feeds stray cats. (Chris Fisher, I know you know who it is, and don't you dare say a word.) She has several feeders and water bowls set up in her carport, and she keeps them filled at all times. She sincerely believes her actions are humane, and she's not open to discussion. Candy has been doing this for years. Many years.

Now, if you paid attention in biology class, you won't be surprised when I tell you that the feral cat population around here increases exponentially until someone besides Candy decides to take action.

Enter George and our first pinch of irony. George is one of the greatest respecters of creation I know. He won't even kill snakes unless they're poisonous and threatening humans. And he catches mice, rats, and other vermin in live traps so he can release them out in the woods somewhere. (The careful reader will take note of the live traps.)

Be sure to read the rest. Great pictures, too. And leave a comment for Jeanne.

And bookmark The Master's Artist. Always something good to read over there. I blog there every other Wednesday.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Dumbledore is gay....should we care?

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, though I have seen some of the movies and appreciate many of the imaginative aspects.

Now the web is buzzing with stories that a favorite mentor of Harry's is gay.

Sigh.

LifeSiteNews.com has followed various controversies concerning the Potter books over the past few years. I think they are worth paying attention to.

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews.com, in March 2003, before being elected Pope, then-Cardinal Ratzinger expressed gratitude to Gabriele Kuby who authored a work explaining the dangers of the Potter story, especially to young children.

Made available by LifeSiteNews, Ratzinger's letter to Ms. Kuby stated, "It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly."

Strangely, more than a few prominent Catholic fans of the Potter novels, have been denying that the Pope (then Cardinal Ratzinger) made any comment against them despite the indisputable evidence of scans of his actual signed letters posted on LifeSiteNews. A letter published in the Toronto Archdiocese's Catholic Register, for example, refuting a recent Register article's clear misrepresentation of Cardinal Ratzinger's statements, was edited to remove reference to those crucial scans on LifeSiteNews.com.

Simply reporting the Pope's statements and other criticisms of the Potter novels, as well as publishing some detailed critical analyses of them by famed author Michael O'Brien, has earned LifeSiteNews unexpected wrath from some otherwise praiseworthy allies in the life and family culture wars. Such intolerance of alternative opinions of Harry Potter appears to validate warnings about the seductive nature of the Potter series.
Read it all here.

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Great post by Carolyn Arends


Check out the great posts at Canadian Authors Who Are Christian.

I especially enjoyed this one from Canadian singer and writer Carolyn Arends:

I have a confession to make. Recently, I threw out three boxes worth of my kids’ Sunday School crafts. I felt heartless and vaguely evil. But really, one can only store so much fun foam in a single house.

Though I tried to be ruthless, there was one piece of art I was compelled to rescue from the recycle bin. My daughter made it in 2004, when she was three.

Bethany was excited the day she brought her “worship” craft home from church. It had involved cutting out and colouring pre-supplied pictures of children engaged in four different acts of worship, and then gluing those pictures onto the sheet. (OK, that’s not much of a craft, but she was three. You were expecting decoupage?)

She was particularly proud of this assignment because of the gluing part. Bethany really, really, really likes to glue things. I think she may have a future in adhesives.
Read the rest here.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bibby challenged bishops to offer better ministry to families

Offer better ministry to families and baptized Catholics who no longer attend church will come back, sociologist Reginald Bibby told Canada's bishops Oct. 15.

"If you want to touch people's lives, touch their families," said the University of Lethbridge professor. Even something simple like visiting a person's father in a nursing home sends a positive message.

"The things people are asking for are so minimal," he said. They are hoping to find something in a homily that will better help them live their lives. They hope their children will enjoy going to church. They are looking for relationships.

The idea that people who aren't involved don't want to be involved is not supported by the research, he told the bishops. "People are receptive to greater involvement if they find it to be worthwhile."

More at The Western Catholic Reporter website

Muslim cleric greets Catholic bishops

For the first time in the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) 65-year history, a Muslim cleric brought interfaith greetings to the conference's plenary assembly Oct. 16.

Imam Zijad Delic, national executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), told 80 bishops from across Canada that his best friend growing up in Bosnia was Catholic.

They played together ignorant of the troubles that Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox would face when Bosnia broke away from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

"It really is a privilege for me to greet all of you," said Delic.

More here at the Western Catholic Reporter website.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Should church leaders have met with the Iranian president?

OTTAWA - Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) executive director Karen Hamilton grilled the Iranian president during a recent meeting in New York, telling him his threats to wipe Israel off the face of the map were “unacceptable.”

Canadian Jewish leaders, however, are dismayed the meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took place at all.

“For respectable churches and organizations to accord him any kind of dignified reception is an insult to the people he threatens — the Jewish people,” said B’nai Brith executive vice president Frank Dimant, who planned a letter of protest to the CCC. B’nai Brith is a Jewish humanitarian and human rights organization.


Read the rest at the Catholic Register's website.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Father Neuhaus on clerical dress

Then I come across this odd item from London. It seems that Anglican and Catholic clergy are being warned that wearing the collar is “hazardous to their health” and are advised to wear civies when “off duty.” It is not easy to say when a priest is off duty. Of course, some priests are overworked and cherish their time off. A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about “clergy burn-out.” At a meeting where that was the subject, a wise old bishop turned to me and said, “I don’t get all this talk about clergy burn-out. Most of the priests I’ve known who claim to be burned out were never on fire to begin with.” But I digress.

The aforementioned London report says priests are frequently attacked on the street because “they are perceived to have money.” Maybe pay rates are different in the U.K. The average priest in the Archdiocese of New York gets about $15,000 per year, plus room and board and Mass stipends. I can’t imagine anyone viewing them as the moneyed class in Manhattan. The report goes on to say that clergy may be attacked by people bearing a “grudge against God.” That happens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ontario voted today...and so did I


I voted in my first provincial election since becoming a citizen of Canada a year ago. As I went to the ballot box, I joked with the elections folks that politicians always get their pictures taken voting, and I would like to have mine taken. The woman who had crossed off my name asked me if I had a camera. Turns out I always carry a little Canon digital Elph in my purse. So she snapped a photo, which I have uploaded here.

Now I'm listening to the results come in via CBC Newsworld.

Challenges to recognition of one baptism

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Ecumenism rests on a mutual recognition of baptism, according to Marquette University theology professor Susan K. Wood, a Sister of Charity.

”You can’t fix it at the altar,” she said. “You can’t fix it liturgically.”

The only way to fix it, she said, was through working for reconciliation among the churches.

Read the rest here.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A sung Anglican Catholic Angelus

A sung Anglican Catholic Angelus that begins with a boy soprano singing the Ave Maria.

Bishop Robert Mercer, our beloved retired Bishop of Canada, says the prayers at the end.

Enjoy. It takes a little while to load. It lasts 6 minutes.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

NET Ministries sends out seven teams to minister to youth


What would possess a young person to live out of a single suitcase, a sleeping bag and a backpack for nearly a year, travelling in a crammed van from place to place and holding retreats for young people for a stipend of $100 a month?

Oh, and raise $4,500 for the privilege?

"I just want them to know God and how much (Jesus) loves each one of us," said Patrick Sullivan, 20, prior to a Sept. 30 commissioning Mass at Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral for 67 youth belonging to NET Ministries of Canada.

Read more at the Western Catholic Reporter.

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State run daycare programs don't work


More from the Institute for Marriage and Family Conference (IMFC) on the 'business of marriage'.

A researcher and author from the United Kingdom says state-run experiments in rearing children have failed.

Patricia Morgan, author of Back to Utopia: The Pursuit of the Child Care Paradise, says universal daycare programs have proved to be prohibitively expensive and many countries are abandoning them.

Morgan said Sweden tried to "engineer equal outcomes" for men and women, so women could be "free of their children" to pursue careers, Morgan said. The tax system virtually forced women into the workforce.


Read the rest here at the Western Catholic Reporter's website.

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IMFC conference on the "business of marriage"

Marriage is a social institution that constrains private behaviours for a social good, says Simon Fraser economist Doug Allen.

Allen said these constraints have been religious, social, legal, familial and cultural, but in recent years, many of them have been eroded or removed.

"Imagine describing marriage to a 19-year-old boy who has never heard of it before," he said. "What? Only one sexual partner for my whole life?"

Allen was one speaker at the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada's (IMFC) policy conference Sept. 27, who called for public policies that could encourage marriage.

Read the rest here.

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Infertility crisis led economist back to Catholic faith

Economist Jennifer Roback Morse had the perfectly planned life. But when her desire for a baby with her live-in boyfriend didn't work out the way she expected, she headed to the altar and back to the Catholic faith.

Cohabitation doesn't work and marriage is much more than a private contract, Morse concluded.

The author of Love & Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work and Smart Sex: Finding Life Long Love in a Hook Up World has "tried all the hare-brained things that I write about."

Speaking at a Sept. 27 conference, Morse admitted she lived with her husband before marriage.

They kept separate bank accounts, knew who owned what in their household, and viewed their relationship as a private contract. She planned to have a child once she got tenure as a university economics professor.

She intended to give birth over the summer break and have the child in daycare by the start of the fall term.

"The baby didn't show up in the month I had set aside," she said.

Instead, she faced a "four-year infertility crisis" that prompted some heavy soul-searching that led her back to the Catholic faith

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Read the rest here.


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Don't let compassion cloud ethical choices---Singh

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – The creation of animal-human embryos “takes conscience out of science,” said Lea Singh, assistant director of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).

“What price are we willing to pay for scientific and medical progress?” she asked, responding to a recent poll, showing almost half Canadians would support changing the law to allow human-animal (transgenic) embryo stem cell research.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima Poll conducted in early September showed that 47 percent of respondents supported medical research involving the creation of animal-human embryos if it would help find treatments serious illnesses. The survey showed 37 percent opposed and 17 percent with no opinion.

“The poll shows how compassion can cloud complex ethical issues,” said Singh in an interview.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Implications of John Tory's decision

Paul McLellan has written a good piece for the Catholic Register on reaction to John Tory's decision to put his proposal to fund religious schools to a free vote in the Ontario legislature if he wins next week's vote and becomes premier.

McLellan writes:

TORONTO - John Tory's proposal to hold a free vote on minority education rights is at best neutral and more likely bad for Catholic education, according to leaders in the Catholic education community.

“I was half expecting him to talk about a referendum, so I see a free vote as the lesser of two evils,” said Toronto Catholic District School Board chair Oliver Carroll.

“I don't think any kind of a vote is going to be helpful to us,” said Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario executive director Lou Rocha. “One would anticipate that a free vote is going to turn down Mr. Tory's proposed bill. So then, what would happen next? We would have a whole lot more spin around, and let's keep on going, and let's get rid of the Catholic system.”
Read the rest here.

Bishops to focus national priorities and communications strategy

OTTAWA - In their upcoming plenary Oct. 15-19, Canada’s bishops will focus their national activities to have more impact and will consider new communications strategies.

The bishops will debate reducing the number of national episcopal commissions from six to three, and the possible creation of standing committees that would include lay experts, said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) General Secretary Msgr. Mario Paquette.

The bishops will also put evangelization front and centre during the public portion of the week-long gathering in Cornwall, Ont. On opening day, sociologist Reginald Bibby will present an array of social data on Canadian attitudes towards religious faith. The next day Halifax Auxiliary Bishop Claude Champagne will lay out the theological and teaching dimensions.

The bishops, however, must find a way to accomplish their mission with fewer resources.

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The ordination of Pembroke's new bishop

ImagePEMBROKE - This rural diocese straddling the Ottawa River and taking in parts of Ontario and Quebec welcomed 45-year-old Michael Mulhall as its eighth bishop Sept. 21.

The ordination at Pembroke’s St. Columbkille Cathedral coincided with the Feast of St. Matthew as well as the 125th anniversary of the ordination of Narcisse Lorrain, Pembroke’s first bishop. Archbishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to Canada, presented Mulhall with Lorrain’s crozier and used the first bishop’s chalice at the altar.

-snip-

In his homily, Ventura said a bishop’s fundamental duty is “to preserve the integrity and purity of truth, to proclaim it without compromise and to transmit it without alteration.”

“A bishop does not dispose of the truth as it were his own possession; he is the servant, the witness and the tireless proponent,” the Vatican’s ambassador said.

“This revealed truth is not a system of ideas but a living person who knows us, encounters us and seeks to inspire us with His love,” said Ventura, who exhorted Mulhall to follow God’s command by preaching the Gospel.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Dr. Sanity and Mark Steyn on Ahmadinajad's Columbia visit

As usual Mark Steyn describes perfectly the reason why I detested seeing Columbia give the Iranian president a platform and tacit legitimacy last week. I also find the double-standard on university campuses appalling. I could live with letting that petty tyrant speak if these universities would give the same courtesy to others who hold controversial views. Same here in Canada. In Montreal, student protesters at Concordia were successful in cancelling a speech by former Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2002. I also witnessed left-wing protesters shut down a talk by former Canadian Immigration Minister Monte Solberg.

Steyn writes:

"I'm proud of my university today," Stina Reksten, a 28-year-old Columbia graduate student from Norway, told the New York Times. "I don't want to confuse the very dire human rights situation in Iran with the issue here, which is freedom of speech. This is about academic freedom."

Isn't it always? But enough about Iran, let's talk about me! The same university that shouted down an American anti-illegal-immigration activist and the same university culture that just deemed former Harvard honcho Larry Summers too misogynist to be permitted on campus is now congratulating itself over its commitment to "academic freedom." True, renowned Stanford psychology professor Philip Zimbardo is not happy. "They can have any fascist they want there," said professor Zimbardo, "but this seems egregious." But, hey, don't worry: He was protesting not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presence at Columbia but Donald Rumsfeld's presence at the Hoover Institution.

Dr. Sanity diagnoses the problem.

Nevertheless, at the risk of catastrophically cracking that wondrous bubble of narcissism the left hangs out in, I must point out that they desperately need to do a great deal of soul-searching and open their eyes to reality and get a grip.

Beneath the priggish self-righteousness; beneath that romantic and suffering image off moral superiority that they cultivate religiously, they have become nothing more than the appeasers and enablers of those who represent the very opposite of peace.

My only consolation is this: some people in these audiences will watch the brownshirt antics of their fellow students and realize how anti-democratic and fascistic their behavior is and will eventually come to understand that the things they are criticizing on the part of the so-called right are the things they are actually engaging in themselves.

That's what woke me up years ago.




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